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Challengers call off game due to COVID

Crater will now host Mazama on Friday as replacement

A COVID situation among the Cascade Christian football program has forced a cancellation of the Challengers’ expected home opener Friday against Mazama.

Cascade Christian athletic director Nate Mayben said Monday that the school is “currently assessing the situation and putting a plan together to return to play quickly and safely.”

Mayben said knowing the status of the Challengers’ football program, the school worked quickly to notify Mazama in short order in hopes that they may be able to pick up another Week 2 contest, and that’s exactly what Vikings head coach and athletic director did Monday afternoon.

Instead of playing in Medford, Mazama will travel to Central Point and fill a void in the Crater schedule on Friday. Kickoff will be 7 p.m. at Dutch Meyer Field.

“I’m happy to hear that they were able to get a game with Crater,” said Mayben.

Crater athletic director David Heard said that season ticket holders will need to purchase a ticket Friday like the remaining general admission crowd.

Mayben said it’s unclear whether future games for the Cascade Christian football team would be in jeopardy. The school hopes to make future decisions after learning more about the full status of the program this week.

This marks the second straight week the Challengers will have endured unusual circumstances. They traveled to La Pine this past Friday and led 7-0 at halftime when the game was initially suspended due to poor air quality that had settled into the region after kickoff.

The initial plan was for Cascade Christian and La Pine to resume the second half Saturday, but that was altered about 30 minutes later when it was advised that the AQI wasn’t expected to get any better the following day. The game was then ruled a no-contest.

In its season opener this past Saturday in Coos Bay, Crater built an early lead by virtue of a safety forced by Luke Higginson and a 90-yard interception return by Caden Lasater to cruise past North Bend, 31-0.

In that game, sophomore quarterback Shane Wood also threw for three scores, one to Lasater and two to Kayden Gardner.

Mazama, which went unbeaten in the spring and claimed 4A Football Elite 8 Showcase, lost its season opener 35-20 at 4A Marshfield.

Have a story idea? Reach sports editor Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@rosebudmedia.com or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry

Cascade Christian football head coach Jon Gettman speaks with his players during a preseason practice. Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune