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Panthers run down Sunset 24-14

South Medford runs 73 plays to Sunset's 29 in its non-league win
by: MILES VANCE, ALMOST — Sunset junior tight end Andrew Pollard (right) sees the ball batted away by South Medford's Dylan Anderson during the first quarter of the Panthers' 24-14 win at Sunset High School on Friday night.

CEDAR MILL - Control.

Control of the ball, control of the clock and control of the scoreboard were the story of the day in Sunset's 24-14 non-league loss to South Medford on Friday night.

The Panthers (2-1) used their potent running attack (290 yards rushing on 64 carries) to dominate possession at Sunset High School Friday, running off 73 offensive plays to the Apollos' 29 and keeping Sunset's undersized defense on the field most of the night. The loss closed out the non-league portion of Sunset's schedule with the Apollos at 2-2.

"We made a couple minor mistakes but ... we played well," said Sunset senior running back Kerry Degman, who scored his team's first touchdown and played a solid game at linebacker as well. "You come into the half down by seven, and a game that close, a game you want to win that bad, it comes down to whoever makes less mistakes wins the ballgame."

And on Friday, the Panthers were virtually flawless.

South Medford, which got 134 yards rushing from Patrick Thibeault and another 118 from Donte Henry, took a 7-0 lead on quarterback Ben Weaver's 1-yard sneak in the first quarter, then saw Sunset tie the game on Degman's dive early in the second.

South answered back with a 5-yard Thibeault scoring run to lead 14-7 with 6:03 left in the first half and never relinquished its edge. The Panthers added a field goal midway through the third quarter, saw Sunset close within 17-14 on Tim Molloy's 10-yard TD run, then sealed their win with a 1-yard Thibeault burst with 8:53 left in the game.

For a complete game story and more photos, please see Thursday's edition of the Beaverton Valley Times.