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Indians jump out to an early lead and hold on for week 2 victory in class 5A debut

STAFF PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Scappoose's Connor McNabb carries the ball during the Indians' game against Forest Grove, Sept. 7, at Scappoose High School. Scappoose came out and ran right at Forest Grove last Friday.

The Indians kept up the attack, building a 28-0 lead, and went on to win their Class 5A football debut, 44-32, at Scappoose.

"We started fast, and that's what we wanted to do," Scappoose senior running back Connor McNabb said. "We didn't want to be a team that felt their way into the new league and level, we wanted to be the team that busts the door down and really show what Scappoose can do at the next level."

Indians coach Sean McNabb said it would do nicely but wasn't a perfect performance; Forest Grove scored three times late in the game and outscored the home team in the second half, 26-16.

"First game in the 5A and I thought we played really well early on, but we made a lot of mistakes that need addressing," Coach McNabb said. "We gave up a lot of yards through the air, and offensively we didn't click all the time. But all in all, great win, but work to do."

The Indians (2-0) were coming off a 27-0 victory in their season opener. That was a matchup with a longtime 4A rival, Astoria, at Scappoose.

Forest Grove (1-1) had won its opener, downing Putnam, 33-13, at Forest Grove.

The Indians-Vikings game was the first for both teams in the new 5A Special District 1 for football only, established by the Oregon School Activities Association. Forest Grove has dropped from 6A for football.

Scappoose drove 81 yards on the Vikings to start the game. Junior quarterback Jakobi Kessi's 1-yard plunge into the end zone capped the march with 7:51 remaining in the first quarter. The Indians ran the ball 10 times on the 12-play drive, with Kessi accounting for 37 yards on five carries.

After a series of punts, Scappoose posted the game's second score early in the second quarter. Kessi hit junior wide receiver Colton Frates on a 7-yard touchdown pass that put the home team up 13-0. The extra-point attempt went awry.

Forest Grove moved the ball on its next possession, only to have a touchdown pass called back due to an offside penalty. The mishap proved even more damaging to the Vikings when they failed to score, giving the ball back to Scappoose with continued momentum.

The Indians tacked on a third score two minutes later. Connor McNabb ran 80 yards on the series' first play. A two-point conversion upped the advantage to 21-0.

Scappoose scored 1:50 after that. Quincy Cleveland took a sweep around the right side and didn't stop until he reached the end zone 43 yards later, giving the Indians a 28-0 edge.

"We were not ready for the physicality we saw in that first quarter, and they got into us," Forest Grove coach Perry Herbst said. "But I'll say this; my kids showed guts and never quit."

The Vikings went 68 yards in six plays on their next possession, 64 of which came through the air. Then junior running back Seth Peterson scampered into the end zone from the 4.

The Indians added to their lead when Kessi hit Gavin Larson with a 56-yard scoring strike to make the score 35-6.

The Vikings responded with a 67-yard touchdown, but Scappoose came back with a field goal.

"I thought we did good as a team, especially for our first game in the 5A," Coach McNabb said. "It's never good giving up points, but we'll figure it out in practice and do better next week."

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