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OH SO CLOSE

Indians a PAT short of miraculous comeback against No. 1 Central
by: John Brewington BIG RETURN—Scappoose’s Paul Revis returned this punt 53-yards for a score Friday night and sparked a comeback by the Tribe in the closing minutes of regulation.

With 5:33 to play at top-ranked Central on Friday the Scappoose Indians were down 26-6 and no one liked their chances. No one told the Indians they were done.

Scappoose Principal Eric Clendenin said, 'I think we need to pull a rabbit out of the hat.' And that is just what Scappoose almost did.

The Indians did have some magic left and it was diminutive Paul Revis that started the near miracle comeback. He snagged a Central punt and returned it 53 yards for a score. With Jordan Wahl's kick the Indians were down 26-13.

An onsides kick, some good clock management, a critical fourth-down reception by A. J. Fazio, some big receptions by Revis and Joe Nelson, and a four-yard scamper by quarterback Cody Stutzer, plus another kick by Wahl pulled Scappoose to within six.

The Indians missed on their next onside attempt, but took over on downs at the Central 44 with just 57 seconds to play.

Quickly, Fazio pulled in a 36-yard reception and the Indians were at the nine. Three plays later, Stutzer found Revis for the score. This time Wahl's kick came up short, the game was tied 26-all, and went into overtime.

The magic ended. Scappoose couldn't move the ball for a first down, and Central connected on their first play from the 25 for the game winner.

'Another Friday night and another exciting game,' Scappoose coach Sean McNabb said. 'From a spectator standpoint, they sure got their money's worth.'

He added, 'We made a lot of mistakes early in the game and turned the ball over four times. One for the day isn't good. We didn't execute, and we need to do a better job of preparing the kids for certain situations.'

McNabb said he liked the effort by the team, though. 'We were down 26-6 with five minutes to go. I feel like these kids never quit a game. They play hard until the buzzer sounds. Central is a good team and no doubt they made some mistakes. We didn't always take advantage.'

The coach said it shouldn't have come down to the position they were in at the end, there was a lot of pressure on their kicker, but it was something they have to be able to execute.

McNabb wasn't laying blame on the loss on anyone. He said his quarterback 'made some great plays, but made some mistakes, too. That's part of the game. Sometimes things don't go right. You have to be mature enough to handle it, persevere and come back.'

Scappoose and Central have squared off at least once a season for many years, and have also had a second go-round some years in the playoffs. What would a second round be like this year?

'I think if we played again it would be a different ball game. We match up pretty well with them and feel were a better ball team. We didn't play well enough to win and didn't have the team prepared well enough.'

The Indians begin Cowapa League play this week, facing No. 5-ranked Astoria. The Fishermen are led by quarterback Conner Harber.

'He's extremely fast and they have an offense built around him He's a very hard hitter and a very smart player. He's the guy we have to stop. Defensively, we have to rein him in a little bit. They run a no-back offense and have five receivers spread out in the running lanes,' McNabb said.

It's a battle of two high-powered offenses. The Indians are ranked No. 3 in one poll, and Astoria 7th. In the Associated Press Poll, Astoria is No. 5 and Scappoose No. 9. In the Oregon School Activities Association, the Tribe is listed as No. 7 and Astoria No. 5. The game will be Astoria's fourth in a row at home. They have only travelled to play Estacada in an endowment game at Hillsboro Stadium.

The Fishermen posted a 24-14 win over Estacada, lost to Newport 43-20, edged Roosevelt 35-32, and beat Cottage Grove last Friday, 52-26.

The winner will be the favorite to win the Cowapa League.

SCORING

Scappoose 6 0 0 20 6-26

Central 0 13 6 7 6-32

Sc-Paul Revis 26 yard pass from Cody Stutzer (kick failed)

C-Tanner Omlid 15 yard interception return (Omlid kick)

C-Donavon Hampton 28 yard pass from Omlid (conversion failed)

C-Nick Jaindl 13 yard run (kick failed)

C-Jaindl 1 yard run (Sam Hoffman kick)

Sc-Revis 53 yard punt return (Jordan Wahl kick)

Sc-Stutzer 4 yard run (Wahl kick)

Sc-Revis 4 yard pass from Stutzer (kick failed)

C-OT Branden Cutsforth 25 yard pass from Omlid (no attempt)

Next Up

Opponent: Astoria

Record: 3-1

Last Week: Astoria 52, Cottage Grove 26

Offense: Wide Open (no back)

OSAA Ranking: Astoria 15th, Scappoose 7th

Defense: 4-2 Nickel (multiple formations)

Notable: Quarterback Conner Harber

Quote:

'The last two years it's been a one-point game. We're expecting another great game. They have a very solid group. We don't want (Harber) to extend plays and don't want to allow him to tuck it in and run. He gets in the open field and he's pretty darn good.'

-Sean McNabb