Grizzlies maul Cowboys to cap perfect regular season
Ashland High head coach Charlie Hall wanted Friday's season finale to be a confidence-booster for the Grizzlies' offense. He got his wish.
Matt Dierks completed 14 of 18 passes for 230 yards and six touchdowns, including four to Josh Hogeland, as fourth-ranked Ashland wrapped up a perfect regular season with a 50-7 nonconference win over Crook County.
The victory improved Ashland to 10-0 and sends the Grizzlies roaring into the Class 5A state playoffs on the heels of their most dominating effort of the season. Crook County fell to 2-7.
Ashland outgained the Cowboys 425 yards to 138, including 230-28 through the air. Dierks had a field day from the opening whistle. He found Hogeland and Sam Gaviglio for touchdown passes of 20 and 19 yards, respectively, in the first quarter then hit Hogeland with two more scores in the second quarter to put Ashland up 25-0 at the half.
The Grizzlies' offense didn't let up after the break: Dierks hit Charlie Sebrell with a 16-yard TD pass midway through the third and found Hogeland for the final time on a 15-yard score early in the fourth. The latter pass gave Ashland a 35-0 lead and Dierks' his 20th touchdown pass of the season against just three interceptions.
Also for Ashland, running back Lewis Sebrell gained 79 yards on 15 carries to pass the 1,000-yard mark on the season, and Charlie Sebrell caught three passes for 59 yards.
Ashland now can set its sights on the program's first home playoff game since 1998, Nov. 16 against Dallas or Corvallis.
At Lewiston, Idaho, Southern Oregon was held to 28 percent shooting in a 88-44 season-opening loss to Lewis-Clark State, Friday night in the first day of the Lewis-Clark tournament at the LC Activity Center.
Mike Gordy hit 6 of 9 shots and scored a game-high 17 points to lead four Warriors in double figures. Lewis-Clark State (3-0) shot 53 percent (19-for-36) and led 48-19 at the half.
At Eugene, Northwest Christian College played well in spurts, but the Raiders pulled out the Cascade Conference win, 30-16, 30-25, 30-23, Friday night.
Ranked No. 11 in the latest NAIA national coaches poll, SOU has now won 18 consecutive matches, dropping a total of just three games in the process.
The Raiders stormed out to a 14-6 lead in game one and never looked back as they hit .389 as a team with 18 kills, while holding NCC to just six kills and a negative hitting ratio. Conference-leading setter Lindsey Stone started off what would become a very strong night with 12 assists.
Southern Oregon (20-4, 14-1 CCC) retains sole possession of first place in the CCC with a 1/2-game lead over The College of Idaho. The Raiders were led by Mia Wortel, who dominated the middle for 15 kills and a .345 hitting percentage, along with a pair of blocks. Stone, Shanna Claflin and Richelle Millsap had three blocks apiece in the winning effort. Stone finished with 40 assists.
Northwest Christian (11-14, 6-11) was led by Brooke Stribling, who finished with eight kills and eight digs.