Crater crushes Parkrose to reach 5A semifinal round
CENTRAL POINT — Parkrose High celebrated its first playoff win in school history one week ago, but the second-seeded Crater Comets weren’t about to let the Broncos enjoy a second victory at their cost.
Crater played a nearly flawless opening 24 minutes to put the Class 5A state quarterfinal out of reach early, scoring on every possession to pair with a defensive touchdown that gave the Comets a 42-0 edge at the break en route to a 49-0 rout at Dutch Meyer Field.
“I thought in the first half we were just firing on all cylinders,” said Crater head coach Randy Waite. “People were making plays and kids were doing a good job of blocking down the field, it was just a really good first half, for sure.”
Crater senior quarterback Trever Davis passed for three touchdowns and ran for another and senior Gavin Acrey added a TD run and an interception return for a score to put the seventh-seeded Broncos (7-3) on their heels.
“That’s the key, having success early,” said Davis, who was 11-for-14 passing for 179 yards. “That set the tone and carried over for the full game.”
The Comets (10-1) needed eight plays to open the game with their first TD — a 3-yard bull rush by Acrey — but then really dialed it in with a three-play scoring drive and a six-play drive that resulted in scores by Trevor Jaasko (33-yard pass) and Davis (1-yard run).
“We’d march down the field in the first quarter and then we’d lose some yards and have to punt and then they’d go score in three plays,” said Parkrose head coach Keanon Lowe. “That’s tough for any team, regardless of how good your offense is.”
That first-quarter burst was matched by a defense that allowed only three first downs in the opening 12 minutes, and got Crater off and rolling to yet another romp. The Comets have now not allowed a point in 17 straight quarters for a fourth straight shutout and sixth overall, outscoring their foes 202-0 in that four-game span.
“We thought they’d be tough,” said Davis, “but I had confidence in our team that we would put up that many points and have a shutout like that.”
That string stands to be tested in next Saturday’s 5A state semifinals against No. 3-seeded West Albany (11-0), which eliminated Ashland 41-15 on Friday. Semifinals are played at a neutral site, but Crater athletic director David Heard said he anticipated Cottage Grove High would be the likely venue for next Saturday’s game.
“West Albany is seasoned — they were in the semis last year — and they’re senior-loaded like we are and undefeated,” said Waite, “so we’re in for a whale of a ballgame.”
Parkrose entered Friday’s game averaging 42 points but simply couldn’t get untracked until the first half, when the Broncos dominated possession while the Comets were happy to let them chip away at the field while the clock ticked down up by 42 points.
All told, Crater limited Parkrose to 101 yards in the first half (11 passing, 90 rushing) and 253 overall — with 43 of those yards coming on the game’s final play that included a completed pass, two pitches and a run halted at the 6-yard line as time expired.
The Comets defense added a second-half interception by Tyler Ennis for their 22nd takeaway of the season. William Woitte, Jacob Chenoweth and Jimmy Jordahl were stout up front for Crater, with linebackers Ennis, Caden Lasater, James Ruth and Brady Brock and safety Blake Eaton closing any potential crease for Parkrose.
“Our defense was stellar again,” said Waite. “They contained their studs. You could see their athleticism and our guys did a good job of maintaining their integrity and their lanes and things like that.”
The first-half avalanche concluded with Chase Sherer getting behind the defense for a 40-yard TD pass, Dawson Douglas doing likewise on a 15-yarder and then Acrey putting a stamp on things with a 23-yard interception return with 18 seconds until halftime.
“They had a good start,” said Lowe. “They’re an explosive offense, and we knew that. We were still in the game for awhile there but just before half it kind of got out of hand a little bit, and that’s a credit to them.”
“On defense it’s tough when we’re in good positions and the quarterback and the receivers are on the same page,” added the second-year Broncos coach. “You can’t beat a perfect throw and (Davis) had a couple perfect throws there in that first half. They’re a really good football team so a lot of credit to them and their kids who made plays.”
Sherer led the receivers with 62 yards on two catches, while Douglas had six catches for 47 yards as five different Crater receivers were utilized by Davis.
“We’ve always said we want to spread the ball around and this is a testament to that,” said Waite. “Jaasko caught a touchdown, Dawson caught a touchdown, Chase caught a touchdown, Robert (Amoson) caught a couple balls and then Gavin does what Gavin does.”
Acrey wasn’t needed much on this night and finished with 89 yards on 11 carries. Overall, the Comets ran for 172 yards, with Cameron Kramer tallying the only touchdown of the second half on a 3-yard run that put a running clock in motion with 4:10 remaining in the fourth quarter.
As the final seconds ticked away, the excitement was there for Crater’s return to the semifinals, but it was offset by the notion that the team’s overall goal still has not been met.
“It feels good,” Davis said of advancing, “but we’ve got two more weeks to go.”
“This has been coming since we’ve been little kids playing Pop Warner,” he added. “This is what we’ve always dreamed of and what we’ve always wanted. Two more weeks and we can get it done.”
C — Acrey 3 run (Davis kick)
C — Jaasko 33 pass from Davis (Davis kick)
C — Davis 1 run (Davis kick)
C — Sherer 40 pass from Davis (Davis kick)
C — Douglas 15 pass from Davis (Davis kick)
C — Acrey 23 interception return (Davis kick)
C — Kramer 3 run (Davis kick)