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Football: Scappoose brings unified front to quarterfinal game with Cascade

Thoughts from players after the Indians' 41-6 thumping of Molalla prove Scappoose is of one mind during playoff run


Photo Credit: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Scappoose senior Owen Fortney (center) is congradulated by his teammates after returning a first-quarter interception for a touchdown to give Scappoose a 20-0 lead. Scappoose's defense is one of the best in the state at the 4A level, and has allowed fewer points than any team in their division over the last four games.The Scappoose Indians' reputation generally precedes them onto the gridiron on a typical Friday night, but last weekend against Molalla in the first round of the playoffs, it was painfully obvious.

Scappoose set up a typical run play, one which generally calls for senior quarterback Joey Krupsky to make a read: hand off to the running back, or pull the ball out and dash off on his own. Molalla keyed into the play and was perfectly prepared — except it was a bait and switch. Krupsky faked the handoff and dumped the ball over the middle to Jacob Wendelschafer for an easy 65-yard touchdown with only 11 seconds gone in the first quarter.

Scappoose walloped Molalla behind 592 all-purpose yards to advance past the visiting Indians 41-6 and on to the quarterfinals of the Class 4A playoffs, a berth more or less decided in those rather telling 11 ticks off the game clock.

“That right there, if you can score on the first play, that can really put a team on their heels a little bit,” head coach Sean McNabb said. “You hit 'em in the mouth like that and they have to recover, and our kids kept pressure on them defensively.”

Photo Credit: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - The Scappoose defense swarms around Molalla quarterback 	Austin Alexander during Scappoose's 41-6 victory last Friday night.'Pressure' might be a kind description. Scappoose leapt on Molalla for five interceptions: one each from the Krupsky twins, a pick for Wendelschafer, one for Ben Gadbois and what McNabb called a “huge” pick-six from senior Owen Fortney to give Scappoose a 20-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Solid defense set up a blistering offensive pace from Scappoose as the Indians continued to burn Molalla from distance throughout the second period. David Krupsky caught a pass from Joey Krupsky right on his own 45 yard line with a defender just a few yards away. However, a few yards is all the senior receiver needed. David Krupsky sped past the first man, dodged to the left and around a second and made for the middle of the field. He juked past another at the 30 yard line and, with one of his shoulder pads flapping in the breeze, got a final block before falling into the end zone.

VIDEO: David Krupsky scores from 54 yards out

Then Braden Clark scored from 39 yards out. And then, Krupsky caught another pass for 60 yards and a touchdown with under 90 seconds to play in the first half to give Scappoose a 41-0 lead. Molalla made adjustments in the second half to slow the Scappoose offense, but hardly budged what has become one of the best defenses in the state.

Only No. 3 Mazama, with only allowed 78 points through nine games, has better defensive numbers. Scappoose and Gladstone are tied at 119, but in their only like match up — Molalla — Scappoose comes out on top. They've allowed only 18 points through the last four games, which is the best mark in all of Class 4A.

“I think our defense is playing really well as a team,” Gadbois said. “We're really coming together, we practice hard all day and we have a great show team that gives us a good look every week.”

The mindset for Gadbois and the defense going into the next game, which is a rematch with Cascade on the Cougars' grass field, is simple.

“Just be 1-0 at the end of the week,” he said. “That's our motto, every week.”

And for Joey Krupsky:

“Every team's gotten better. Honestly, I'm going to expect them to step up, but hopefully, what I want is for the outcome to be the same. We want to be 1-0 by the end of that week.”

And for David Krupsky:

“1-0 by the end of the week. Yep. That's all we've got to worry about, is this week.”

Notice a pattern?

Cohesiveness, as much as their performance on defense and video-game stats on offense, is a signature of this team. As Joey Krupsky said before the season began, he was “starting with all my best friends,” a group which has been together since middle school.

“We win, yeah because we have a lot of talent, but we win because we care about each other and we're there for one another,” McNabb said after the game.

“They enjoy being around each other, they love playing the game, they have a ton of fun on Friday night and that gives you the opportunity, I think, to be in that state title [game],” he said. “We've still got a lot of football to play, but again, we've got to be 1-0 by the end of next week and see what happens.”

Nicely put, coach. Now where have we heard that line before?

OSAA Quarterfinals: Scappoose vs. Cascade

With an excellent eight-win season behind them, it's difficult to say whether the week-one debacle was a fluke in the Cougars' schedule or a truly telling performance by the Scappoose Indians.

Either way, it makes a little more sense that Cascade was able to take an early 10-0 lead before Scappoose responded with a 54-30 blowout on Sept. 5 in the 'Poose. The rematch will, once again, be on natural grass: this time, on the sodden field in Turner, Ore. where the Cougars make their home. It's a boost for Cascade, who should want no part of the Indians' speed on turf.

Cascade remains a good passing team behind the efforts of lanky — as in, 6-3, 150 lb lanky — quarterback John Schirmer. He'll drop back and long loooooong passes at his receivers all game long. Schirmer, as well as running backs Kuloly Tudela and Spencer Crawford should play a role, but if the Scappoose defense shows up as they have recently, No. 4 Cascade will have a hard time finding revenge.

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