Sherwood advances with a 42-30 quarterfinal victory

SHERWOOD — It sure wasn’t easy.

And Springfield certainly presented a challenge.

But the Sherwood High School football team has shown all season that it is up for any challenge.

The Bowmen, overcoming an early deficit and a valiant Springfield effort, posted a 42-30 win over the Millers in a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal game played Friday at Sherwood High School.

“That was a close one,” said Sherwood junior fullback/linebacker Jake Reimer, who rushed for 50 yards on seven carries in the victory. “We kept battling the whole game. Our offense kept us it in, and then we stepped up on defense.”

“Their offense was good, and they threw the ball well,” Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence. “But then we got into playoff mode and we kept the ball out of their hands.”

Springfield, the No. 2 team out of the Midwestern League, finished its season with a final overall record of 8-3.

Sherwood, the Northwest Oregon Conference champion, improved to 11-0 on the season with the victory. The Bowmen also advance to play in the semifinal round of the state playoffs, where they’ll face Silverton in a game set to start at noon Saturday at Willamette University in Salem.

“That’s a good feeling,” Reimer said of moving on to the semifinals. “We’re one step closer to our ultimate goal.”

But stepping past Springfield wasn’t an easy task.

The Millers, three plays after forcing Sherwood to turn over the ball on downs on the Springfield 1-yard line, struck with a 99-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Trever Watson to senior Jonathan Emerald. The big-play touchdown gave Springfield a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest.

Sherwood answered back with some big plays of its own — mainly produced by the running of senior speedster Cristian Morris.

Morris had touchdown runs of 51 and 22 yards in the first quarter, helping the Bowmen take a 14-7 lead at the end of the period.

But Springfield came back early in the second quarter. The Millers got a 23-yard touchdown strike from Watson to junior Taylor Travess to tie the score at 14-14.

The Bowmen started to pull away again. Morris had TD runs of 39 and eight yards in the second quarter to give Sherwood a 27-14 advantage.

Springfield, getting a 34-yard field goal by senior Ashton Summers, trimmed the Sherwood lead to 27-17 at halftime.

But, Sherwood, in the second half, turned to its ball-control attack.

“We had some nice, long, sustained drives,” Lawrence said. “We probably ran 40 plays in the second half.”

Sherwood got a 6-yard touchdown run by junior Keegan Lawrence, and a two-point conversion pass from senior quarterback Joseph Balfour to senior tight end Jacob Brooks to up the lead to 35-17 in the third quarter.

Morris then scored his fifth TD of the game in the fourth quarter. Springfield got a pair of touchdowns in the period to make the final score 42-30.

“We adjusted at halftime,” Reimer said. “We just needed to keep executing and we figured out what to do on defense.”

On offense, Sherwood relied on its running attack. The Bowmen, as a team, rushed for 499 yards on 61 carries.

Morris led the rushing attack, running for 260 yards on a season-high 22 carries.

Junior Mickey Schaefer added 126 rushing yards on 14 carries and Keegan Lawrence ran for 60 yards on nine carries. Balfour completed six of nine passes for 68 yards. Lawrence had two receptions for 30 yards.

For the Sherwood defense, Brooks had two of the Bowmen’s eight quarterback sacks. Senior Alex Barzee, junior Jordan Kurahara, senior Nick Rowlands, senior Harrison Shelburne, junior Andrew Rice and Balfour each had one sack. Junior Nic Clarke recovered a Springfield fumble.

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