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Cowboys corral Pirates, still miss playoffs


Crook County knocks off Marshfield 40-32 to finish season with a 5-4 record

The Crook County?Cowboys did what they could to keep their playoff hopes alive on Friday, but it wasn’t enough.by: DOUG SMITH FOR THE CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Mike Irwin throws a pass to Colbran Meeker (22) during the Cowboys 40-32 win over the Marshfield Pirates Friday night. Irwin completed eight of 14 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown in the win.

Playing at home on homecoming and senior night, the Cowboys overcame three turnovers to knock off the visiting Marshfield Pirates 40-32.

However, despite the win and moving up to 23rd in the final OSAA?power rankings of the year, the Cowboys failed to earn a play-in contest.

“We were really disappointed and frustrated to see Estacada — a 31st-ranked team — but because they are third in their league, they skip us and trump us,” said Crook County Head Coach Ryan Cochran. “That’s difficult to swallow for our kids. You know, I think they deserved a play-in game at least to get in there and see what they could do.”

The Cowboys jumped on top Friday night when Clark Woodward blasted up the middle for a four-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. The kick was no good, but the Cowboys led 6-0.

Marshfield responded with a first-quarter drive of their own, to take a 7-6 lead. Crook County answered on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Mike Irwin to Colbran Meeker. The two-point conversion failed and the Cowboys led 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Crook County scored again early in the second quarter on a 57-yard run by Irwin. Irwin faked the ball to Woodward on the two-point conversion attempt and then followed him through the line for the conversion to give the Cowboys a 20-7 lead.

However, Marshfield was able to take advantage of Crook County turnovers to answer with a field goal and touchdown of their own to make the score 20-17.

Late in the half, the Cowboys scored again on a five-yard run by Aaron Swindle, and Crook County took a 27-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Neither team scored a touchdown in the third quarter, but the Pirates were able to kick their second field goal of the night to close to within a touchdown going into the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys went on a long drive to start the quarter, finally scoring on an eight-yard run by Swindle. Ryder Shinkle’s kick was good and the Cowboys led 34-20. A Marshfield turnover gave Crook County the ball back, and the Cowboys quickly took advantage, scoring on a 5-yard run by Irwin to extend their lead to 40-20.

With a 20-point lead and just minutes remaining on the clock, the Cowboys began to substitute, and the Pirates took advantage. Marshfield quickly scored to pull to within 40-26 with less than three minutes remaining in the contest. The Pirates then attempted an onside kick. Crook County’s Colbran Meeker scooped up the ball and scampered around the left side for 22 yards. However, Meeker fumbled at the end of the play and the Pirates recovered.

“It’s one of those things,” Cochran said. “He kept trying for extra yards and he fumbled. He was pretty distraught after the game.”

Marshfield took advantage and drove quickly down the field to score again, making the score 40-32. With just under 40 seconds remaining, the Pirates attempted another onside kick, and once again the Cowboys recovered.

“We took one snap in victory formation and that was it,” Cochran said.by: DOUG SMITH FOR THE CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Clark Woodward goes up the middle for a short gain. Woodward rushed for 20 yards and scored a touchdown as the Cowboys racked up 301 rushing yards in the contest.

Marshfield, who finished the year with a 2-6 record, threw the ball effectively all night. The Pirates finished with 449 yards of total offense, including 301 passing yards. Meanwhile, the Cowboys finished with 392 yards of offense, including 301 rushing yards.

“Offensively, we moved the ball pretty well,” Cochran said. “Defensively, we knew that they were a spread team and were going to throw quite a bit on us and they hit the underneath stuff pretty well. Our kids were excited that they won homecoming, but it was interesting to see that they weren’t satisfied with that kind of win.”

Aaron Swindle led the Cowboy attack with 13 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Irwin finished with 106 yards on 18 carries and also had two rushing touchdowns, while Meeker carried the ball 12 times for 72 yards. Meeker also caught three passes for 39 yards, while Shinkle had two catches for 32 yards and Swindle had three for 20 yards.

“Swindle had a great game,” Cochran said. “He played tough.”

Defensively, the Cowboys were led by Meeker and Gunnar Robirts who finished with 12 tackles apiece.

After losing their first three games of the year, the Cowboys rebounded to win five of their next six and finish with a 5-4 record. Although he was disappointed with not reaching post-season play, Cochran was still pleased with the progress he saw during the course of the season.

“The kids played hard,” he said. “After losing our first three games, they could have given up, but they didn’t do that. We were proud of our seniors. They played very well and provided some great leadership. It was good to see that we took care of business for our seniors on their last game.”

Crook County 40, Marshfield 32

at Crook County

Friday, October 25

Marshfield 7 10 3 12 — 32

Crook County 12 15 0 13 — 40

CC — Clark Woodward 4-yard run (kick failed)

M — touchdown (kick good)

CC — Irwin 8-yard pass to Colbran Meeker (run failed)

CC — Irwin 57-yard run (Irwin run)

M — fieldgoal

M — touchdown (kick good)

CC — Swindle 5-yard run (Ryder Shinkle kick)

M — fieldgoal

CC — Swindle 8-yard run (Shinkle kick)

CC — Irwin 5-yard run (run failed)

M — touchdown (extra point failed)

M — touchdown (extra point failed)