Top-ranked Crusaders will face Central Catholic in title game

by: JEFF GOODMAN - Noah Kyllo is surrounded by Jesuit defenders Nov. 30 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland. Kyllo scored two touchdowns, but the Canby football team fell to the top-seeded Crusaders in the Class 6A state semifinals.PORTLAND — The Canby football team had the fast start and the memorable finish. Jesuit had most of everything in between.

Unable to generate enough offense and unable to keep Crusaders tailback Chase Morrison out of the end zone, the Cougars had their playoff run halted in a 35-17 loss in the Class 6A state semifinals Nov. 30 at Jeld-Wen Field.

And so the end of a roller-coaster season arrived for Canby, which came as close as it’s ever come in school history to reaching the title game.

One win away.

“It’s disappointing,” coach Mike Vaught said. “I felt we had a good shot at them. But they were better than us. You just hope that you don’t beat yourself, and we didn’t. We were just beat by a better team. You’ve got to live with that.”

The 12th-seeded Cougars (7-6) had advanced to the semifinals for the seventh time in program history by overpowering Newberg and Beaverton in the first two rounds and upsetting defending state champion Eugene-Sheldon on the road in the quarterfinals.

But their machine-like running attack sputtered in their fifth-straight series loss to Jesuit (11-2), which extended its winning streak to nine games while earning a spot in the finals for the first time since 2009.

The title game will pit the top-seeded Crusaders against Central Catholic, which defeated Tigard in the other semifinal.

Canby mustered just 68 net yards on the ground, completed just three passes and struggled to convert on third down.

After senior Noah Kyllo broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run on the opening drive, the Cougars punted on their next four possessions and failed to score until senior Alejandro Sandoval made a 28-yard field goal with 8 minutes 40 seconds left in the third quarter.

“We played our hearts out,” Kyllo said. “They were physically better. They came out a little more fired up. Overall, they just came out with a little more pop. They have some great defensive linemen, they’re physical and they came out hard. They were stacking the box.

“We had some key runs, and after that first one we thought we had it in the bag. We got a couple calls on the first drive, and that score was huge. We had a lot of momentum going, and we believed in our hearts that we could’ve won that game.”

But the Crusaders stormed right back. Morrison, who rushed 44 times for 228 yards, scored the first of his three touchdowns late in the first quarter and gave Jesuit its first lead on another short touchdown run with 5:53 left in the first half.

Following Sandoval’s field goal, which trimmed Canby’s deficit to 14-10, the Crusaders sealed their victory with three-consecutive touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Morrison rumbled into the end zone on a 2-yard run, quarterback Eric scored on a 41-yard keeper and Mitchell Powers caught a pass from Restic with 4:06 to play to give the Crusaders their largest lead at 35-10.

And yet it was a much tighter contest than last year’s preseason meeting, a 42-3 rout for the private school.

“Our defense played great today,” Vaught said. “Jesuit had to earn everything. They didn’t get anything free. We hit them hard.”

Canby couldn’t capitalize in key moments as the Crusaders pulled away. They failed to convert a 4th-and-1 opportunity late in the third quarter, were forced to punt after Trey Bellmore’s trick-play pass to Kyllo fell incomplete early in the fourth quarter and fumbled a kickoff return with about five minutes remaining in the game.

“They did what everybody was doing — they’re loading up the box, they’re bringing everybody — but they’re a little better at it than the other teams we faced,” Vaught said. We don’t have a lot of options, and we were just going to do what we do. But we just couldn’t quite get it done.”

Kyllo gave Cougars fans something to celebrate late in the fourth quarter, collecting a cross-field pass from backup quarterback Nico Tellache and slithering into the end zone on a 69-yard touchdown.

But Canby’s three-game winning streak — and its season — were all but over already.

“I’m glad we made it here,” Sandoval said. “But we didn’t get what we wanted.”




Class 6A state semifinals

Nov. 30 at Jeld-Wen Field (Portland)

1 2 3 4 F

Canby 7 0 3 7 17

Jesuit 7 7 0 21 35

First quarter

C — (7:31) Noah Kyllo 45 run (Alejandro Sandoval kick)

J — (3:22) Chase Morrison 2 run (Patrick Carley kick)

Second quarter

J — (5:53) Morrison 4 run (Carley kick)

Third quarter

C — (8:40) Alejandro Sandoval 28 field goal

Fourth quarter

J — (10:21) Morrison 2 run (Carley kick)

J — (5:55) Eric Restic 41 run (Carley kick)

J — (4:06) Mitchell Powers 10 pass from Restic (Carley kick)

C — (3:31) Kyllo 69 pass from Nico Tellache (Sandoval kick)



A look at how Canby has fared against Jesuit since the teams’ first-ever playoff meeting in 1989:

Nov. 17, 1989: Jesuit 21, CANBY 12 (second round)

Dec. 1, 2006: Jesuit 63, Canby 21 (semifinals)

Nov. 9, 2007: Canby 47, JESUIT 35 (first round)

Nov. 21, 2008: JESUIT 42, Canby 14 (quarterfinals)

Sept. 3, 2010: JESUIT 34, Canby 14

Sept. 2, 2011: Jesuit 67, CANBY 35

Sept. 14, 2012: JESUIT 42, Canby 3

Nov. 30, 2013: Jesuit 35, Canby 17 (semifinals)



A look at how Canby has fared in the state semifinals in school history:

Dec. 3, 1983 at Civic Stadium (AAA): Lakeridge 14, Canby 8

Dec. 4, 1987 at Autzen Stadium (AAA): Roseburg 14, Canby 13

Nov. 29, 2002 at Canby High School (4A): Lake Oswego 35, CANBY 28

Nov. 28, 2003 at PGE Park (4A): North Medford 26, Canby 14

Dec. 1, 2006 at PGE Park (6A): Jesuit 63, Canby 21

Dec. 4, 2009 at PGE Park (6A): Sheldon 49, Canby 14

Nov. 30, 2013 at Jeld-Wen Field (6A): Jesuit 35, Canby 17

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