Estacada rallies for 30-14 win over Astoria
ESTACADA — After being shutout in the first half, the Estacada offense showed why they were the top scoring team in the Tri-Valley Conference in the final two periods.
Nick Keller and Wyatt Riedel led the Rangers with two rushing scores as Estacada (7-2) would score 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat Astoria (4-5) by a score of 30-14 in the state-qualifier game on Wednesday night.
"Our offensive line and our fullbacks kept pushing everything forward," Keller said. "We didn't want to go home. We wanted to make our own path."
With the win, the Rangers advance to the playoffs for the second straight season.
"We knew what we had to do in the second half and we knew the kids were capable of bringing that so kudos to them for putting their foot down and getting after people," Estacada head coach Andy Mott said. "When (Astoria) would answer, we could come right back at them."
A pair of turnovers in the first half would cost the Rangers both of their scoring opportunities in the first 24 minutes. Estacada would fumble inside of the Astoria 35-yard line on their first drive, and while the Fisherman didn't take advantage initially, they were able to score on their first possession of the second period to go up 8-0.
Estacada looked to be on their way to the goal line in the final minute of the second quarter, but an ill-advised throw by Keller inside the red zone was picked off by Astoria's Ebin Hillard.
"We definitely missed out on some opportunities," Mott said.
However, a scary play in the beginning of the third quarter ended up being the thing that revived the Rangers.
Keller took off on an option towards the Rangers sideline and he would take a huge hit out-of-bounds. Keller was clearly shaken up and had to be taken out. But on the following play, Riedel would take the direct snap, break a pair of tackles and dash to the end zone for a 34-yard score. Keller would come in on the very next play and run in the two-point conversion to tie the game up.
"We were on the sideline going 'crap what do we do' when Nick went out. So we sent in Wyatt with our heavy formation and he went to the house," Mott said. "I think that just kind of rejuvenated everyone and got them going."
Look for extended coverage in the Nov. 2 print edition.