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Rushing attack powers Greyhounds to first victory of season

Gaston churns out 500 yards on the ground in a 36-14 nonleague win against Jefferson

Gaston has put up some gaudy stats during Reeve Woodward’s tenure, but the fifth-year head coach said he’s never seen his players run as hard as they did last Friday.

Three Gaston running backs cracked the 100-yard mark and the Greyhounds ran for more than 500 yards in a 36-14 nonleague romp against Jefferson.

“It was great,” Woodward said. “We played pretty well and our running backs ran really hard. It was impressive. I’ve never had three backs run that hard.”

A week after passing for more than 200 yards in a lopsided loss to Central Linn, Gaston only threw the ball three times against Jefferson, opting to pound the ball at the Lions behind Andrew Pence, Joey Marquart and a rapidly improving offensive line.

The result was a huge game for Ian Mann, who rushed for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Ryan Sweet also had a big game, running for 165 yards and two scores, and Dylan Clark added 101 yards and another rushing TD.

“I think we’re to the point where we can do everything offensively,” Woodward said. “I feel like we’re pretty tough to stop. I wouldn’t want to try to defend us right now.”

Friday’s performance marked a dramatic improvement for the Greyhounds, who feature lots of talent but relatively little experience.

“We’re improving, but we need to continue. We’re not where we need to be yet,” Woodward said. “We’re getting better every day, we’ve just got to get the young’ins to continue to improve. The older guys are doing a great job and setting a good example for these younger kids, but it takes a lot of learning.

“A lot of these younger guys don’t even watch football on TV. They were basically a blank slate when they showed up for practice because they didn’t really know anything. It makes you feel good as a coach to see them picking up on the things you’re trying to teach them. They’ve already come a long way since this summer.”

Next up for Gaston is the start of Northwest League play this Friday with a home game against Neah-Kah-Nie. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Gaston High School.

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