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North Medford falls short

SALEM — North Medford had an opportunity to pull a Class 6A football opening-round state playoff upset against undefeated South Salem Friday.

But a potential game-winning 22-yard field goal was blocked with four seconds remaining as the sixth-seeded Saxons held off the Black Tornado, 21-20.

North Medford scored on Will Spence’s 2-yard run with 45 seconds to go in the game to pull within 21-20. The Black Tornado attempted to take the lead but Spence was stopped short on the two-point attempt.

The touchdown was set up by a 67-yard pass from Greyson Wolff to Tucker Barry.

Following the TD, Nicholas Winetrout recovered an onside kick for North Medford (4-6). The Black Tornado drove to the Saxon 5 but a 22-yard winning field goal attempt by Eric Benitez was blocked.

North Medford took a 7-0 first-quarter lead on Mason Barone’s 19-yard touchdown pass from Wolff.

South Salem (10-0), the Greater Valley Conference champion, responded with the first of two touchdown passes from Gabe Matthews to Joseph Carey. The pair hooked up for a 49-yard first-quarter score but the kick failed and North led 7-6.

With 15 seconds left before halftime, the Saxons took a 13-7 lead on Matthews’ 7-yard keeper.

Cody Matthews, a senior running back, scored on a 10-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter and Benitez’s kick put North ahead 14-13.

South Salem answered on Carey’s 41-yard TD pass from Matthews with 1:32 left in the game. The Saxons went for two and Matthews passed to Carter Dorne for what proved to be the winning points.

North Medford;7;0;0;13;—;20

South Salem;6;7;0;8;—;21

NM — Barone 18 pass from Wolff (Benitez kick)

SS — Carey 49 pass from G. Matthews (kick failed)

SS — G. Matthews 7 run (Maldonado kick)

NM — C. Matthews 10 run (Benitez kick)

SS — Carey 41 pass from G. Matthews (Carter Dorne pass from G. Matthews)

NM — Spence 2 (run failed)

CLACKAMAS 35, SOUTH MEDFORD 21: At Clackamas, South Medford’s hot start cooled in the second half where 12th-seeded Clackamas scored 25 unanswered points and came from behind to knock the Panthers out of the Class 6A playoffs.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Panthers took their 21-13 halftime lead into the fourth quarter but were unable to stop the Cavaliers’ rushing attack. After Clackamas quarterback Wyatt Hutchinson found David Benintendi for a 13-yard touchdown to cut the Panthers’ lead to 21-19 before Hutchinson’s two-point conversion pass tied the game at 21-all. Bryce Dickey later ran in for the go-ahead touchdown to put the Cavaliers up 28-21 before Clackamas put the game out of reach with a touchdown run by Hutchinson in the final minute after South Medford had recovered a fumble at its own 1-yard line but couldn’t manufacture a first down.

Robbie Patterson got the Panthers (5-5) going with three first-half touchdowns. He found Chase Cota for a 63-yard TD strike in the first quarter and hooked up with Kaleb Franklin on an in-stride 60-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Cota made another big play for the Panthers on fourth-and-24 in the second quarter, leaping over two defenders to make a grab and tight roping the sideline before diving to the pylon for a 30-yard score to bump the Panthers up to 21-10.

South Medford;7;14;0;0;—;21

Clackamas;7;6;0;22;—;35

SM — Cota 63 pass from Patterson (Carrillo kick)

C — Gay 2 run (Dayton kick)

SM — Franklin 60 pass from Patterson (Carrillo kick)

C — FG Dayton 27

SM — Cota 30 pass from Patterson (Carrillo kick)

C — FG Dayton 40

C — Benintendi 13 pass from Hutchinson (Gay pass from Benintendi)

C — Dickey 4 run (Dayton kick)

C — Hutchinson 2 run (Dayton kick)

GRANTS PASS 63, FOREST GROVE 7: At Grants Pass, quarterback Dylan Hanley threw two touchdowns and ran for another score as 10th-seeded Grants Pass cruised in the playoff opener. Hanley was 10-for-14 for 205 yards and also rushed for 57 yards.

The Cavemen (8-2) next head to Portland to square off against seventh-seeded and undefeated Lincoln in the second round.

The Cavemen ran for 259 yards on 35 attempts and had five touchdown runs in a row, two by Alexander Jarvis, who rushed for 77 yards on 12 totes. Andrew Aguilar also ran for 77 yards, 47 coming on a streak to the end zone.

The Grants Pass defense came up with three interceptions and recovered two fumbles while surrendering just one first-quarter touchdown.

ASHLAND 39, BEND 21: At Ashland, Kyle Weinberg tossed three touchdowns and ran for another as Ashland upended Bend in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs at Walter A. Phillips Field.

The victory lifted the Grizzlies (8-2) into the quarterfinals, where they’ll take a trip to face fourth-seeded Midwestern League foe Springfield on Friday.

After Mason Dow found paydirt twice for the fifth-seeded Grizzlies, Weinberg connected with James Hutchings for a 42-yard score in the second quarter and followed with a 19-yard run to push the Grizzlies’ lead to 25-7.

Weinberg found Michael Pruitt and Shashi Penn in the second half to put the contest out of reach.

Dow ran 13 times for 100 yards, Pruitt hauled in three passes for 96 yards and Penn caught two for 73 yards.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN 77, COLTON 12: Hayden Schaan threw five touchdown passes while Zach Fralich scored on offense, defense and special teams for host Cascade Christian which led 70-0 at halftime in a Class 3A first-round rout.

The Challengers (7-3) travel to play fourth-seeded Vale in the quarterfinals next Friday.

Schaan opened things up for the No. 5 Challengers with a 36-yard TD pass to Carson Cochran, the first of two end zone trips for Cochran.

Fralich added a 44-yard punt return and 38-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter. He also returned an interception 31 yards to put the Challengers up 70-0 before halftime.

Schaan was 12 of 18 for 152 yards and ran the ball six times for 74 yards. Fralich rushed for 93 yards on seven attempts.

Colton;0;0;12;0;—;12

Cascade Christian;35;35;0;7;—;77

CC — Cochran 36 pass from Schaan (Dunn kick)

CC — Z. Fralich 44 punt return (Dunn kick)

CC — Jordan 1 run (Dunn kick)

CC — Z. Fralich 38 run (Dunn kick)

CC — Dunn 25 pass from Schaan (Dunn kick)

CC — Wager 48 interception return (Dunn kick)

CC — Cochran 5 pass from Schaan (Dunn kick)

CC — Wheeler 23 pass from Schaan (Dunn kick)

CC — Scaglione 14 pass from Schaan (Dunn kick)

CC — Z. Fralich 31 interception return (Dunn kick)

C — Jennings 40 run (conversion failed)

C — Raasch 27 pass from Jones (conversion failed)

CC — I. Fralich 13 pass from Ward (Dunn kick)