NWOC showdown to be played Friday at Wilsonville

by: DAN BROOD - JOE ON THE GO -- Sherwood quarterback Joseph Balfour and the Bowmen play at rival Wilsonville on Friday. SHERWOOD — It was the final tune-up for the Sherwood High School football team prior to its upcoming Northwest Oregon Conference showdown with Wilsonville.

And, if that final tune-up is any indication, then the Bowmen look to be more than ready for its crucial clash with the rival Wildcats.

Sherwood, in its final game before meeting Wilsonville, sprinted to a 77-0 win over Parkrose in a NWOC game played Friday at Sherwood High School.

“We came to play,” Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence said. “We got a lot of kids in the game and a lot of kids touched the ball.”

Parkrose fell to 0-4 in league play and to 2-4 on the season with the setback.

Sherwood improved to 4-0 in NWOC games and to 6-0 on the season with the victory.

The Bowmen will next play Wilsonville in a NWOC first-place face-off set to start at 7 p.m. at Wilsonville High School.

“It’s going to be a big one,” Lawrence said. “We’ve been getting ready all season for this, and they have, too. We’re real excited about this. It’s two of the top teams in the state playing for the league championship.”

The Wildcats go into Friday’s game tied with Sherwood for first place in the league standings at 4-0. Wilsonville is 5-1 on the season, with the team’s only loss being a 30-20 setback to Class 6A Sprague in the opening game of the season.

Wilsonville has featured a strong running attack, led by seniors Tanner Shipley and Ryan Walsh. For the season, Shipley has rushed for 912 yards on 88 carries with 11 touchdowns. Walsh has added 532 rushing yards and 10 TDs on 33 carries.

“We’re going to need to try and slow down Shipley and Walsh,” Lawrence said. “We’re going to have to try to not give them big plays. On offense, we’re going to do what we do.”

And, what the Bowmen do is run the ball — and they run it very well.

So far on the season, Sherwood has rushed for an average of 468.7 yards a game.

Senior Cristian Morris, one of the top track sprinters in the state, leads the balanced Bowmen rushing attack with 716 yards on 39 carries (an average of 18.4 yards a carry) with seven TDs. He also has four pass receptions for 132 yards and two more touchdowns.

Junior Mickey Schaefer as ran for 384 yards and six touchdowns on 39 carries. Seven other Sherwood players have ran for at least 100 yards on the season.

The Bowmen also have been effective passing the ball. Senior quarterback Joseph Balfour has completed 18 of 29 pass attempts for 292 yards and six touchdowns.

Sherwood should also be extremely well prepared for Friday’s game.

“The last three weeks, we’ve been practicing for Wilsonville,” Lawrence said. “And our practices have been real good. We’ve had great practices every week.”

Last year, Sherwood, in its trek to the NWOC championship, scored a 28-23 win against Wilsonville.

In last Friday’s game with Parkrose, the Bowmen wasted no time in taking charge.

Junior Scott Skurdahl started the scoring parade with a 33-yard touchdown run before the game was two minutes old.

Morris added touchdown runs of 20 and 45 yards in the period. Schaefer scored on a 3-yard run and senior Logan Ballarche had a 60-yard touchdown run to give Sherwood a 35-0 lead going into the second quarter.

Junior Keegan Lawrence had a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and senior Jordan Skoubo had a 35-yard TD scamper in the period to push the Sherwood lead to 49-0 at halftime.

Junior Tanner Shadbolt, senior Jack Matney, senior Nick Cameron and junior Jordan Hodney all and touchdown runs for Sherwood in the second half, as the Bowmen closed out the 77-0 victory.

Sherwood rushed for 487 yards on 27 carries in the win.

Matney had 90 rushing yards on four carries. Hodney had 71 yards on two carries and Morris had 67 yards on three carries. On the defensive side, junior Jake Reimer recovered a pair of Parkrose fumbles and senior Vernon Johnson and Keegan Lawrence each had an interception.

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