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Skyhawks strike hard to beat Beavers 23-13

The Skyhawks are outgained by more than 200 yards but still win


By MILES VANCE

The Times

BEAVERTON — Efficiency.

The Southridge football team had it over Beaverton in spades Friday night.

The Beavers outgained the Skyhawks by more than 200 yards in the two teams’ Metro League opener, but couldn’t translate that advantage onto the scoreboard. Southridge, meanwhile, made great use of its limited chances and knocked off Beaverton 23-13 at Beaverton High School.

by: MILES VANCE - HAT FREE - Southridge linebacker Andrew Ripley-Miles loses his helmet while trying to make a tackle on Beaverton quarterback Bryce Barker during the Skyhawks 23-13 win over the Beavers at Beaverton High School on Friday night.

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.”

The efficiency quotient showed its importance right from the start of Friday’s game. Beaverton’s defense came out and stopped the Skyhawks cold on their first series, with Colorito recovering an AJ Woodin fumble on fourth down to give his team possession at its own 31-yard line.

From there, the Beavers — operating behind sophomore quarterback Bryce Barker — picked up two first downs and drove into Southridge territory before Fontleroy-Smith was hit by Varadi, fumbled the ball away and Varadi recovered at the 33.

The Skyhawks needed just three plays to score after that, the capper a 68-yard scoring pass from Woodin to Morgan on the left side with 4 minutes, 1 second left in the first quarter. Alex Beekman added the first of his two extra points to make it 7-0.

Beaverton responded with an 80-yard drive that included a 20-yard Fontleroy-Smith run and ended when 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 on the first play of the second quarter. Greg Marshall’s PAT made it 7-7.

Both teams took turns punting the ball away until late in the second quarter when Southridge added a 38-yard Beekman field goal with 26 seconds to go before the half to lead 10-7.

The Skyhawks then took control 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 with 9:04 to go in the period.

Beaverton tried to answer again and marched 63 yards into Southridge territory, but Barker was hit while trying to avoid the Southridge rush at the Skyhawks’ 30-yard line, fumbled and Varadi ran it back 70 yards to score and extend his team’s lead to 23-7.

“The quarterback fumbled the snap and Matt McRae jumped on the quarterback and allowed me to pick up the ball,” Varadi said. “As soon as I got it, I just took off as fast as I could. I took one quick look back — I probably shouldn’t have done that — but I made it.”

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 in the game’s final 14 minutes, the Beavers still couldn’t score. Their final four series end with one punt and three failed fourth-down tries.

“We played tough run ‘D.’ Besides their big plays, they never really drove on us,” Colorito said. “It’s something we can overcome but We just have to get after it on Monday.”

For the game, Barker ran 17 times for 102 yards and completed 12-of-26 passes for 164 yards, with five of those going to Hagger for 61 yards. Nathman led Southridge with 33 yards on 11 carries, while Woodin went 3-of-8 passing for 101 yards.

On Friday, Beaverton plays at Aloha at 7:30 p.m., and Southridge hosts Sunset at 7:30 p.m.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.