The Beavers outgain Southridge by more than 200 yards, but fall 23-13
BEAVERTON It was all about opportunities Friday night at Beaverton High School.
The Beaver football team, hosting Southridge in both teams' Metro League opener, outgained the Skyhawks by more than 200 yards Friday night, but just couldn't cash in when it counted most.
Southridge forced three Beaverton turnovers Friday night and stopped four Beaver drives at its own 35 or closer and used that effort to win 23-13 at Beaverton High School. The win lifted Southridge's Metro record to 1-0 and its overall mark to 2-3, while the Beavers lost for the first time and fell to 0-1 and 4-1.
We just had to stay cool and stay disciplined. It was a team effort, said Southridge junior linebacker Mike Varadi, who scooped up a Beaverton fumble midway through the third quarter and took it back 70 yards to score.
I think it's a good start and I think we have a good shot at state if we keep it up, said Southridge junior wide receiver Jordan Morgan, who made two catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
The Beavers, meanwhile, left disappointed with the mistakes that they believe cost them a chance at a win.
If we don't turn the ball over so much, don't make those small mental mistakes, I think we win, said Beaverton senior running back Malik Fontleroy-Smith, who finished with 92 yards on 25 carries.
I haven't beat Southridge in high school yet, said Beaverton senior defensive end Evan Colorito, who led a defensive effort that held the Skyhawks to 160 yards in total offense. I haven't beat them since sixth grade. It really kills me inside, but Beaverton beat 'em in '08 to get to the semifinals so we can beat them in the playoffs.
Southridge drew first blood on Friday and did so after recovering a fumble for the first of Beaverton's three turnovers. Starting from their own 33-yard-line, the Skyhawks needed just three plays to score, the capper a 68-yard scoring pass from AJ Woodin to Morgan with 4 minutes, 1 second left in the first quarter.
Beaverton responded with an 80-yard drive that included a 20-yard Fontleroy-Smith run and ended when sophomore quarterback Bryce Barker forced into a starting role after senior Kyle Eckrosh was injured a week ago connected with Derek Hires in the left seam and he took it home for a 35-yard score.
Southridge added a 38-yard field goal by Alex Beekman with 26 seconds to go before the half to lead 10-7, then took over with a devastating stretch of 3:22 in the third quarter. After getting a quick stop to open the second half, Southridge's offense took over at the Beaver 30-yard line following a 38-yard punt return by Maleke Nathman. Three plays later, Woodin hit Morgan in the left corner of the end zone for a touchdown and a 17-7 lead.
Beaverton tried to answer again and marched 63 yards into Southridge territory, but Barker was hit while trying to avoid the Southridge rush, fumbled and Varadi ran it back 70 yards to score and extend his team's lead to 23-7.
The Beavers came back with an 80-yard drive that included 33 rushing yards from Fontleroy-Smith and ended when Barker hit Davasyia Hagger for an eight-yard TD at the left flag near the end of the third quarter. That score cut Southridge's lead to 23-13, but the Beavers would get no closer.
While the Beaverton defense forced four straight three-and-outs by the Skyhawk offense, the Beavers still couldn't score, their final four series end with one punt and three failed fourth-down tries.
On Friday, Beaverton plays at Aloha at 7:30 p.m., and Southridge hosts Sunset at 7:30 p.m.
For a complete game story and more photos, please see Thursday's edition of the Beaverton Valley Times.