St. Mary’s topples Creswell in opener
St. Mary’s opened its football season with a steady barrage against Creswell to secure a 34-12 nonleague victory Saturday at Spiegelberg Stadium.
The Crusaders (1-0) built a 20-0 lead by halftime and, after Creswell scored 12 straight points, St. Mary’s returned to form to close out the season opener.
“It’s always good to start off with a win,” said St. Mary’s head coach Jamie Young. “I thought our kids started the game really strong.”
Sophomore running back Gavin Rajagopal got things started with a 4-yard touchdown run and then Bryce Bramscher took over from there by hauling in TD pass of 3 and 14 yards from fellow senior Thys Kuitert for a 20-0 edge.
Creswell quarterback Tyler Magnuson responded with a 4-yard TD pass to Cade Apo and a 9-yard scoring run to cut into the Crusaders’ lead but a 53-yard run to paydirt by Bramscher brought on an immediate answer by St. Mary’s in the third quarter.
“I like the way our team responded after they cut into our lead,” said Young. “They came right back at it.”
A 33-yard TD pass from Kuitert to Calder Prulhiere closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter for St. Mary’s, which installed a new offense for the season and is replacing a host of graduated starters on defense.
“Our offensive line was really solid when we needed them,” said Young. “They were a heavy blitzing team and they had couple times when they got to us but for the most part I thought our guys really played well and communicated well out there.”
Kuitert completed 16 of 25 passes for 156 yards and three TDs, with Rajagopal hauling in five passes for 46 yards and Bramscher grabbing five passes for 35 yards. Rajagopal also was the Crusaders’ leading rusher with 76 yards and one TD on 19 carries.
Magnuson completed 17 of 31 passes for 157 yards and one score for Creswell (0-1).
At Spiegelberg Stadium
StM — Rajagopal 4 run (Rajagopal kick)
StM — Bramscher 3 pass from Kuitert (kick failed)
StM — Bramscher 14 pass from Kuitert (Rajagopal kick)
Cre — Apo 4 pass from Magnuson (kick failed)
Cre — Magnuson 9 run (pass failed)
StM — Bramscher 53 run (Rajagopal kick)
StM — Prulhiere 33 pass from Kuitert (Rajagopal kick)
ASHLAND 1, BEND 0: At Ashland, Bryce Rollins tipped in a header pass from Scott Gustafson after a nice cross in the box from Jahnoi Hall following a long throw-in Drew Kutcher to give Ashland all the scoring it would need in the 32nd minute of the nonleague match.
Cedar Barnes recorded his second shutout of the season in goal for the Grizzlies (2-0), with considerable help from junior sweeper Sam Inada.
BEAVERTON 3, EAGLE POINT 0: At Eagle Point, host Eagle Point played one man down for the entire game due to a lack of players and struggled to contain Beaverton in the nonleague affair.
Eagle Point dropped to 1-1 overall.
BEND 2, ASHLAND 1: At Bend, Mya Elder-Hammond scored on a curling 25-yard free kick in the 78th minute to pace Ashland in the nonconference loss.
Bend scored in the 21st minute and right at the beginning of the second half to put the Grizzlies (0-2) in a 2-0 hole.
Ashland had several scoring opportunities thereafter but couldn’t convert beyond Elder-Hammond’s effort.
CRESWELL 6, ST. MARY’S 2: At Creswell, Meghan Michels and Sara Klott scored for St. Mary’s, which found itself in a 4-1 hole at halftime of the nonleague match.
Klott also had an assist for the Crusaders (1-2).
Maddy O’Connor and Shea O’Connor each scored twice for Creswell (2-0-1), with Sheyanne Donovan and Haley Anderson also scoring.
THE INVITATIONAL: At Fern Ridge Reservoir, Ashland freshman E.J. Holland placed fifth in the 5,000-meter boys race in 16 minutes to lead the Grizzlies to a third-place showing overall at Richardson Park.
Teammates Jordan Mortensen (11th, 16:28.3) and Alex Franklin (13th, 16:31.4) also finished among the top 15 for Ashland.
Robby Vos placed 17th in 16:37.4 to lead Phoenix to an eighth-place finish.
Ashland’s girls team placed sixth behind leading efforts from McKenzie Moore (15th, 20:27.5) and Alexa Hague (21st, 20:44.2).
Emma Bennion of St. Mary’s was the top local girl after placing 13th in 20:07.9 for the Crusaders, who finished behind Phoenix in ninth place.
Danielle Jantzer (14th, 20:15.1) and Shayla Potratz (20th, 20:38.6) led the Pirate girls.
TEAM SCORES: Central Catholic 42, South Eugene 46, Ashland 67, Sheldon 123, Marist 133, Westview 165, Bandon 192, Phoenix 201, Elmira 273, Willamette 315, Madras 327, Sprague 347, Putnam 379, St. Mary’s 410.
TEAM SCORES: Sheldon 37, South Eugene 91, Marist 101, Westview 112, Sprague 114, Ashland 123, Central Catholic 156, Phoenix 183, St. Mary’s 217, Putnam 237.
BASIN BEST: At Klamath Falls, St. Mary’s placed second in pool play before falling to Klamath Union, 25-23, 25-14, in the first round of the Basin Best Tournament at Henley High.
Aessa Catt had four kills and Lauren Russo nine digs, and Hallie Shean and Ashley Rietmann were 13-for-13 and 8-for-8 serving respectively for the Crusaders.