Sherwood, after falling behind 8-0, beats Lebanon 64-8

by: DAN BROOD - HOME RUN HITTER -- Sherwood senior Cristian Morris had three touchdowns covering more than 50 yards in the Bowmen's playoff win over Lebanon.SHERWOOD — The Sherwood High School football team was extremely fired-up at the start of its postseason opener.

And, the last thing the fired-up Bowmen expected was to be facing an early deficit in its playoff game with Lebanon.

But that’s exactly what happened — and, if it was possible, that got the Sherwood squad even more fired up.

The Bowmen, after spotting Lebanon a quick eight-point advantage, erupted to score a 64-8 win over the Warriors in a Class 5A state playoff first round game played Friday at Sherwood High School.

“I can’t speak for the rest of the team, but I was really ready to play this game,” said Sherwood senior defensive tackle Logan Smith, who had a fumble recovery and a tackle for a loss in the victory. “After they got that touchdown, that really gave us something to fight for. We were all jacked up and we put our hearts in the game.”

With the loss, Lebanon, the No. 4 team out of the Mid-Willamette Conference, finished its season with a final overall record of 5-6.

Northwest Oregon Conference champion Sherwood stayed perfect on the season with the victory, moving to 10-0 on the season. The Bowmen will next play Springfield in a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal game set to start at 7 p.m. at Sherwood High School.

“Now, we’re going to get ready for the next game,” said Bowmen senior fullback/linebacker Jake Reimer, who had a pair of touchdown runs and a pair of tackles for losses in the win over Lebanon. “We’re taking it one at a time.”

Sherwood didn’t seem to be overlooking Lebanon in Friday’s playoff opener, but the Bowmen did find themselves looking at an early DAN BROOD - POWER RUNNING -- Sherwood senior Jordan Skoubo looks to pull away from a Lebanon defender.

Lebanon, in the second offensive play of the contest, got a 73-yard touchdown on a play-action pass from junior quarterback C.J. Hargis to senior receiver Mathew Tracy. Hargis then threw a two-point conversion pass to senior tight end Luke Rappe to give the Warriors an 8-0 lead just 45 seconds into the game.

“It happens,” Reimer said. “It wasn’t a big deal.”

“We weren’t going to let that get in our heads,” Sherwood senior halfback/cornerback Cristian Morris said.

It didn’t take the Bowmen, and Morris, long to respond to Lebanon’s early touchdown. Morris, running up the middle and then cutting to the right sideline, returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.

“Usually, the other team doesn’t kick it deep,” Morris said. “But they did. There was some great blocks and I saw a seem.”

“That was a heck of a run,” Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence said. “It’s nice to have someone with speed like that.”

Sherwood senior quarterback Joseph Balfour connected with senior tight end Jacob Brooks on a two-point conversion pass play to tie the game at 8-8 with 11:03 left in the first quarter.

The Bowmen took over from there, thanks in part to their inside running game. With Lebanon keying on Morris and containing the outside running attack, the Bowmen went up the middle, mainly with Reimer running the ball.

Reimer had touchdown runs of 17 and six yards to help Sherwood open a 22-8 lead with 8:07 left in the second quarter.

“A lot of that goes to the offensive line. I think our O-line is the best in the state,” Reimer said, referring to the group that includes center Nick Rowlands, guards Harrison Shelburne and Joseph Chamberlain and tackles Travis Kotowski and Michael Alley, among others. “And it’s always fun to score.”

“Jake ran hard and he got some big chunks of yardage,” Lawrence said. “And the offensive line did a great job with some adjustments.”

Morris scored on a 57-yard run and junior running back Keegan Lawrence had a 3-yard TD burst and a 7-yard scoring run later in the quarter to help the Bowmen push their lead to 44-8 at halftime.

Morris had his third big-play touchdown of the game early in the third quarter, as he scored on a 54-yard sprint to make the score 50-8 with 11:24 remaining in the period.

Sherwood got an 8-yard touchdown run by junior Tanner Shadbolt later in the period and a 58-yard scoring run by junior Brian Lee on the first play of the fourth quarter to cap off its 64-8 victory.

“That was a good way to start the playoffs,” Morris said. “We were definitely excited for this one.”

“This definitely was a fun game,” Smith said. “The best part was the sportsmanship. They were a good team and good sports.”

“This showed all of our hard work is paying off,” Reimer said. “We proved we’re the real deal.”

Sherwood, as team, rushed for 496 yards on 48 carries in the win. Morris led the rushing attack with 163 yards on nine carries. Reimer added 80 yards on 10 carries and Keegan Lawrence had 70 yards on four carries.

For the Sherwood defense, Shelburne, Smith, senior Cyrus Mooney, junior Andrew Rice and junior Cole Nixon each recovered a Lebanon fumble. Balfour had a quarterback sack while Shelburne, Smith, senior Alex Barzee, and sophomore Saul Urzua each had one tackle for a loss.

“The defense did a great job,” Greg Lawrence said. “We created a lot of turnovers.”

“It’s all about playing as a team,” Smith said. “That’s the thing I’m most proud about.”

For Lebanon, senior Tim Ferrell ran for 78 yards on 11 carries and senior Tamen Privratsky had 59 yards on 14 carries.

Springfield, the No. 2 team out of the Midwestern League, brings an 8-2 overall record into Friday’s quarterfinal game. The Millers will find themselves taking on a Sherwood squad that is enthusiastically looking to continue its postseason trek.

“We’re all fired-up. We want to take it all the way,” Morris said. “Tonight was step one, but we’re taking it week-by-week.”

The winner of Friday’s Springfield-Sherwood contest will face West Albany or Silverton in the semifinals.

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