Alex Shoemaker - Page 66

Smith, Walcott Lead Marist In Explosive Win Over Summit

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Alex Shoemaker, EDN

In a blowout that got ugly early, the Marist Spartans defeated the Summit Storm 53-8 Friday night at North Eugene High School.

Marist, as the No. 1 seed, will host Sandy at North Eugene in the OSAA 5A playoffs next week.

Five different Spartans scored touchdowns on the game, including starting quarterback Kamerun Smith, who finished with five through the air.

The Marist offense is ready to drive down the field for another score during Friday's game. (Photo Credit: Alex Shoemaker)

The Storm took over at their 40-yard line, but they would be forced to punt.

On the Spartans’ next possession, Marist scored on the first play on a 64-yard bubble screen to receiver Taylor Walcott. The extra point was missed, but the Spartans had a 13-0 advantage.

Later in the quarter, the Marist began a methodical drive starting on their side of the field that would finish with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Walcott in the corner of the end zone. Walcott, a senior and captain, finished the game with three touchdowns and a key interception on defense.

The Spartans missed the extra point again, but led 19-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Midway through the second quarter, Spartan running back Greg Park weaved his way through Summit defenders on his way to a 36-yard touchdown run to give the Spartans  a 26-0 advantage.

On Summit’s next drive, Walcott picked off quarterback Max Lindsay. With the ball at the 25-yard line, Smith and Marist receiver Josh Paiement hook up for a touchdown, Paiement’s first of the game, giving Marist an overwhelming 33-0 lead.

Later in the quarter, Smith and Paiement connected again, this time for 20 yards as the Spartans extended their lead to 40.

After yet another 3-and-out by the Storm, the Spartans took over with less than two minutes remaining in the half. A quick drive bringing the ball near the red zone, Smith and Walcott connected again on a 20-yard touchdown reception which gave the Spartans a commanding 47-0 advantage at the half.

Both teams stalled on their opening drives of the third quarter, but a 67-yard TD pass from Lindsay to Storm senior receiver and captain Brennan Rooks finally put Summit on the board. After a successful two-point conversion, the score sat at 47-8.

The Storm try to regroup during their contest with the Spartans, but to no avail. (Photo Credit: Alex Shoemaker)

With time running out in the fourth quarter, the Spartans managed one more touchdown, this time on a 1-yard run by sophomore Gavin Doremus.

The two-headed monster of Walcott and Smith proved to be an unstoppable force. After the game, Walcott said he and head coach Frank Geske were pleased with the teams play during the game.

“I think we played really well and coach wasn’t getting on us as usual,” Walcott explained. “We all played great and we got the W.”

As for his individual performance, Walcott said it’s all about the team.

“I think I played pretty well,” he stated. “There were a couple of times I got tackled at the one (yard line). But it’s a team effort. We got a win.”

The Spartans are one step closer to reaching the state championship, and this team believes they will compete for it.

“I think we’re going to state,” Walcott said. “We can win it.”

Notes –

– Marist quarterback Kamerun Smith finishes game with 256 yards and 5 TDs.

– Spartans outscored Storm 47-0 in the first half.

Sheldon Continues Path to State Title With Win Over Thurston On Senior Night

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By Alex Shoemaker, EDN

In what was to be expected, the Sheldon Irish cruised to a 56-14 win over the visiting Thurston Colts Friday night.

It’s been a theme for the Irish this season, as all of their wins have come by 15 points or more and six have come by more than 40 points.

Sheldon opened the game with a 25-yard touchdown pass to the back of the endzone followed by a Sean Bellotti extra point. It looked like the Colts were going to even up the game, situating themselves with first-and-goal at the 6-yard line the very next drive.

A 2-yard run on first down followed by a 1-yard run put the ball at the three. On third-and-goal, a Thurston bubble screen caught by Trevor Westover at the two was then fumbled and returned by Sheldon’s Cameron Herr 98 yards for a score to put the Irish up 14-0 to end the first quarter.

Unfortunately for the Colts, the second quarter was just as lopsided as the Irish outscored Thurston 21-7.

The first score came from a failed punt attempt in which the Thurston punter fumbled the ball giving the Irish field position at the Colt’s 13-yard line.  On third and goal, pass interference against Thurston gave the Irish a fresh set of downs, allowing them to punch it in on a 6-yard pass play to Ivan Faulhaber.

On the next drive, the Colts took advantage of a Sheldon pass interference call on third down to move the ball near midfield. They scored two plays later after a 35-yard catch and run by Thurston’s Westover then punched it in by Aaron Downes to cut Sheldon’s lead to 21-7.

Back-to-back Sheldon touchdowns, a TD pass and a pick-6 by junior Dylan Lewis, brought the score to 35-7 at half time and the Irish never looked back. The game continued with the same theme with the Irish closing out the game 56-14.

There were a plethora of capable game MVPs, but the nod should go to the Irish starting quarterback, Dillon Miller. He has been nothing short of remarkable for the Irish all season long, reminiscent of one Alex Brink.

After the huge win, Miller  feels good about the way the team played and how good they can be.

“We had a good game,” said Miller. “We executed and played good football. We have a good football team and I think we can go a long ways in the playoffs if we execute.”

It hasn’t been all Miller this season, he’s had some help from a stable of phenomenal receivers led by junior Connor Strahm and senior Mitch Carman who have put up gaudy numbers. Included in the mix of receivers is Sean Bellotti, starting kicker and occasional receiver, son of former University of Oregon head football coach and athletic director Mike Bellotti.

A total of 24 seniors for the Irish played their final home game, but the season is far from over.

With the win, the Irish improve their record to 8-0 (6-0 in league play) with a road trip next Friday against undefeated South Medford to close out the regular season. Both teams enter the game undefeated in what might be the best finish to a regular season in each school’s history.

As for the Colts, Thurston’s record moves to 5-3 (3-3 in league play) with a chance to still make the OSAA 6-A State Championship Tournament. They concludes their regular season next Friday at home against North Medford.

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