Skyhawks wake up just in time

Southridge scores 27 fourth-quarter points to take out McMinnville 47-33 on Friday
by: MILES VANCE, BRING IT HOME — Southridge’s Kevin Coleman scores the first of his two fourth-quarter touchdowns against McMinnville Friday while teammate Jack Brock celebrates.

BEAVERTON - Say this at least about Southridge's opening game on its new artificial turf football field - the Skyhawks made it interesting.

Southridge (1-0), the defending Metro League co-champion, christened its new turf field with a 47-33 season-opening win over McMinnville (0-1) Friday night, and the Skyhawks made sure no one went home early.

Southridge led 20-0 at halftime, saw McMinnville storm back to tie the game at 27-27 on Cory Milton's one-yard run with 9 minutes, 45 seconds left to play, then pulled away to win by scoring 20 points in the final 7:04.

'The second half shouldn't have happened because our line is big enough to dominate them,' said Southridge senior running back Kevin Coleman, who scored both of his touchdowns in the final 3 minutes, 24 seconds and finished with 160 yards on 20 carries. But 'we needed this game. We needed a good scare to get us back to reality, to show us we're not that good yet.'

McMinnville 'made some adjustments and did a good job in the second half,' said Southridge coach Brad Mastrud. 'But the real positive is that our guys did a great job of coming back.'

Despite their occasional lulls - the Skyhawks didn't score in the first or third quarters on Friday - their successes provided glimpses of enormous potential. For the game, Southridge rushed for 374 yards on 48 carries (also getting 155 yards on 21 carries by David Smith) and its defense held the Grizzlies to a single first down in the opening half.

'I thought we played pretty well,' Mastrud said. 'We had some lapses; everyone saw that (and) we were a little undisciplined, so we've got to work on that. We've got to get better at it.'

'What we need to do first is work on our pass defense; that was obvious,' said senior wide receiver/defensive back Tyler Harman, who had one interception, one touchdown and a catch for a two-point conversion. 'We stopped the run just fine; that was a good thing. We just need to work on everything that we didn't do today.'

After that scoreless opening period (McMinnville gained just four yards in the quarter), Southridge got its offense going in the second. Senior Paul Werhane capped an 85-yard Southridge drive with the first of his three touchdowns on the night, blasting in from three yards out to make it 6-0 less than two minutes into the quarter.

Two series later, Southridge put together another long drive, marching 75 yards (including 38 by Smith on a sweep around right end) to score, again with Werhane doing the honors, this time from one yard out. Skyhawk quarterback Tom Farinacci then hooked up with Harman on the conversion and Southridge's lead was 14-0 late in the first half.

Harman set the table for his team's next score, too, picking off a Sublet pass over the middle and returning it 20 yards to the McMinnville 22. From there, it took the Skyhawks just three plays to score, cashing in on Smith's 19-yard run around left end to make it 20-0.

McMinnville, however, was a different team in the second half. The Grizzlies took their opening possession of the third quarter and drove 61 yards to score on a six-yard Sublet-to-Austin Nichols pass. And McMinnville was back in the end zone again just 2:54 later after Southridge fumbled the Grizzlies' kickoff. This time, Sublet hit Cory Milton for 15 yards to the Skyhawk 23, and five plays later, the two connected again on a one-yard TD pass to make it 20-12.

Southridge answered with Werhane's third TD, another one-yard plunge just seven seconds into the fourth quarter, but McMinnville scored on each of its next two possessions to tie the game at 27-27. Sublet hit Nichols for a 61-yard score on the first of those and, after a Rene Regelado interception of Farinacci, Milton blasted in from one yard with 9:45 left in the game.

The Skyhawks would not be denied, though. They scored on each of their final three possessions to pull away, racking up 27 points total in the fourth quarter and 20 in a span of just 6:07. On the first of those three, Farinacci engineered a 65-yard scoring drive, picking up 23 yards on a completion to Marcus Mathews and the touchdown on a 24-yarder to Harman at the right flag. Mitch Edwards' extra point gave their team a 34-27 lead and Southridge would not trail again.

The Grizzlies responded with a six-yard Sublet-to-Mychal Lemon touchdown pass, but Southridge hardly noticed. The Skyhawks came back with an 80-yard scoring drive highlighted by Coleman's 50-yard run, and later, his three-yard TD.

Then, after Southridge stopped McMinnville on four downs, Coleman was back in the end zone again, this time racing 25 yards to paydirt and the final 47-33 margin.

Working most of the night behind center Ian Maarefi, guards Jordan Barta and Chris Hurtig, tackles David Oppat and Jack Brock, and tight ends Mike Wolfington and Austin Hope, Southridge rushed for 380 yards on 48 carries.

For McMinnville, Sublet overcame a poor first half (he hit on just two of his 10 first-half throws) to finish with four touchdown passes and 272 yards on 15-of-35 passing with one interception.