Ashland goes out a winner
Justin Meza scored on a 92-yard touchdown run as the Grizzlies overpowered Eagle Point on the ground in the second half en route to a 32-24 homecoming victory Friday night at Walter A. Phillips Field.
Meza finished with 190 of the Grizzlies' 252 rushing yards, while Patt Hutchinson added 61 rushing yards and two touchdowns, as Ashland used its most productive ground game of the season to overcome an early 12-0 deficit.
Despite the impressive Southern Sky Conference win, Ashland was officially eliminated from the playoffs Friday when Crater beat Klamath Union, 27-13.
"What a way to end the season," said Ashland head coach Charlie Hall, as his team was rewarded with a standing ovation. "I know we wanted more, but it's just nice to go out with our homecoming crowd. We talked about it with our seniors &
'Just one more memory, go out there and make it happen.'"
Eagle Point scored on its first two possessions, racking up 145 yards and converting two fourth downs along the way.
Ashland responded with two touchdowns of its own, the last coming with 15 seconds left before halftime on Gus Gaviglio's 10-yard swing pass to Meza. Sheldon Cotts extra-point kick gave Ashland a 13-12 lead.
Gaviglio completed 9 of 13 passes for 129 yards and two scores.
Shane Tomich's two-yard dive completed a 12-play, 61-yard drive that gave the Eagles back the lead midway through the third, and Ashland came right back with a six-play, 53-yard drive of its own capped by Pat Hutchinson's 19-yard burst up the middle.
Meza's long run, Ashland's longest of the season, came on the second play of the fourth quarter. The senior bulldozed through the middle then ran away from the defense, avoiding two potential tacklers at the 15.
At Salem, the Southern Oregon volleyball team (15-5) got off to a slow start Friday night against Corban, but managed to come back strong for a 27-30, 30-15, 30-15, 30-19 Cascade Conference victory.
Raider sophomore Mia Wortel had 19 kills and eight blocks, Katie Pluchos recorded a season-high 20 digs and two services aces and Molly Grossmann finished with 28 assists. SOU's Isabel Yasana added 18 assists.
The Raider offense struggled in Game 1, but bounced back to hit at a .343 clip in the second game.
Leading the Warriors (15-5) was Hallie Hofferd with 13 kills, while Becky Horn added 22 digs and three service aces. Jessica McGraw also recorded three services aces and a team high of five blocks.