Shepherd's kickoff return sparks Phoenix
PHOENIX ' In a scant 14 seconds, Joey Shepherd turned the game around.
After Phoenix and visiting Mazama played through a scoreless first half in Skyline Conference football Friday, Shepherd fielded the second-half kickoff on the Pirates' 14, made a cut to the outside at his own 35 and sped to the end zone.
Shepherd's touchdown propelled 10th-ranked Phoenix to a 19-0 victory at Jack Woodward Stadium.
That long kickoff return was a big lift for the team, Phoenix coach Gordy Crowston said. There was great blocking on the play and a great read by him (Shepherd). A couple of Mazama guys slipped on the cut, and he was gone. That was our best effort on a return all season.
Junior running back Tyler Hammon tacked on two fourth-quarter touchdown runs to secure the Pirates' third consecutive victory.
— We played a pretty solid first half, but we really didn't sustain anything, said Crowston. Our defense kept us in the game.
Phoenix (6-1, 3-1 Skyline) limited Mazama to 78 yards on the ground and 170 total yards. The Pirates recovered one fumble and picked off one Viking pass.
The Phoenix defense was spearheaded by linebackers Riley Gibson and Brandon Bucich
They were stepping up and stopping their power game on the inside, said Crowston. They tried to run over us with their big offensive line.
When Mazama (3-4, 2-3 Skyline) attempted to go wide, Pirate defensive ends Justin Pecor and Brent Carlson were up to the task.
Our defense didn't give up any big plays, said Crowston. We tackled well against a very physical football team.
Hammon posted 152 yards on 21 carries. He sealed the game with a 51-yard TD with 6:19 left in the game.
That touchdown was the most beautifully blocked play, said Crowston. Every helmet hit at the same time, and Tyler (Hammon) hit it perfect and took it down the right sideline.
Crowston credited the offensive line with being the key for the Pirates' offensive success.
Our offensive line did a great job in believing in our scheme, said Crowston. Mazama was gambling with stunts and blitzes. We felt it was just a matter of time before we could break something.
Mazama0000 ' 0
Phoenix00712 ' 19
P ' Shepherd 86 kickoff return (Harvey kick)
P ' Hammon 10 run (run failed)
P ' Hammon 51 run (kick failed)
HIDDEN VALLEY 28, ROGUE RIVER 0 ' At Rogue River, junior tailback Sam Dollarhide scored three touchdowns and rushed for more than 200 yards as Hidden Valley ended a two-game losing streak to Rogue River (4-3, 2-2 Skyline).
The Mustangs (5-2, 4-1 Skyline) gained 269 yards on the ground, with Dollarhide rushing for 237 on 31 carries. Hidden Valley added 96 yards through the air for 365 total yards.
Dollarhide now has 14 touchdowns on the season and has rushed for 788 yards.
Rogue River was limited to 136 yards rushing and 52 through the air.
The Chieftains fumbled four times and lost all four, while Hidden Valley only lost one of seven fumbles..
Hidden Valley14806 ' 28
Rogue River0000 ' 0
HV ' Dollarhide 39 run (kick failed)
HV ' Dollarhide 2 run (Dollarhide run)
HV ' Dollarhide — run (Dollarhide run)
HV ' Gill 2 run (run failed)
HENLEY 36, ILLINOIS VALLEY 28 ' At Klamath Falls, seniors Brian Ripetto and Bryn Card combined for 406 yards and five touchdowns to lead Henley to its first Skyline victory.
Ripetto started the Hornet attack with his first touchdown of the night on a 3-yard run. Ripetto scored twice more racking and racked up 200 yards on 37 carries.
Card guided Henley (1-3) through the air with a 12-for-14 performance for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Jake Warner caught 30- and 21-yard touchdowns.
Illinois Valley's Danny Grebisz rushed for 226 yards on eight carries with touchdown runs of 81, 31 and 62 yards. The Cougars are 0-4.
Illinois Valley61660 ' 28
Henley140814 ' 36
H ' Ripetto — run (run failed)
IV ' Grebisz 81 run (kick failed)
H ' Ripetto — run (Ripetto run)
IV ' Miller — run (Miller run)
IV ' Grebisz 31 run ( Moore run)
H ' Warner 30 pass from Card (Morgan pass from Card)
IV ' Grebisz 62 run (run failed)
H ' Warner 21 pass from Card (Ripetto run)
H ' Ripetto — run (run failed)
EUREKA 14, NORTH VALLEY 6 ' At Merlin, in a nonleague game dominated by defense and 11 fumbles by both teams, Eureka, Calif., scored twice in the second quarter to pull out the win.
North Valley (3-4 overall) was held to 98 yards and lost four of its six fumbles.
Eureka gained 223 yards and lost four of its five fumbles.
The Knights scored first, Anthony Spain hauling in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Josh Makepeace at 4:17 of the second quarter.
But Eureka tallied two minutes later on Brad Morgan's 2-yard run.
The visitor scored again only 24 seconds before halftime on Sean Retzloff's 1-yard quarterback sneak.
Eureka01400 ' 14
North Valley0600 ' 6
NV ' Spain 20 pass from Makepeace (kick failed)
E ' Morgan 2 run (Davie kick)
E ' Retzloff — run (Davie kick)