Southridge forces six turnovers to upset the fifth-rated Crusaders
BEAVERTON - No one saw this one coming.
No one, that is, except the Southridge football team.
The Skyhawks upset fifth-ranked Jesuit 21-20 at Southridge High School Friday night, and in the process, closed in on a share of the 2011 Metro League championship.
Friday's win lifted Southridge's Metro record to 3-1 (4-4 overall) and into a first-place tie with the Crusaders (3-1 in league, 5-3 overall) with one week left in the regular season.
"We're a team. We're family," said Southridge junior linebacker Matt McRae, who picked off a Jesuit pass and took it back for a touchdown and also recovered a Crusader fumble. "As a team, we can do anything, we can accomplish anything."
"I told you ... that this team is special," said Southridge quarterback Reza Aleaziz, who led his team on two second-half scoring drives. "It doesn't matter how you start, it's how you finish, and we definitely finished that game. We played our hearts out."
Jesuit, meanwhile, knew that it had wasted a golden opportunity after turning the ball over six times in the game and missing an extra point with 31 seconds left on the clock that would have tied the score and likely forced overtime.
"Little things haunt you, and they haunted us tonight," said Jesuit junior tailback AJ Glass, who ran for 233 yards and two touchdowns, but also fumbled the ball away twice. "But we're going to get back at Beaverton on Friday. I'm going to stop making those mistakes and we're going to get rolling."
"We had a couple plays that didn't go our way, but we've got to come out next week and we've got to be better," said Jesuit senior quarterback Patrick Roy, who came off the bench for injured starter Nicholas Rothstein in the second quarter and led his team on three second-half scoring drives. "Any time you have the number of turnovers we did, it's going to be tough to win."
Friday's first half was a back-and forth affair that featured five Jesuit turnovers, five Southridge punts and likely would have been a 0-0 tie except for McRae's interception and 85-yard TD return with 2 minutes, 13 seconds left in the first half.
But things heated up in the second half, starting when Jesuit drove 80 yards to open the third period and tied the game at 7-7 on a 2-yard Glass scoring run and Ryan Cope's extra point.
Jesuit pushed ahead 14-7 two series later, this time marching 76 yards in six plays, with senior tailback Morgan Sellers breaking off a 51-yard TD run with 3:26 to go in the third period.
Southridge tied the game on its ensuing series, getting a 43-yard Devin Martinez run that set up Aleaziz's 1-yard sneak at the end of the third frame.
Southridge then pushed ahead 21-14 with 4:31 left in the game, scoring in just two plays, first getting a 32-yard Aleaziz-to-Jordan Morgan completion, then a 53-yard Martinez run for the score with 4:31 left.
Jesuit wasn't done yet, though. The Crusaders drove 87 yards in 15 plays, converting two fourth-down plays to keep their drive alive, with Roy going 5-for-8 for 66 yards on the drive, and Glass getting the TD on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds to go.
But Cope, who also missed field goal attempts of 37 and 40 yards, missed the ensuing extra point and Southridge walked off with the 21-20 victory.
Martinez led Southridge with 140 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while Jesuit's Roy went 9-of-13 passing for 109 yards, with Adam Winterling making five catches for 65 yards.
For a complete game story and more photos, please see Thursday's edition of the Beaverton Valley Times.