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Football: Canby puts clamps on Beaverton in second round of 6A state playoffs

The Cougars advance past the second round for the first time in the Mike Vaught era, holding the Beavers to one touchdown.


by: JEFF GOODMAN - A.J. Schlatter puts pressure on Beaverton quarterback Sam Noyer during the Canby football team's 31-7 victory in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs Nov. 12 at Cougar Stadium.The Canby football team finally got over the hump.

Entering Friday night’s game against Beaverton, the Cougars had never advanced past the second round with coach Mike Vaught at the helm.

But with a standout effort by their defense and a steady performance by their offensive line, they handled Beaverton 31-7 in the Class 6A playoffs Nov. 15 at Cougar Stadium.

Despite its ongoing health woes, No. 12 Canby advances to the quarterfinals to face fourth-seeded Eugene-Sheldon on the road Nov. 22.

It was no small accomplishment for the Cougars (6-5), who had fallen in the second round of the state playoffs in every season of Vaught’s tenure. They lost to Sheldon in 2010, Portland-Grant in 2011 and Tigard last year.

But not again.

“It’s totally a relief,” Vaught said. “Tigard was a lot better than us last year, but the other two years we had shots and just didn’t get it done. Tonight was great. It’s a good feeling.”

Canby improved to 3-0 all-time in playoff games against the Beavers (6-6). It also defeated Beaverton in a 2003 quarterfinal and in a 2006 second-round game.

Like they did against Newberg in the first round a week earlier, the Cougars scored the first four touchdowns of the game and didn’t give up any points in the first half. They allowed only one touchdown in a playoff game for the second-straight week and held their opponent to 15 points or fewer for the fifth time this season.

“The defense did it all,” Vaught said. “You win playoff games, and you win championships, with defense, and our defense really stepped it up. It was almost a perfect game defensively.”

Beaverton mustered its only touchdown when senior running back Grant Johnson swung into the end zone on a short run with 5:07 left in the game. Before the Beavers scored, their night looked like this: punt, punt, fumble, turnover on downs, punt, punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs, interception.

Canby prepared all week to face quarterback Sam Noyer, a 6-foot-4 sophomore who entered the game with 2,160 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air, and its defensive schemes stifled the Beavers’ passing attack for most of the evening.

Noyer finished 18-for-29 with 202 yards but was constantly scrambling from defenders.

“Once we took away the run, we knew they would have to throw, and that would allow us to get better pressure,” Schlatter said.

Solid defense gave the Cougars excellent scoring opportunities against Beaverton, and their offense capitalized.

By recovering a BHS fumble early in the second quarter, Canby was able to start its drive in the red zone. Senior quarterback Austin Taylor then rolled left and found senior tight end A.J. Schlatter in the end zone on an 8-yard touchdown pass, and senior Alejandro Sandoval added the extra point to put the Cougars up 14-0 at halftime.

The Beavers had a chance to cut Canby’s lead in half early in the fourth quarter, but a potential touchdown pass from Noyer was dropped by junior receiver Robby Valentine just shy of the goal line.

The Cougars gave themselves more breathing room on their next drive, scoring with 6:48 remaining on a 1-yard keeper by Taylor that he set up with a 55-yard scramble to the goal line.

Taylor threw just three times but took 11 carries for 86 yards, senior Noah Kyllo tallied 101 yards on 21 carries and senior Dominic Shorter took seven carries for 58 yards and a touchdown before aggravating the foot injury he sustained against Oregon City.

“Going through the backs like we have, our stabilizing force has been that offensive line,” Vaught said. “They blocked well. Beaverton did a great job with nine guys in the box, and they were coming at different holes. But we were still able to rush the ball with that kind of defense coming.”

Canby sealed its win on a 3-yard touchdown run by Cole Thomson that was made possible by junior linebacker Jaces Cates’ interception of Noyer.

“This week was one of the best weeks of practice we’ve ever had,” Cates said. “(Noyer) is a good quarterback, and they’re a good team. They have a bright future. ... But we think our defense can stop anyone in the state.”

Sandoval added a 30-yard field goal with 2:25 left. It was almost as if the Cougars were preparing for a close game in the near future.

For updates, follow Jeff Goodman on Twitter.

***

AT A GLANCE

Canby 31, Beaverton 7

Nov. 15 at Cougar Stadium

Beaverton 0 0 0 7 — 7

Canby 7 7 0 17 — 31

First quarter

C — (3:48) Dominic Shorter 18 run (Alejandro Sandoval kick)

Second quarter

C — (10:22) A.J. Schlatter 8 pass from Austin Taylor (Sandoval kick)

Fourth quarter

C — (6:48) Taylor 1 run (Sandoval kick)

C — (5:59) Cole Thompson 3 run (Sandoval kick)

B — (5:07) Grant Johnson 2 run (Cole Cooper kick)

C — (2:25) Sandoval 30 field goal

***

AT A GLANCE

The Canby football team improved to 3-0 all-time in playoff games against Beaverton:

Nov. 21, 2003: CANBY 24, Beaverton 13 (quarterfinals)

Nov. 17, 2006: Canby 25, BEAVERTON 22 (second round)

Nov. 15, 2013: CANBY 31, Beaverton 7 (second round)



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