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PREP FOOTBALL: Crater grinds out third straight win

CENTRAL POINT — The one-two punch of Caden Lasater and Javon Smith did it again for Crater, accounting for all three of the Comets’ second-half touchdowns in a 28-7 win over Willamette in Midwestern League action at Dutch Meyer Field.

Thanks to adjustments on the defensive end coming out of the break, the Comets (4-1, 4-0 MWL) were able to hold their opponent to single digits for the second time in as many weeks.

“I challenged our players at halftime to be more mature than what we really are with only our six seniors,” Crater head coach Berk Brown said. “Coming out in the second half, I think what really helped us out was in the kicking game — our punt returns set up our offense beautifully with great field position and gave us short porches to get quick scores. That’s what changed the momentum in the game.”

Lasater’s 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter proved to be the game-winning score moments after Willamette muffed a punt, while Smith gave the Comets some breathing room with TD runs of 15 and 6 yards.

The Comets are now 3-0 since moving Smith, a senior who had not previously played a football at the varsity level, from receiver to quarterback prior to their Sept. 17 game against Churchill.

“Javon’s controlling the offense. We’re a ball control offense, which is much different than what Crater has been in the past,” Brown said. “We were able to wear them out and slow things down and give the ball to Lasater, who had another big night not just running the ball but on defense. Punt returns, kick returns, the kid does it all.

“We’re a different football team than what people are used to seeing on Friday nights at Dutch. We’re a ball control, play great defense, play really good special teams and grind it out kind of team.”

Lasater got the Comets on the scoreboard on the first drive of the game — but not on offense. The Crater senior picked off Willamette quarterback Ryan Prescott and returned it 70 yards virtually untouched for the pick-six.

It was the first of four interceptions Crater recorded against Willamette. Scott Price finished with a pair of interceptions — including one in the end zone in the first half to keep Willamette off the scoreboard — while Tony Perez had a leaping interception with under a minute to go.

Willamette’s lone touchdown of the night came on Prescott’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Jermain Richards with 13 seconds to go before halftime to tie the game at 7-all.

“Willamette came out and they were slinging it around, and it caught us off-guard a little bit in the first half with how much they were throwing the football,” Brown said. “They’ve got some real talent at receiver and they were exposing some young guys in coverage. But when the going got tough and they got in the red zone, we buckled down and got a couple of big stops. Defensively, our kids continue to play as hard as any group that I’ve coached.”

Willamette0700—7

Crater70147—28

C — Lasater 70 interception return (Perez kick)

W — Richards 2 pass from Prescott (Bushnell kick)

C — Lasater 20 run (Perez kick)

C — Smith 15 run (Perez kick)

C — Smith 6 run (Perez kick)

THURSTON 42, EAGLE POINT 21: Top-ranked Thurston improved to 3-0 with the Midwestern League win but Eagle Point accomplished something no team has by scoring 21 points on homecoming night.

The Colts previously had not allowed a point.

Eagle Point dropped to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in MWL play.

ASHLAND-SPRINGFIELD CANCELED: Due to three new COVID cases discovered Friday, Ashland was forced to cancel its MWL contest against Springfield. The game is not expected to be made up with no open dates remaining on either team’s regular-season schedule.

HIDDEN VALLEY 45, PHOENIX 0: At Murphy, Hidden Valley quarterback Noah Stone accounted for five touchdowns to lead Hidden Valley past Phoenix in the Skyline Conference opener for both teams.

Stone threw for three touchdowns, rushed for a score and returned a first-quarter punt 45 yards for a TD. Two of Stone’s three touchdown passes came in the first half, helping Hidden Valley (3-1, 1-0 Skyline) build a 31-0 halftime lead.

Stone threw for 138 yards, while running back Daniel Iwamizu carried the ball 21 times for 150 yards.

Phoenix (0-4, 0-1) was held to 106 yards of total offense in the loss.

