Cougars clamp down on North
When North Medford's Jonathan McUne took a reverse handoff from Jeremy Scottow on the first play from scrimmage and raced 43 yards down to the Mountain View 12-yard line, it looked like the Black Tornado was in store for a big night at Spiegelberg Stadium.
Little did the home crowd know that little else would go right for North Medford on Friday.
Using gaping runs by Austin Sears and Joel Skotte and a defense bent on destruction, Class 5A Mountain View dominated the 6A Black Tornado for a 41-10 nonconference triumph.
The Cougars compiled 429 yards of total offense and allowed only 145 in a game that was put away early in the third quarter. Sears finished with 149 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries, while Skotte carried 10 times for 101 yards and one TD.
"We got beat up. There's not a whole lot to say," said North Medford head coach Jeff Olson.
"They lined up and just took it to us. That's a good football team. Hat's off to (Cougars coach) Steve Turner and what he's done up there (in Bend). They were a (5A quarterfinalist) for a reason last year."
Mountain View's Jesse Facey came up with a big interception two plays following McUne's jaunt, then halted another North Medford drive deep in Cougar territory by forcing and recovering a fumble following a screen pass to Jesse Hornbrook.
Sears capped an eight-play, 77-yard drive with a 21-yard scamper to the end zone following the fumble recovery to give Mountain View (1-1) a 7-0 lead.
Highlighted by a 25-yard run by Hector Alvarez on a misdirection play, the Black Tornado (1-1) managed to trim its deficit with a 23-yard field goal by Darren Cossette.
North Medford managed only one first down after that, by way of a personal foul penalty, for the remainder of the first half while Skotte tacked on a 3-yard score to give the Cougars a 13-3 lead at halftime. Jeremy Scottow blocked the extra-point attempt.
The second half provided more of the same, with Sears returning the opening kickoff 44 yards to put the ball at midfield. A 26-yard completion from Justin Hollister to John Carroll followed, then Sears carved through the Tornado defense practically untouched for a 24-yard score to cap the 37-second drive.
Things only got worse on North's first series of the second half. Following a false start — one of several on the night for both teams — and two straight incompletions, senior quarterback Brian Reese was leveled by Andrew Hester on another deep attempt that found Reese completely vulnerable.
Reese remained on the turf and had to be helped off the field by Olson and Tornado trainer Mike Stevenson only 60 seconds into the second half with an apparent right knee injury. Reese did not return and Olson said after the game it was too soon to know his future status.
Mountain View scored on its next series on a 1-yard effort by Sears, then tried to get the ball right back on an onside kick that resulted in North's Mario Saldana getting drilled by Quinn Jacobson and remaining down on the field for a few minutes as well.
After North turned the ball over on downs despite some nice passes by backup QB Cory Pine, the Cougars needed only four plays to go 48 yards for another score. Hollister's 3-yard pass to John Carroll provided the finishing touch and capped a run of 28 straight points by Mountain View for a 34-3 lead.
"We didn't feel real good about what we did last week, and I'm not taking anything away from Eagle Point," said Turner of his team's season-opening 30-28 win over the Eagles last week. "We just needed to prove something to ourselves. We knew we could play better."
"And for me, it was a big game," added the former Black Tornado defensive coordinator. "North Medford has the greatest tradition in high school football in the state of Oregon, and to come in and have the privilege to play them, it was big."
North managed its initial first down of the second half with about 3 minutes to go in the third, and used several strong runs by Hornbrook to set up a 1-yard plunge by Pine for a TD with 44.8 seconds to go in the third.
Beyond that drive, a blocked punt by Zach Tanner and some determined tackling by Roger Keller and David Nix, there wasn't much else for North Medford to write home about in its home opener.
"Tonight they were certainly a better team," added Olson. "I'm not making excuses, they were better than we were tonight."
At Spiegelberg Stadium
Mountain View 7 6 21 7 —41
North Medford 3 0 7 0 —10
MV — Sears 21 run (Laughlin kick)
NM — FG Cossette 23
MV — Skotte 3 run (kick blocked)
MV — Sears 24 run (Laughlin kick)
MV — Sears 1 run (Laughlin kick)
MV — Carroll 3 pass from J. Hollister (Laughlin kick)
NM — Pine 1 run (Cossette kick)
MV — Moran 14 pass from J. Hollister (Laughlin kick)
First Downs 19 9
Rushes-Yards 49-287 28-107
Passing Yards 142 38
Comp-Att-Int 10-14-0 7-19-1
Total Yards 429 145
Punts 3-14.3 3-31.3
Fumbles-lost 0-0 4-2
Penalties-yards 14-130 9-77
Mountain View — Sears 26-149, Skotte 10-101, Facey 5-23, J. Hollister 2-7, C. Baker 1-(-3), Webb 1-(-1), Dillard 2-4, D. Baker 2-7.
North Medford — Hornbrook 13-65, H. Alvarez 2-25, Reese 1-1, Scottow 3-11, Silafau 2-4, McUne 1-43, Pine 4-(-16), Cossette 1-(-3), Tanner 1-(-23).
Mountain View — J. Hollister 10-14-0 142.
North Medford — Reese 3-11-1 17, Pine 4-8-0 21.
Mountain View — C. Hollister 3-74, Moran 3-28, Carroll 2-29, Facey 1-6, McCarthy 1-5.
North Medford — Cossette 3-14, Silafau 2-12, Hornbrook 1-9, Browne-Moore 1-3.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, or e-mail email@example.com