Gladstone gridders gun down Rangers
Fields has a field day, scoring three ways
ESTACADA - The Gladstone Gladiators turned to the big play and defense to put Estacada away 45-28 in their Friday night Capital Conference opener.
Three of the Gladiators' six touchdowns were scored on runs of 49 yards or greater and a fourth was scored on a 95-yard pass interception return.
And the Gladiator defense was impressive, forcing seven turnovers.
Gladstone junior wide receiver Darrell Fields had a great night, scoring three touchdowns, one on a 15-yard reception, another on a 49-yard run, and a third on a 95-yard pass interception return. He also had a fourth touchdown called back because of a penalty.
The Gladiators never trailed after quarterback Mitch Foteff scored on a nine-yard run and Fields scored on a 15-yard pass in the first quarter.
Joe Kociemba split the uprights with a 24-yard field goal and Jordan Aldredge broke loose for a 64-yard touchdown to make it 24-14 at halftime.
And when Fields picked off a pass and raced 95 yards to the end zone in the third period, Gladstone was on top 31-14, and it was all over but the shouting.
Fields added a third-period touchdown on his 49-yard run; and Nick Cieloha scored on a 56-yard sprint in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.
Cieloha (6 carries, 120 yards) and Aldredge (8 carries, 102 yards) headed a Gladiator ground attack that netted 336 yards.
Gladstone's defense forced seven turnovers, including four fumbles. Cieloha and Brady Regier joined Fields with interceptions.
The Rangers struggled to get their passing game in gear, completing only 6-of-23 attempted passes.
'We played three ranked teams in preseason and I think the tough schedule is paying off,' said Gladstone coach Jon Wolf.
Wolf was especially high on his squad's defensive play.
'We've still got room for improvement, but our defense is getting better,' he said. 'We've got excellent team speed and the team did a much better job of playing fast [at Estacada].'
Wolf singled out Fields at defensive back, Kociemba at free safety and Cieloha at middle linebacker for defensive play, along with linemen Tony Jackson, Ryan Tracy, Ben Maxwell and Tony Irvin.
The Gladiators (1-3, 1-0) return home this Friday, when they entertain North Marion (2-1, 0-1). The Huskies dropped a barnburner with Stayton, losing 14-12 last Friday.
In other games last Friday, Molalla won at La Salle 36-19, and Cascade prevailed 20-6 in a non-league game at Pleasant Hill.
La Salle (1-3, 0-1) meets Cascade (3-1, 0-0) on the road this Friday.