Jaguars postseason run stalls out
Southridge ends Centurys excellent season in the second round of the 6A state playoffs
Centurys run through the postseason came to a screeching halt on Nov. 16 in the second round of the Class 6A football playoffs.
Century, the third-place finisher out of the Pacific Conference, just did not have enough to match up with Southridge, the Metro League Champion, and the Jaguars fell 41-8.
Southridge was an excellent team and they took it to us pretty bad, Century coach Bill Smith says.
Southridges offense pummeled the Jags both on the ground and in the air. Southridge compiled 278 yards rushing and 139 yards passing.
We didnt match up really well in the man-to-man coverage department, Smith says. Maybe our defensive game plan was lacking a little bit. We maybe shouldve gone with a four shell instead of a three shell.
The Jaguars scored their only touchdown with 10:15 remaining in the first quarter when quarterback Sam Riddle connected with Xavier Mitchell for a 31-yard score. After the two-point conversion, Century led 8-7.
While Riddle was able to throw for 203 yards, he was only 13-of-30 passing and after the initial touchdown, Southridge shut down Centurys high powered offense.
We had some turnovers that we shouldnt have had early on, Smith says. Southridge has some very good athletes and theyre the Metro League champs. Theres not much that you can throw at a team like that that they havent seen. They came out in a four shell and played very good coverage. They gave us a decent amount of pressure with their athletes.
Offensively, we had good stats if you look at it on paper, but if you were at the game, it was a pretty lopsided game. They took away the deep ball from us. Their safety, he made some great plays. There were a number of times in cover-2 when we threw a quick fade on the sideline and he came over and made some diving blocks at the last second. They made some very athletic plays. They had some good athletes, their team was very sound and we didnt move the ball very well against them.
Despite the loss, Smith is still thrilled at the way the season turned out for the Jaguars. He remembers that when the current seniors were freshman, the freshman football team went just 4-5 at the Class 5A level. This season, Century went 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the Pacific Conference.
It was a great season, Smith says. We had great kids who worked very hard. To see them work so hard in the offseason and go from a 4-5 freshman year, to finishing the year as one of the best teams in Oregon was huge.
Smith says that the key to that turnaround over the last few years is the way his players bought into the system and the hard work that they put in to make themselves the best team that they could be.
We had a lot of kids on the same page, Smith says. Sam got a lot of credit and deservedly so, he had a great year. But, he didnt do it by himself. We had a lot of kids committed to a common goal. They worked hard in the weight room, playing multiple sports and going to class.
Its been a combination of work in the classroom and outside the classroom. This group was a perfect example of setting a goal and trying to achieve that goal.
Century is set to graduate 24 seniors this season. While he knows that graduating so many veteran players will mean a rocky road next season, Smith is also confident in the ability of the players that he has coming back and excited for the possibilities.
When you have 24 seniors departing, you have a lot of work ahead of you, Smith says. But, we did start a lot of juniors this year. Were excited for next year. We have some good young talent coming up. We have some good kids and theyre ready. Theyre already talking about what they need to do to get ready for next year.
When next season rolls around, Smith will not have forgotten about everything that the 2012 Century team accomplished. He will think back fondly of the passion his players showed and the fun that the entire program had.
These kids were so passionate about succeeding, Smith says. We gave this group of seniors more responsibility than weve given any seniors. Weve given them the freedom to change plays. We put in a new defense last year and our kids have learned it well and theyre having fun with it.
If theres anything I want to leave with, its just what great kids they were and how much fun we had working together. They enjoyed us (coaches) and I know we enjoyed them. Its been a great, great trip and we were all sad to see it end.