Mistakes hurt Challengers in quaterfinal defeat, 52-21
COQUILLE — Coquille/Pacific’s magical football season continued Friday, this time at the expense of Cascade Christian in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state playoffs.
The Red Devils kept their perfect season intact and advanced to the semifinals for the first time in 46 years with a 52-21 triumph.
Coquille/Pacific (11-0), the No. 2 seed, next plays Harrisburg, the No. 3 seed and a 28-12 winner over Rainier.
Cascade Christian, champion of the Southern Cascade League, was seeded seventh. It finished the season with an 8-3 record.
Coquille/Pacific took advantage of a blocked punt to get on the scoreboard first, then added a fumble recovery for a score and a big kickoff return and long touchdown run just before halftime to take a 26-13 lead.
Meanwhile, the Challengers had a first-half touchdown pass nullified by penalty when a lineman ventured downfield, and they turned the ball over too often throughout — two lost fumbles, two interceptions — to sustain a threat.
“They beat us up front, definitely,” said Cascade Christian coach Jon Gettman, “and we missed a lot of opportunities.”
The game turned in the moments before and after halftime.
With 30 seconds left in the second quarter, the Challengers’ Haiden Schaan found Christian Scaglione for a 10-yard score, pulling them within 20-13.
But Coquille/Pacific’s Henry Scolari responded with a long kickoff return, and a 47-yard TD run by Tyler Overby with eight seconds left gave the Red Devils a two-touchdown lead and all the momentum at intermission.
They kept it as the third quarter started.
Overby rumbled 69 yards for a score on Coquille/Pacific’s first play. Cascade Christian fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and the Red Devils’ Jake Hurt made the Challengers pay with a 1-yard scoring run for a 40-13 lead.
“Really, that was it,” said Gettman. “It took away any momentum and anything we had going. It took the life out of us. We just had a lot of missed opportunities. They’re a good team, and when you make mistakes, good teams like that are going to capitalize.”
Coquille/Pacific’s Austin Layton intercepted Schaan on the final play of the third quarter — Layton’s second pick — and the host got scoring runs from Seth Waddington and Keith Christensen to finish it off.
“They dominated the second half, for sure,” said Gettman. “Physically, we were right there from that standpoint. But you’re on the road and in an uphill battle to start with, and we just made so many mistakes, we couldn’t overcome them.”
Schaan had runs of 6 and 16 yards for Cascade Christian’s other scores.
Zach Fralich led the Challengers with 61 yards on 12 carries.
Schaan was 11 of 25 passing for 146 yards.
Overby had 192 yards on 14 carries. He also had a TD run of 15 yards in the second quarter.
C/P — Christensen 31 run (Christensen run)
CC — Schaan 6 run (Dunn kick)
C/P — Overby 15 run (pass failed)
C/P — Hopper 23 fumble return (run failed)
CC — Scaglione 10 pass from Schaan (pass failed)
C/P — Overby 47 run (pass failed)
C/P — Overby 69 run (run failed)
C/P — Hurt 1 run (McCarthy run)
C/P — Waddington 5 run (run failed)
C/P — Christensen 3 run (run failed)
CC — Schaan 16 run (Cochran pass from Schaan)