Now No. 1 Culver rolls past 3A foe
After a quick climb to No. 1, the Culver football team seems ready to stay put.
The Bulldogs were anointed as the top 2A team in the state coaches poll released Thursday. A day later, Culver beat Riverside 49-6 in Boardman.
"It's kind of a double-edged sword," Bulldog coach Kurt Davis said. "It's exciting to be talked about but now you know you'll get the other team's best shot."
Culver moved up from seventh in the preseason poll with victories against preseason No. 4 Lost River and at 3A Grant Union. Both were close wins.
The Bulldogs took all of the drama out of its latest victory, jumping ahead 14-0 in the first quarter. A 26-yard scoring reception by Jeremy Thompson opened the scoring. Miguel Baltazar added a 1-yard scoring run. It was the first of five touchdowns for Baltazar who gained 133 yards on 22 carries. He also caught a 25-yard scoring pass.
"Miguel ran really well this week," Davis said. "He hit the holes and ran harder. Our line played well. They gave all our backs holes to run through and also pass protected well."
Culver gained more than 500 yards with 320 through the air. Mike Williams completed 18 of 27 passes with seven Bulldogs catching passes. Thompson has completed at least 15 passes in each game, all without an interception or being sacked.
Nevin Lewis had six catches while both Thompson and Gerald Speas caught three passes each.
Culver's defensive numbers were just as impressive. Riverside was limited to less than 100 yards of total offense (25 rushing and 69 passing).
The Bulldog coach gave special praise to the secondary trio of Lewis, Blake Anglen and Tyler Warren plus linebackers Austin Alley, Paul Krueger and Levi Roberts.
"To hold a team to less than 100 yards shows we played really good defense," Davis said.
Notes: Williams is quickly closing in on Culver's all-time passing record. The senior has 854 yards in three games. The all-time best is 1,478 yards by James Macy in 1995. Rounding out the top three are 1,036 by Terry Ybarra in 1989 and 986 by Chris Dix in 2002. ... Santiam is the Tri-River's other unbeaten team. The Wolverines beat Central Linn 36-6 after a shutout victory in the opener.