Marist’s first-half surge too much for Cascade Christian
Cascade Christian head coach Jon Gettman was well aware of Marist’s ability to put up points and do so in a hurry entering Friday night’s contest.
The Spartans showed exactly that in their visit to Medford.
Marist, the No. 2-ranked team at the Class 4A level, looked every bit worthy of its lofty ranking, putting up 41 first-half points en route to a 41-16 win over Cascade Christian at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
“They jumped right on us,” Gettman said.
Marist (4-0) entered Friday night’s game averaging 44.3 points a game and had won its first three games by no fewer than 28 points.
The high-powered Spartans nearly hit that mark by halftime, and they did it in a wide array of ways.
Executing in all three phases of the game, Marist turned an interception of a Keith Reed pass into points when, two plays later, Spartans quarterback Carter Greene connected with Ty DePaoli for a 58-yard touchdown pass.
It didn’t take the Spartans long to double their lead. Thanks to great field position after a short Cascade Christian punt, Marist running back Kaiden Ayoma ran it in from 16 yards out to put his team ahead 14-0 with 2:20 to go in the first quarter.
That’s when the Marist defense got involved, recording its second first-half interception and seeing Joshua Rodriguez go 90 yards virtually untouched for the pick-six.
Greene then scored on a 13-yard touchdown run before throwing a 22-yard TD pass to running back Lucas Tuski.
The Spartans capped their big first half with a little bit of razzle-dazzle, as Ayoma was on the back end of a hook-and-ladder play down the Marist sideline, getting the pitch and going 35 yards to the end zone to give his team a 41-0 lead.
“(Marist) went tempo offensively and kind of got us out of sorts a little bit and we also turned the ball over,” Gettman said. “We threw two picks, they pooched the ball twice and recovered it twice on that. They’re a well-coached team, and they jumped on us with tempo and they jumped on us with turnovers.”
In total, Marist outgained Cascade Christian 270-99 in the first half.
“With a well-coached team like Marist, when you make an error, they expose it,” Gettman said. “When you don’t block well enough or long enough, they’re going to defeat it. You may have a nice play set up, but then you’re not able to get the block that you need and what could be a 15-yard play turns into a 3-yard play.”
Cascade Christian got on the board on its first drive of the second half, as Reed connected with Tyler Almasy for a 61-yard touchdown pass.
Reed added a 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
Reed finished 15-of-26 for 254 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Almasy finished with six receptions for 159 yards and a TD.
Cascade Christian freshman safety Kameron Rague finished with a team-high eight tackles and was credited with three sacks.
Marist, which played with its reserves in after halftime, finished with 285 yards of total offense. Greene accounted for 137 through the air on just 4-of-5 passing with three touchdowns, while Ayoma had 102 yards of total offense and scored twice.
“It’s exactly what we needed — we needed to see where our errors were, where our faults are,” Gettman said. “Now it’s an opportunity to grow. You grow most through adversity, and our kids know that and our kids are going to come back. I’m fully confident in what they’re going to be.”
M — DePaoli 58 pass from Greene (Nogales kick)
M — Ayoma 16 run (Chase kick)
M — Rodriguez 90 interception return (Chase kick)
M — Greene 13 run (Chase kick)
M — Tuski 22 pass from Greene (Chase kick fail)
M — Ayoma 35 pass from Greene (Chase kick)
CC — Almasy 61 pass from Reed (Wallace run)
CC — Reed 5 run (Reed pass)
Reach Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.