Rams find ways to score, win
- Stephen Alexander
- Portland Tribune - Sports
The two-hour, 50-minute game had five touchdowns off turnovers and a litany of penalty flags, but the final score was what the Central Catholic Rams wanted to see.
'It was a total team effort,' Central Catholic interim head coach Chris Butterfield said after a 39-28 victory Friday night over Canby at Jeld-Wen Field.
Butterfield was filling in for coach Steve Pyne, who served the second part of a two-game suspension for violating practice rules over the summer.
'We probably wouldn't have scripted it that way, scoring a couple touchdowns on defense and a touchdown on special teams," Butterfield said. "But that's the kind of team that we have. We're really explosive in those areas, and we can do that. We can score touchdowns anytime we touch the ball in all three phases. We'll take the win.'
Canby's opening kickoff was a sign of some wild things to come. The Cougars pooch-kicked, and after the ball hit a Central Catholic player, Canby's Coby Cates dove on it.
On fourth-and 11-from the Rams' 21-yard line, Evan Sanders completed a pass in the corner of the end zone to Andrew Evans to put the Cougars up 7-0.
Central Catholic (1-1 going into next Friday's game at Jesuit) evened the score on a 68-yard drive that was extended by three Canby personal fouls. Quarterback Andrew Welch capped off the march with a sneak from the 1.
Welch would later throw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Hayward Demison, but his night ended with 2:54 remaining in the first half. As he rolled out, looking to pass, Welch pulled up and spiked the ball before collapsing in pain. He was unavailable for comment after the game.
'He felt his knee pop a little bit, so he was pretty upset about it,' Butterfield said. 'We pulled him out just to be precautionary. Other than that, I don't know what happened. I saw him walking around after the game, so I was a little curious myself.'
The biggest star of the game for Central Catholic was Dallin Leavitt. The defensive back returned two interceptions for touchdowns and scored another TD on a punt return. He finished with 69 yards in interception returns, 97 yards on punt returns, 42 yards on kickoff returns and 10 tackles.
'Our defensive line was getting pressure all night,' Leavitt said. 'They got to the quarterback and made him throw the ball quick. And I was just there at the right place at the right time.'
Leavitt's punt return sent the Rams into the halftime up 26-7. Leavitt accidently touched a bouncing ball, then rushed to pick it up. Once the ball was in his hands, he found open field along the left sideline and ran 68 yards for the touchdown.
'I didn't think I was going to get it,' Leavitt said. 'It bounced and I tipped it. After I tipped it, I figured I had to pick it up. So I picked it up and then just kind of saw a seam and went.'
With Central Catholic leading 33-7 in the third quarter, Canby (0-2) turned to the ground, with sweeps to the right. The Cougars scored on a 1-yard run up the gut by Noah Abel and a 64-yard off-tackle run by Thomas Sutherland.
'They were overloading us on one side,' Leavitt said.
Sutherland also scooped up a blocked punt deep in Central Catholic territory and took the ball to the house for a TD.
Central Catholic finished its scoring with a 45 yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Clayton Welsh to Beau Duronslet.
'We played fine,' Butterfield said, of the Rams' offensive performance. 'We didn't really get much into our game plan at all because we didn't have to. And we're pretty vanilla (on offense) anyway.'
The Rams want to build off the win, which came a week after their loss to Lake Oswego.
'What I take from here, is it's a complete 180 from last week,' Butterfield said. 'This group has learned that it can't just show up and beat people. They're a talented group, but they're not just going to show up and beat people. They've got to show up, and they've got to play, and they've got to take care of the little things, and they've got to be disciplined. They're starting to realize that, and it showed today.'