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Scappoose takes down Elmira

The Indians get five TD passes from Taylor Loss in his return, 111 yards from RB Carson Davison


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Scappoose junior David Krupsky reaches out to haul in a pass last Friday night. Krupsky caught three passes for 54 yards against Elmira.Last Friday night was a scary one for many of the top-ranked teams in Class 4A. With two of the top-10 teams going down in flames and another barely squeezing by, it seemed to be an evening of upsets around the state, but not in Scappoose.

The Indians made all the big plays against Elmira. Taylor Loss threw five touchdown passes in his return, the defense made a goal-line stand and senior running back Carson Davison proved to be a work-horse yet again as Scappoose edged the Falcons 39-32 in the first round of the state football playoffs.

For Davison, his 29 carries were by far a season high. Though he didn't make the end zone, his 111 yards were able to open things up for the rest of the offense, much of which was sparked by the rejuvenated arm of Loss.

After almost two weeks of rest, Loss was on fire. He didn't miss much the entire game, hitting his receivers for 319 yards and five scores, tied for his season best. This time the Indians didn't ‘nickel and dime,' they went for the kill. Three of Loss' touchdown passes were for more than 30 yards, and instead of a barrage of short passes with the hope of breaking a long one, Scappoose looked to get a receiver free and hit them in stride.

For Loss, the return to the gridiron couldn't have been any better.

“It feels great. I was excited, I was nervous. I really wanted to get on the field,” said Loss. “I trusted in my brothers when I was gone, and now that I'm back it's awesome.”

The Indians didn't seal the game until a little under three minutes into the fourth quarter. Bo Highburger, the Falcons' 6-foot, 225 pound running back, had just barreled into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the night, tying the game at 32. On the resulting kickoff, Nick Rust ran the ball all the way back to the Falcon 40 yard-line, and on the next play, Loss hit Oman for a 40-yard touchdown reception. The quick response – just 28 seconds in coming – was just enough to edge Scappoose past Elmira.

“It says a lot about your character and how you handle situations when it's tough. I thought our kids stepped up big,” said McNabb. “The camaraderie, the togetherness, it all shows in those situations. I was really happy with the way they got it done.”

Though the Tribe's offense was clicking, it wasn't quite on all cylinders. A trio of fumbles cost the Indians several valuable scoring chances which could have made the final spread much more comfortable. A fumbled kickoff return handed the Falcons the ball near the Indians' 26 yard line, and a muffed pitch on second and goal from the eight ended a successful 50-yard drive.

“Ball security is big. That's definitely something we've got to work on,” said McNabb. “[Loss] and [Davison] didn't mesh very well today. There were some times when [Loss] was trying to pull it and [Davison] was trying to take it, and you saw the result. We have to fix that.”

McNabb also mentioned defending on third down as an area of concern. The Indians allowed Elmira to convert five of 11 attempts on third down, including a pass interference penalty midway through the fourth quarter which kept a Falcon drive alive.

That drive though, stopped abruptly just outside the end zone.

Starting from their own 30 yard line, Elmira inched down the field, eating up 6:07 from the clock and advancing inside the Indian 20. A rushing attempt from Highburger fell short of the first down by little more than a few inches, and Scappoose took over on their own 4 yard line.

The mounting personal fouls, especially illegal blocks in the backfield during long runs and returns, have become a frustration for McNabb. Against some of the lower-ranked teams in the Cowapa League, a mistake here and there might not cost the team a win, but in the playoffs things are different. Taking care of the ball, playing a clean game and simply getting back to a comfortable place are the biggest concerns for the squad at this point, as they have now won their last five in a row by an average of 26.5 points per contest.

The latest streak is even more remarkable considering the two painful losses proceeding it, as well as the injury to Loss.

“I love the fact that we could turn the season around and that everything's going our way. We're going through adversity, and we just pick it up and push through everything,” said Loss, who was 16 of 23 with no interceptions against Elmira. “I have complete confidence in everyone, even when I'm hurt, even when I'm down.”

SUMMARY:

Elmira 6 12 6 8 – 32

Scappoose 6 19 7 7 39

Scoring:

1st Quarter

ELM – 7:28 Bo Highburger 3 run (Chandler Sawyer kick failed)

SCP – 5:56 Justice Oman 29 pass from Taylor Loss (run failed)

2nd Quarter

SCP – 11: 55 Oman 15 pass from Loss (Eleanor Jones kick)

ELM – 8:19 Highburger 26 run (kick failed)

SCP – 5:03 Nick Rust 32 pass from Loss (kick failed)

SCP – 4:46 Devin Ray 37 interception return (kick failed)

ELM – :22 Gary Younce 5 run (run failed)

3rd Quarter

ELM – 3:55 Highburger 9 run (run failed)

SCP – :42 Rust 4 pass from Loss (Jones kick)

4th Quarter

ELM – 9:57 Highburger 2 run (Taj Wilson run)

SCP – 9:35 Oman 40 pass from Loss (Jones kick)

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