Two games into the season, Barlow’s football team was teetering on the brink.
The Bruins entered 2018 with high expectations, but after losing to Bend 55-21 and Tigard 58-14, their promising season quickly reached a critical point.
“We played two good football teams,” coach Terry Summerfield said. “The kids were reeling with the two losses. We just weren’t completely there yet, for whatever reason.”
Five games later, the Bruins are 5-2 and building momentum every week. Their most impressive win was their latest, a 54-0 drubbing of Centennial (3-4) on Thursday.
“We were patient with the kids, stayed steadfast,” said Summerfield, who notched his 100th career victory Thursday. “The kids did a good job of not panicking, because I think in this world of social media, there’s way too much feedback on how other people think about you. They could have easily fallen into a trap, but they didn’t.
“They started winning games and getting better, doing the little things, not taking anything for granted. They have a passion for getting better.”
After surrendering 113 points in the first two games, the defense has allowed 45 points in the last five games, including two shutouts. Senior defensive tackle Carson Stephens (6-4, 250) “has solidified the front,” according to Summerfield, and the team is getting steady play from senior inside linebacker Jared Eggleston, senior defensive back Hunter Stotts and junior free safety Josh Nomie.
The defense also has been opportunistic. In Thursday’s win, senior linebacker Jobadiah Malary returned an interception for a touchdown and freshman linebacker Andrew Collins and sophomore cornerback Joe MacDonald returned fumbles for scores. Stotts and MacDonald also have interception returns for touchdowns this season.
The defense has developed chemistry.
“A lot of it was us as a coaching staff, fitting the right pieces,” Summerfield said.
Against Centennial, Malary rushed for three touchdowns, giving him 12 for the season. Senior tight end Dominic Jacoby caught five passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns from Jaren Hunter, who has thrown for 15 scores.
Barlow (5-2, 2-0 Mt. Hood Conference Division B) gets a chance to make a statement Friday when it plays host to Central Catholic (4-3, 2-0) at Gresham High School. The winner will claim the top seed in Division B and advance to the Mt. Hood championship game in Week 9.
"On another planet"
Jalen John showed tantalizing potential as a freshman running back, even drawing a scholarship offer from Oregon.
Now it seems that the Lakeridge junior is beginning to deliver on that promise, putting together three consecutive 200-yard games for the Pacers (5-2, 3-1 6A Three Rivers League).
The 5-11, 205-pound John had a career night Friday, rushing for 285 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries as Lakeridge went on the road to surprise previously unbeaten and third-ranked Tigard 48-38 in a Three Rivers game.
“He’s starting to really access his limitless talent,” Lakeridge coach Elvis Akpla said. “He could have gone for 400 if he slipped a few more tackles. He’s just on another planet than anybody else.”
For the season, John has rushed for 1,183 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught five scoring passes. He is running behind a line that includes two third-year starters in junior center Kai Tinker and junior left tackle T.J. Jakmauh, and two other juniors in Keoni Hepa and Eric Reilly.
“Our offensive line has gotten better, so that’s helped a lot,” Akpla said.
Through watching film with coaches, John is learning to be more purposeful and efficient with his moves, according to Akpla.
“Physically he’s got the body of a senior running back in college, but neuro-muscularly, he’s probably like a 10- or 12-year-old,” Akpla said. “He has poor spatial awareness because he hasn’t been trained, but his instincts are just unreal. So he gets away with that a lot.”
John also has picked up offers from Oregon State and Utah. Akpla said that he fields calls about John from college coaches across the country daily, and that Washington coach Chris Petersen has visited Lakeridge more than once.
“I’m sure there will be more offers here pretty quickly,” Akpla said.
John’s performance Friday was just part of a breakthrough win for Lakeridge. Senior Charlie Maynes threw five touchdown passes, three to senior Will Scadden and two to senior Andre Martinez.
It was the Pacers’ first win over one of the perennial Three Rivers powers -- West Linn, Lake Oswego and Tigard -- since 2013.
“Our kids were over the moon. Our parents were over the moon,” Akpla said. “To be honest, I’m not surprised. I’ve always felt that we’ve been trending the right way.”
Mountainside football coach John Mannion anticipated that his team, without seniors, was going to struggle in its first varsity season. An 0-6 start confirmed his expectations.
Friday night, though, Mountainside finally delivered its first win when it went on the road to beat Aloha 17-13. The Mavericks celebrated Friday night, and Saturday morning they signed the game ball at a weightlifting session.
“That’ll definitely go in the trophy case,” Mannion said.
