Cottage Grove football shuts down Scappoose, 35-20
Cottage Grove junior defensive back Erick Giffen had just enough tricks up his sleeve to help his new No. 4 Lions beat the Indians for a second year in a row on Friday, Sept. 15, in Scappoose.
Giffen's back-to-back interceptions at his own 35- and 15-yard lines were just enough to keep the Tribe from a thrilling comeback in a 35-20 win.
"It's about how we respond," said Indians coach Sean McNabb in the postgame as his 2015 state runners-up (2-1 overall) agreed that they would see last year's runner-up Lions (3-0) again in the playoffs. "We don't want to be in this situation, and we control our attitudes."
Scappoose's No. 1 goal is Cowapa League play, which it opens against Seaside (2-1) at home at 7 p.m. Friday.
Cottage Grove senior running back Chad Bottorff's 4th-and-1 touchdown at the goal line gave his side a 7-0 lead just under six minutes into the first quarter, and junior quarterbacker Dylan Graves found senior wide receiver Hayden Glenn for a 53-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead in a four-play, 1-minute, 25-second drive on their next possession.
Matt Roth intercepted Graves at the Tribe's 35-yard line two plays into the second quarter, and Jerad Toman ran 18 yards for a score 2:22 later later to help the Indians trail 14-7.
Graves and Glenn connected again, this time for a 34-yard score and a 21-7 advance in four plays and 1:49, but Tevin Jeannis took a Toman pass 44 yards for a score and a 21-14 deficit in a six-play, 1:51 Indians response just before halftime.
Bottorff burst up the middle for a four-yard touchdown and a 28-14 lead in a five-play drive 1:52 into the third.
"[Bottorff, 5-foot-10, 185 pounds] was a lot to handle," Scappoose junior defensive lineman Terrence Lewis (6-1, 245) said.
Cottage Grove junior linebacker David Cox jumped on Giffen's sudden onside kick at the Lions' 44, and Graves shimmied away from Ross Parsons to let fly a high spiral that found Giffen running around the left of the Tribe's end zone for a score and a 35-14 lead in a five-play, 1:54 drive.
Cottage Grove keyed in on the Scappoose run with a lead at its back, but Toman slipped away, 48 yards down the left seam to the end zone -- though Giffen dove in from the right and blocked Benji Davidson's point-after -- in a three-play, 49-second drive to trail 35-20.
Traveling fans on the far sideline, carrying Class 4A championship hopes, raked the officials over the coals for not calling what they felt was a hold on Toman's run: They claimed an Indians blocker tackled a defender to set Toman free, though not a minute later the Lions assigned to keeping an eye on Toman received an earful from his coach for his lapse in coverage.
Giffen picked Toman over the middle at the Cottage Grove 35 on the Indians' next possession and, just plays later, ran a fake punt reverse left for a first down that was called back.
Not the least dismayed, Giffen leapt and picked Toman's pass to Jeannis in double coverage down the left at the Lions' 15 on the next drive, and Cottage Grove led 35-20 into the fourth.
Toman overthrew Connor McNabb's 4th-and-7 route to the right pylon at the Lions 20 with 6:45 left, and Cottage Grove senior wide receiver Jacob Woods recovered the Indians' mishandled punt return at the 50 with 4:15.
"I think that it was a great battle and a tough loss," Lewis said. "I think both offenses are very aggressive on the field, so that's what makes the game interesting. I think our team is very capable, and without those turnovers I'd say the game could've gone any way at that point."
When the last seconds ticked away, the victorious Lions parents reminded each other to email their perceived officiating atrocities to the Oregon School Activities Association, and one such man felt so cheated as to shout at the referees that their rulings were the worst he'd ever seen as they walked into Scappoose High School past the visitors' stands.
Toman completed 6 of 14 passes for 57 yards and dashed for 82 yards on 10 attempts.
Gavin Larson led the defense with 11 tackles, and Jimmy Jones sacked Graves once.
Graves went 10-for-20 for 174 yards, Glenn went 136 yards on five catches, and Bottorff ran 107 yards on 23 carries.
Cottage Grove achieved 23 first downs to the Tribe's nine, and kept the Indians' defense on the field as it out-possessed the Tribe 32:17 to 15:43.
COTTAGE GROVE 35, SCAPPOOSE 20
Friday, Sept. 15 at Scappoose High School
CG 14 7 14 0 -- 35
S 0 14 6 0 -- 20
CG Chad Bottorff one-yard run (Erick Giffen PAT)
CG Hayden Glenn 53-yard pass from Dylan Graves (Giffen PAT)
S Jerad Toman 18-yard run (Benji Davidson PAT)
CG Glenn 34-yard pass from Graves (Giffen PAT)
S Tevin Jeannis 44-yard pass from Toman (Davidson PAT)
CG Bottorff 4-yard run (Giffen PAT)
CG Giffen 28-yard pass from Graves (Giffen PAT)
S Toman 48-yard run (Davidson PAT blocked)