Pre-game incidents postpone, move contest to NMHS

by: JO WHEAT - North Marion receiver Kyle Williamson pushes off an Estacada defender in Fridays 28-14 victory over the Rangers. Williamson caught a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Ben Crumley in the first quarter to give the Huskies an early lead.The North Marion Huskies’ 28-14 victory over the visiting Estacada Rangers Friday night was a positive end of the week for the football team, but a pair of incidents the previous evening overshadowed the team’s 3-0 start to the league schedule.

The game was originally scheduled for Thursday evening at Estacada High School, but it was postponed and moved to North Marion after two separate incidents in which OSAA referees failed to show up and Husky coach Doug Bilodeau was allegedly punched in the eye while trying to escort two intoxicated Estacada fans from the team bus.

The OSAA office had scheduled refs to officiate on Friday evening, said North Marion Athletic Director Andy Jones. As news of the postponement spread to the teams and fans, North Marion’s football team loaded into the bus for the trip back home.

The team was followed by a pair of young men, identified by the Sandy Police Department as John Weaver, 20, and Trenton Reed, 19, both of Estacada.

The men attempted to board the bus and began yelling and using profanity at the North Marion players. Jones indicated that the men were not Estacada students.

“Our coaches asked them to get off the bus,” said Jones. When Bilodeau escorted the men off the bus, they confronted him. “One of them walked right up to him, and then the other one came from the side and punched him in the eye.”

Craven said there were conflicting reports as to who threw the punch. Both men were charged with disorderly conduct and a misdemeanor and were released to their homes. Weaver was also charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Craven said the police report is was yet complete at press time and will be sent to the district attorney, who could add further charges.

After the incident, the game was moved to North Marion High School for safety issues Friday night, where fans were treated to free admission due to the scheduling mistake.

“Both teams showed great sportsmanship toward each other,” said Jones. “It was a real positive experience Friday night.”

The game itself was a huge win for the Huskies, who stayed tied with the Gladstone Gladiators at the top of the Tri-Valley Conference standings.

North Marion and Estacada entered the second half of the game tied at 14-14, but the Huskies were able to control the Rangers’ run-heavy offense and pitched a shutout over the final two quarters to pull away with the victory.

Running back Shane McKillip put the Huskies ahead for good with nine minutes left in the third quarter when he took a two-yard pitch into the end zone to go up 21-14. McKillip finished with 83 rushing yards on a team-high 16 carries.

He scored again halfway through the fourth quarter when the Huskies were on the goal line attempting to go up 28-14. Tyler Saucedo took a handoff, but the ball was stripped loose before he was able to punch it in. As the ball bounced into the end zone, McKillip was the first to collapse on the loose ball, scoring a touchdown for the Huskies.

Saucedo led North Marion with 84 rushing yards, but it was the team’s passing attack that put the Huskies up early in the game.

Ben Crumley connected with Kyle Williamson on a pair of touchdown passes in the first quarter of the game to put the team up 14-0. Williamson was Crumley’s favorite target of the evening, catching six passes for 129 and the two touchdowns.

Crumley finished the day completing 8-of-15 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns, but he was picked off by the Rangers three times, allowing Estacada to march back in the second quarter to tie the game on a pair of touchdown runs.

Alec Barstad led all rushers with 211 of Estacada’s 322 rushing yards. The Rangers ran the ball on 54 of 60 plays, and the Huskies were able to adjust their defense in the second half of the game to give the team its fifth win in its last six outings.

This week, North Marion prepares to host the Molalla Indians (3-4, 1-2 Tri-Valley) for Homecoming Friday night.

The Indians are coming off a 42-7 loss against Gladstone, but the team has shown an ability to put up big points by scoring 32 or more in each of their three victories this season.

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