Sophomore Eldridge Broussard ran for more than 100 yards and scored on the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter for the Mavericks. Junior Carlos Montero had a touchdown catch and two interceptions and junior Antony Yatskov, playing his first game on the defensive line, had three sacks.
“We’re incredibly excited for the players just to have their efforts validated,” Mannion said. “For these guys to experience a win on the varsity level, without a senior class, is quite an achievement.”
Mannion said that the players have kept the right mindset throughout the season.
“There’s a good, positive energy about the program, which isn’t always easy when you’re not getting wins,” he said. “Definitely you feel like these guys are all pushing in the right direction.
“Without seniors, it’s something I’ve never experienced as a coach. It’s very challenging, just in terms of the physical maturity of the players, and also having one less class of depth in your program.”
Mountainside has 85 players in its program, enough to field three teams, even with nine sophomores playing varsity full-time. The JV has a 5-2 record and the freshmen are 4-3.
“One of our goals was to be able to field three teams with three grades, and we’ve been able to do it,” Mannion said.
Thurston doesn’t have the same supercharged passing game it did last season, when Preston Fisher threw for 36 touchdowns and the team averaged 43.9 points per game.
But the Colts (5-2, 4-0 5A Special District 2 North) are gradually becoming a dangerous team as they balance a powerful running game, featuring junior running back Wes Kommer, with an emerging passing game, led by junior quarterback Cade Crist.
No. 8 Thurston gained 641 yards Friday in a 56-0 win over Springfield, the team’s fifth consecutive victory. Kommer rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns and Crist passed for 302 yards and two touchdowns.
Colts coach Justin Starck said the team is coming along on schedule after having to replace its quarterback, receivers and defensive backs from last year’s 7-3 team. Opening losses to Churchill (6-1) and Sheldon (5-2) are fading memories.
“I think we’re right on track,” Starck said. “They’re starting to play the way we hoped they would. They’re really approaching their potential now. If they start to play to it, they could be something special.”
The 5-9, 200-pound Kommer is on a roll. He has rushed for 598 yards and eight touchdowns in the last three games, giving him 925 yards and 14 scores for the season.
“He’s a power back with great vision. It’s a nice combination,” Starck said. “He doesn’t have the absolute breakaway speed, but he’s got tremendous vision, and he is strong. He’s like a fire hydrant. He can run guys over, and he also can make a move and run around them. He’s just a good all-purpose back.”
Thurston’s defense, led by senior linebacker Jack Riley and senior defensive end Colton Hallett, has improved as its secondary gains experience. The Colts have allowed a combined seven points in their last three games, the last two shutouts.
Thurston plays for the top seed in the North division Friday when it plays host to Ridgeview (4-3, 4-0). The winner will play either Crater or Churchill for the district title in Week 9.
Week 7 was not a good one for unbeaten teams. Entering the week, 20 teams had perfect records. Only 10 emerged unscathed.
Four of the teams lost to unranked opponents:
- 6A -- Lakeridge 48, No. 3 Tigard 38
- 5A -- Crescent Valley 27, No. 5 Silverton 14
- 4A – Cascade 24, No. 7 Newport 7
- 3A – Nyssa 31, No. 4 Burns 21
The others to fall:
- 6A – No. 7 West Linn 45, No. 6 Tualatin 20
- 4A – No. 2 Banks 10, No. 1 Seaside 7
- 3A – No. 1 Rainier 60, No. 2 Amity 54 (OT)
- 1A – No. 3 Wallowa 34, No. 4 Crane 20
- 1A – No. 1 Dufur 46, No. 10 Pilot Rock / Nixyaawii 8
- 1A (six-man) – No. 1 Joseph 31, No. 2 Harper Charter 6
The 10 remaining unbeaten teams:
- 6A – Clackamas (7-0)
- 5A – Pendleton (7-0), West Albany (7-0), Wilsonville (7-0)
- 3A – Rainier (7-0)
- 2A – Santiam (6-0)
- 1A – Dufur (8-0), St. Paul (7-0), Hosanna Christian (6-0)
- 1A (six-man) – Joseph (6-0)
Believe the hype
Four times this season, teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the OSAAtoday coaches poll have met. Each time, the games have provided high drama. The latest examples came Friday night.
In 4A, No. 2 Banks went on the road for a 10-7 win over No. 1 Seaside. The Seagulls reached the Banks 10-yard line with 30 seconds left but the Braves turned them back.
In 3A, No. 1 Rainier needed overtime for a 60-54 home win over No. 2 Amity. The Warriors took a 54-46 lead with 2:24 left, but Rainier got a touchdown and two-point conversion with 1:21 remaining to force overtime.
The Rainier-Amity game was filled with lead changes and wild momentum swings, much like the other two contests featuring the top two ranked teams this season.