Phoenix0000—0

Hidden Valley141777—45

HV — Stone 1 run (Fisk kick)

HV — Stone 45 punt return (Fisk kick)

HV — Klinger 22 pass from Stone (Fisk kick)

HV — Klinger 25 pass from Stone (Fisk kick)

HV — Fisk 32 field goal

HV — Alderman 15 pass from Stone (Fisk kick)

HV — Baker 10 run (Fisk kick)

SIUSLAW 38, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 34: At Florence, Beau Erickson’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Camp Lacouture with 37 seconds left proved to be the differnce as Siuslaw edged Cascade Christian in a meeting of top 3-ranked teams in Class 3A.

The Challengers (1-2) took a 27-24 lead with five minutes to go in the third quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Keith Reed. They extended their lead with 38 seconds remaining in the third when Reed connected on a 35-yard TD pass to Tyler Almasy.

Siuslaw (4-0) began its fourth-quarter comeback with Erickson’s 11-yard touchdown run with 6:42 to go to make it 34-32.

Reed finished 20-of-29 for 326 yards and three touchdown passes and one interception. He also ran for 58 yards on 12 carries with a TD.

Almasy had seven catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, while Austin Waits caught four pass for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Lacouture rushed for 127 yards on 31 carries and had another 49 receiving yards. Erickson threw for 185 yards and ran for 41 yards while accounting for three touchdowns.

The two teams combined for 868 yards of total offense.

Cascade Christian713140—34

Siuslaw88814—38

CC — Wallace 2 run (Knobloch-Scott kick)

S — Lacouture 2 run (Lacouture run)

CC — Waits 20 pass from Reed (run failed)

CC — Sample 25 pass from Reed (Knobloch-Scott kick)

S — Garza 9 pass from Erickson (Lacouture run)

S — Thornton 22 pass from Erickson (Sissel run)

CC — Reed 1 run (Knobloch-Scott kick)

CC — Almasy 35 pass from Reed (Knobloch-Scott kick)

S — Erickson 11 run (Thornton run)

S — Lacouture 37 pass from Erickson (run failed)

SOUTH UMPQUA 55, ST. MARY’S 6: South Umpqua quarterback Jace Johnson threw for five touchdowns to lead No. 4-ranked South Umpqua to the blowout win at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

The Lancers (5-0) pulled away from the Crusaders with 34 second-quarter points, turning a 14-6 game into a 48-6 halftime lead.

St. Mary’s (3-2) scored its lone touchdown in the second quarter, as quarterback Eli Haynes connected with running back Beau Aldrich on a 13-yard swing pass that cut the South Umpqua lead to 14-6.

Haynes finished 6-for-13 for 38 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

St. Mary’s sophomore running back Indiana Olson rushed for 33 yards on eight carries.

South Umpqua143470—55

St. Mary’s6000—6

SU — Simpson 21 pass form J. Johnson (Moros kick)

SU — K. Johnson 9 pass from J. Johnson (Moros kick)

SM — Aldrich 13 pass from Haynes (kick blocked)

SU — Logan 3 run (Moros kick)

SU — K. Johnson 29 interception return (Moros kick)

SU — Jenks 1 run (Moros kick blocked)

SU — Christensen 25 pass from J. Johnson (Moros kick)

SU — K. Johnson 16 pass from J. Johnson (Moros kick)

SU — Christensen 35 pass from J. Johnson (Moros kick)

ROGUE RIVER 48, ILLINOIS VALLEY 26: At Rogue River, junior running back Said McWillie ran for just under 200 yards and three touchdowns to help guide Rogue River to its first 2A District 4 victory.

Wide receiver Alleric Cosgrove also made his presence felt with three touchdowns on reverses for Rogue River (2-2, 1-2 Dist. 4), along with some good lead blocking for McWillie.

Illinois Valley (1-3, 1-2) scored on a 60-yard play just prior to halftime to send the teams into the break tied at 14-all.

Rogue River was the beneficiary of three two-way starters returning from injury or COVID, which helped the all-around effort. Perrin Nelson, an inside linebacker, led the Chieftains defensively.