South Medford soars past McNary
The start may not have been all that great for South Medford quarterback Deacon Edgar, but just about everything else went the senior’s way Friday night as he guided the Panthers to a 55-21 victory over McNary at Spiegelberg Stadium.
Edgar saw his first pass of the game ricochet off the hands of his intended receiver and get intercepted by McNary’s Hunter Ruberto but wound up completing 18 of 24 passes for 267 yards and five touchdowns to more than make up for the wayward opening.
For good measure, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound standout added an 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to allow the Panthers to open South/Central Football Conference play with a bang.
“It took a little while to get going,” said South Medford head coach Bill Singler. “You don’t want to start the game off with a tipped pick but we answered and that was important. They kept their composure.”
The Panthers (3-0, 1-0 SCFC) racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense, finding gaps in the McNary secondary and driving home a steady running attack led by junior Ryder Scheid (18 carries for 98 yards) and Edgar (10 carries for 68 yards).
Seniors Ty Henry and Andrew Walker each hauled in two TD passes and Josh Phillips had the other in a back-and-forth game that saw South go up 20-7 and then outscore the Celtics (0-3, 0-1) by a 27-7 tally down the stretch.
Henry led the Panthers with 83 yards receiving on four catches, including TDs of 18 and 22 yards, while Walker scored South’s first two TDs on catches of 10 and 11 yards to finish with six catches for 71 yards.
Phillips closed the first half in dramatic fashion by getting behind the defense for a 41-yard TD in the final seconds. Phillips finished with three catches for 70 yards.
“I thought our receivers did a great job and Deacon had time and really made some nice throws,” said Singler. “It was a little testy in the first half with McNary but I thought we kept responding, which was good, and we spread the ball around, which is always good to see.”
After Ruberto put McNary up 7-0 on a 6-yard run, Edgar went to work with Walker and Henry to push the Panthers back ahead at 20-7 before the Celtics tallied on a big pass of their own on a 64-yard pass from Jackson Alt to Jaboi Balos.
Momentum seemed to be hanging in the balance a little when Edgar darted in for an 11-yard TD run, and then a defensive stand allowed the Panthers to have one more chance before intermission and Edgar made the Celtics pay with a perfectly placed ball to Phillips.
Jake Allen’s 14-yard run to open the third quarter drew McNary within 34-21, but Henry scored on a fourth-down pass from the Celtics’ 22-yard line to answer.
Makani Manuwai, who was an anchor on the defensive line, tacked on a 1-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and backup QB Colby Schwartz got into the action with an 11-yard scoring run to cap the scoring for South.
The Panthers ultimately limited McNary to 79 yards rushing and 125 passing, with linebackers Gio Livingston and Dylan Espinosa playing big factors in the defensive effort. Walker also had an interception for the second straight game.
“Defensively we kind of settled in in the second half and played that bend but don’t break stuff and kept them from getting back into the game,” said Singler.
M — Roberto 6 run (Dyer kick)
SM — Walker 10 pass from Edgar (kick failed)
SM — Walker 11 pass from Edgar (Walker pass from Edgar)
SM — Henry 18 pass from Edgar (kick failed)
M — Balos 64 pass from Alt (Dyer kick)
SM — Edgar 11 run (Jones pass from Edgar)
SM — Phillips 41 pass from Edgar (kick blocked)
M — J. Allen 14 run (Dyer kick)
SM — Henry 22 pass from Edgar (Walker pass from Edgar)
SM — Manuwai 1 run (pass failed)
SM — Schwartz 11 run (Henry kick)
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