In Week 2, No. 2 Wilsonville rallied for a 57-50 win over No. 1 Churchill, taking the lead on a touchdown pass with 8.8 seconds remaining.
In Week 4, No. 2 Clackamas came back from an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Lake Oswego 49-39, getting the go-ahead touchdown pass with 22 seconds left.
A glimpse at other highlights from Week 7:
Richard Kennewell had three catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns as Clackamas extended its winning streak to 21 by defeating Reynolds 38-12. … Casey Filkins ran for three touchdowns in Lake Oswego’s 33-12 win over Canby. … Ted Atkinson ran for 176 yards and two touchdowns to spark Jesuit past Southridge 62-21. … Elijah Elliott had a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown as Central Catholic rolled over Sandy 49-13. … Michael Johnson Jr. and Matthew Burgess each rushed for 142 yards to lead Sheldon past South Medford 45-20. Johnson had a 93-yard touchdown run for the Irish, who rushed for 354 of their 484 yards. Giovanni Bottero threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns for the Panthers. … Zack Mandera ran for 179 yards and three touchdowns in Roseburg’s 42-14 win over North Medford, which got 106 yards on 25 carries from Eli Spence. … Chase Coyle threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns, two to Randy Clark, as Grants Pass defeated Westview 42-14. Blain Hobbs had six catches for 135 yards for the Cavemen. … Simon Thompson completed 23 of 29 passes for 475 yards and six touchdowns in West Salem’s 46-28 win over Mountain View. Micah Pugh had eight catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns and Anthony Gould had six catches for 125 yards and three scores. Mountain View’s Jonas Larson ran for 113 yards and three touchdowns. … McNary beat Bend 37-26 as J.R. Walling ran for 89 yards and four touchdowns. Bend’s Cooper Simmonds threw three touchdown passes, two to tight end Luke Musgrave, who had four catches for 111 yards. … West Linn forced five turnovers to turn back previously undefeated Tualatin 45-20. Ethan Long threw for 351 yards and Cade Knutson caught 11 passes for 130 yards for the Lions. … Sunset’s Callum Craig went 20 of 26 for 297 yards and four touchdowns to lead a 54-21 win over Beaverton. Nate Archibald caught a touchdown pass and had an interception for the Apollos. … Sherwood rushed for 398 yards to throttle Newberg 41-14. Ian Stormont ran for 143 yards on 21 carries for Sherwood. … Lucas Rhinevault rushed for 265 yards and three touchdowns to lead Gresham past David Douglas 47-24. Rhinevault leads the Mt. Hood Conference in rushing with 1,231 yards. … Nick Ostmo rushed for 304 yards and five touchdowns on 11 carries in Lincoln’s 63-19 win over Jefferson.
Nathan Overholt threw four touchdown passes, giving him 32 for the season, as Wilsonville blew past St. Helens 67-14. Cooper Mootz ran for three touchdowns and caught a scoring pass for the Wildcats, who led 36-0 after one quarter.. … West Albany beat Corvallis 14-0, its second consecutive shutout. … Crescent Valley handed Silverton its first loss, 27-14, as Cam Sanders rushed for two touchdowns and Camren Hemzacek had two interceptions. … Trent Sorey threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, and Willie Camp returned a fumble 90 yards for a touchdown as Pendleton remained unbeaten with a 41-10 win over Parkrose. … Lebanon held South Albany to 58 yards in a 63-0 win. Colton Shepard passed for two touchdowns and ran for two scores for the Warriors. … Quincy Cleveland ran for 175 yards and three touchdowns to power Scappoose past Wilson 49-21. … DaMario Watson rushed for 128 yards and Rieger Sayre threw four touchdown passes, two to Nathan Carter, in Ashland’s 42-21 win over North Eugene. … Crater beat Eagle Point 65-20 as Trevor Jaasko caught three touchdown passes and Trever Davis passed for 179 yards and ran for 96 yards. Devin Bradd had a 99-yard touchdown run for Eagle Point. … Damein Kirkpatrick threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores as Willamette outlasted Redmond 36-29. Jondre Smith had 10 catches for 160 yards and three touchdowns for Willamette. … Deonte Jones rushed for 233 yards on 13 carries – including a 95-yard touchdown – as Churchill held off South Eugene 28-22. Marshaun Tucker Jr. caught seven passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns and had an interception at the goal line for Churchill. … Forest Grove scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, getting a two-point conversion with 35 seconds left, to beat Hood River Valley 22-21. Isaiah Ahmed ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Vikings.
