In spite of losing their starting quarterback Taylor Loss at halftime, Scappoose is able to pull out a 25-16 win.
Sometimes, it takes a little adversity to see what a team is made of. Scappoose had blown teams out, failed on a comeback and been beaten down, but one thing had always been a constant: starting quarterback Taylor Loss. That constant took a nasty spin on Friday night, but the Indians (6-2, 3-1 Cowapa) recovered to grind out a 25-16 win over visiting Seaside (6-2, 2-2 Cowapa) jumping the Gulls in the league standings with just one game remaining.
Coming in to the game, Scappoose knew the Seagulls were not a team to be taken lightly. Behind a powerful running game and several massive linemen, Seaside showed why they nearly took down No. 3 Banks, frustrating the Indian offense in the first quarter. The visitors were got into the backfield time and again, disrupting Scappooses' rhythm and forcing the Tribe to punt.
It turns out, however, that the Indians don't need to be on offense to score in bunches.
Midway through the first quarter, Seagull quarterback Kevin Lacoste tried to hit a receiver, but his target dropped the ball behind the line of scrimmage, making it a fumbled lateral attempt. Indian senior Matt Shoun scooped up the ball and before Seaside could respond, he was already in the end zone 54 yards downfield.
Seaside pulled even with Scappoose thanks to a 38 yard touchdown run from senior Andrew Owens, but the Indians had a response by the name of Justice Oman, who caught the ensuing kickoff at the 15 yard line and scampered down the near sideline for the Tribe's second touchdown of the evening.
Late in the second quarter, after the Gulls had tacked on a field goal to make it 12-9, the Indians were looking to find another score before the halftime buzzer sounded. On second and nine from their own 39 yard line, Loss tucked the ball in and headed downfield. At the end of his run, which was good for 31 yards to the Seagulls' 30 yard-line, something went wrong.
As he went down, he heard a pop in his right ankle. The pop was an a strain to the posterior tendon, and at that point, his night was done.
Luckily for the Indians, they weren't out of options. In stepped backup quarterback, junior Joey Krupsky, who spends most of his time playing safety.
As it turns out, Krupsky was more than ready to take on the role.
Second (string players) always need to get snaps, as many as they can, said Krupsky. If (the first stringer) goes out, they need to step up, and that's exactly what happened. I was confident I could lead this team, and I was confident we could get the victory.
The first half ended with the Indians leading 19-9 after running back Carson Davison's fifth touchdown on the season, but when the Tribe jogged back on to the field after halftime, Loss wasn't with them. He was already in basketball shorts with his ankle heavily taped, and one thing was clear: this was Krupsky's game to win.
At first, though, it looked like the Seagulls were about to call on their late-game magic once again. Oman lept high to catch a pass from Krupsky, but fumbled the ball as he hit the ground. Seaside recovered the ball, and eight plays later, senior running back Kyver Hamilton fought his way up the middle for the 1-yard touchdown run to pull the visitors to within three points at 19-16.
With Seaside sporting a kicker who had already made a 40 yard field goal, there wasn't much room for error. The Gulls defense buttoned down, dropping Krupsky 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage on first down, and eventually forcing the Indians to punt.
That's where things got a little messy for Seaside. They say the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and in this case 'they' was 6-foot-5, 330 lb senior lineman Shawn Cobb, who collided with a fellow Seagull and went sprawling on the ground. As he tumbled, Scappoose took the snap and sent off the punt, but with 12 Seaside players on the field.
It was exactly the push the Indians needed. Krupsky found Oman along the Scappoose sideline, pushing the ball 40 yards downfield to the Seaside six yard-line. Two plays later, Krupsky darted across the goal line to seal the Tribe's victory.
It may not have come out of the best circumstances, but Scappoose has proven their considerable depth once again. Head coach Sean McNabb said it's a situation they plan for, but hope never happens.
Early in camp and through daily doubles in the first two weeks, our number two (players) get a lot more snaps. When you get in the thick of things with school, you don't get as many, said McNabb. (Krupsky) stepped up big. He showed us he can play.
Though Loss will likely return for next week's season finale on the road at Astoria, Krupsky said he is ready to play if he is needed, and though it might be his first game as the team's starter, nothing could be more familiar.
I've been playing with these gentlemen all my life, said Krupsky. They're my family.
Notes: The Indians have now won every game in which they were the first to score. Matt Shoun makes for an easy defensive player of the game – he was responsible for the 54 yard fumble return and an interception just before halftime. He also caused Seaside's dangerous tight end, Nick Richardson, to fumble after a reception that would have put the ball inside the Indian's five yard-line midway through the third quarter.
Seaside 6-3-7-0 – 16
Scappoose 12-7-6-0 – 25
SCP – 5:07 Matt Shoun 54 fumble return (Ben Gadbois kick missed)
SEA – 1:38 Andrew Owens 38 run (kick blocked)
SCP – 1:23 Justice Oman 85 kick return (run failed)
SEA – 7:34 David Ward 20 field goal
SCP – 4:14 Carson Davison 8 run (Eleanor Jones kick)
SEA – 7:59 Kyver Hamilton 1 run (Ward kick)
SCP – 5:07 Joey Krupsky 3 run (run failed)