Banks held Seaside to 232 yards – well off its 468 average – to hand the Seagulls their first loss, 10-7. … Marist Catholic rolled over Junction City 59-7 as Max Campbell and Hagen Stephenson combined to throw for 368 yards. Lucas Patterson ran for 159 yards on 10 carries for Marist Catholic. … Ethan Coffey scored two touchdowns in Cascade’s 24-7 win over previously unbeaten Newport. … Dylan Graves threw two touchdown passes, ran for two scores and caught a touchdown pass to lead Cottage Grove past Phoenix 41-14. … Sisters got its first win, beating Philomath 29-18 as Gator Haken ran for two touchdowns and Taylor Fendall and Garrett Kersavage had interceptions. … Mazama rushed for 319 yards to beat Klamath Union 47-13.
Joey Tripp rushed for 185 yards and five touchdowns on 30 carries, threw for 118 yards and two scores and had six two-point conversion runs to lead Rainier to a 60-54 overtime win over Amity in a battle of unbeaten teams. Amity’s West Streeter ran for 205 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. … Cascade Christian blanked Douglas 52-0 behind Kiegan Schaan, who threw two touchdown passes – both to Ian Fralich -- and ran for two scores. The Challengers held Douglas to minus-61 rushing yards. … Aliiloa Kaeo-Wailehua passed for four touchdowns and ran for a score as St. Mary’s beat Brookings-Harbor 49-7. Brady Eiler caught two touchdown passes for St. Mary’s. … Harrisburg’s Gabe Knox rushed for 273 yards and two touchdowns and caught four passes for 81 yards and one score in a 34-20 win over La Pine. Dax Bennett threw three touchdown passes for Harrisburg. … Yamhill-Carlton’s Jaime Garcia ran and passed for touchdowns to lead a 38-6 win over Corbett. … Cole Hardy completed 22 of 27 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns as Salem Academy beat Blanchet Catholic 35-21. Cameron Haslebacher ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries for Salem Academy. … Vale cruised to a 48-14 win over Irrigon as Colton Kesey threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns, Tanner Hamilton had six catches for 143 yards and Matt McBride ran for 167 yards on 14 carries. … Scio rushed for 350 yards in a 28-20 win over Madras. ... Zach Hart scored an 85-yard touchdown off a lateral from Max Smith as Pleasant Hill defeated Siuslaw 43-16.
Cameron Hooker caught two touchdown passes from Derek Nelson -- including the tie-breaker in the fourth quarter – to lift Rogue River over Illinois Valley 20-13. Hooker also had an interception. … Monroe got 191 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Zach Young to beat Oakland 44-25. Brody Ballard threw for two scores for Monroe. … Heppner dispatched Weston-McEwen 55-8 as Jayden Wilson rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns and had 133 receiving yards, including two scores. Blake Wolters rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns for the Mustangs. … Nestucca dominated Portland Christian 54-6 as Mitchell Richwine ran for 233 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries and freshman Jaysson Swirtz rushed for 186 yards and three scores on nine carries. … Bandon held off Toledo 34-28 as its defense produced five sacks and three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Toledo’s Cameron Lonergan had 15 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns. … Jayce Fenner rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns in Lost River’s 35-8 win over Glide. ... Josh Rogers scored touchdowns on all three of his carries -- totaling 156 yards -- as Sheridan handled Gervais 62-0. Sheridan also scored on a 60-yard punt return by Jacob DeBoff and interception returns by Brennen Meneley and Elliot Henely. ... Zach Morey rushed for 135 yards on 16 carries to lead Regis past Creswell 38-20. Byron Bishop threw for three touchdowns and Tristan McMullen had two interceptions for Regis.
Triad beat Chiloquin 44-38 behind Micah Young, who completed 16 of 25 passes for 432 yards and six touchdowns, three to Trever Alexander and two to Ethan Moritz (seven catches, 223 yards). It overshadowed a big night by Chiloquin's Randall Canfield, who ran for 442 yards and six touchdowns on 30 carries. … Hosanna Christian got three touchdown passes from Jacob Moore to beat Prospect 64-8. … Tyson Brasfield had three carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns as Lowell beat Oakridge 62-20. … Echo blanked Mitchell/Spray/Wheeler 58-0 in a six-man game behind Mason Smith (100 rushing yards, three touchdowns) and Michael Pointer (175 rushing yards, two touchdowns). Scotty Harper and Cam Scott scored defensive touchdowns for Echo. … Junior Keagan Spikes rushed for 415 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries, threw a touchdown pass, returned a punt 65 yards for a score, recorded a team-high 23 tackles and had an interception in Eddyville Charter’s 46-32 win over Crow in a six-man game.