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Sophomore quarterback Mikey Gibson leads Cougars to two touchdowns in fourth quarter

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby sophomore Mikey Gibson rushed and threw for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Cougars' 40-14 loss to Newberg Friday.

About midway through the third quarter, Canby quarterback Andrew Peters completed two passes to get the Cougars inside Newberg's 2-yard line.

But what followed was a false start penalty, two bad snaps, a quarterback sack and an incomplete pass on fourth-and-long back on the Newberg 28.

It was that kind of night for Canby, who lost 40-14 in the Class 6A nonleague matchup to fall to 0-4 this season.

"It was a step forward, two steps back," Cougars coach Jimmy Joyce said. "That's what makes this game frustrating."

Turning the ball over, Canby dug itself an early, but familiar, hole, and trailed 19-0 at halftime.

"We stressed it all week that this is a (Newberg) team that stresses turnovers, and the first two series of the game we turned the ball over and you're not going to be successful," Joyce said. We made mistakes that young teams are going to make, and when you have a good team that can control the clock, it's really hard to come back from that."

The Cougars also struggled to protect Peters.

"They brought a lot of pressure that we were not ready for," Joyce said of Newberg's defense. "On their film, they're not a big pressure team we thought. They got to us and when you force turnovers you're chances of winning go way up.

"When you're first learning the spread it's really rhythm based and when your rhythm is disrupted, it's going to be hard, and tonight they did a really good job of throwing us off our rhythm and we just couldn't regain it until the very end."

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby junior Tyler Mead returns a kickoff in the second half Friday against Newberg.

With 8:23 remaining in the third quarter, Newberg extended its lead to 27-0.

Canby them fumbled the following kickoff and a personal foul penalty gave Newberg the ball at the Cougars' 10-yard line.

However, a Tyler Mead interception in the end zone kept the Tigers from adding to their lead, at least temporarily.

After a Canby punt, Newberg sophomore Price Pothier broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Pothier then outran the Cougars defense again to give Newberg a 40-0 lead.

"All the credit goes to my offensive line," Pothier said. "They were the ones making those massive holes for me to run through. I'm just so excited to be a part of this program."

Entering the game at quarterback, Canby sophomore Mikey Gibson gave the Cougars offense a spark in the fourth quarter. Using his legs, Gibson drove Canby down the field and then reached the end zone on a 1-yard run for the first varsity touchdown of his career.

"I just wanted to do something positive and keep the energy flowing and bring up some spirits," Gibson said.

With 2:39 remaining in the game, Canby senior Ronan Gay took a screen pass from Gibson and tiptoed down the sideline, somehow staying in-bounds for a 57-yard score.

While Peters has started all four of Canby's games at quarterback, there has remained a competition at the position.

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby senior Andrew Peters is sacked by Newberg linebacker Jared LaPointe in the third quarter.

"We're in a constant state of evaluation when it comes to quarterbacks," Joyce said. "We're learning a new offense and these kids are learning a whole new system. We have to evaluate on a daily basis."

But Gibson continues to impress coaches with his athleticism.

"Mikey is a very talented kid," Joyce said. "There's a lot of things about him that we like. He's learning to play quarterback though. He's only been a quarterback for one year. He's still learning the game. We need to get him as many meaningful snaps as possible and we felt like this was an opportunity to get him meaningful snaps and see what he's capable of.

"Mikey's going to be a great quarterback. There's no doubt in my mind. In the next two years, people are going to hear about him in the state of Oregon because he is that good of an athlete."

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby senior Ronan Gay took a screen pass 57 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Friday.

The schedule does not get any easier for Canby. The Cougars next three opponents are Tualatin, Lakeridge and Lake Oswego.

"It's really about us. It's not really about our opponents," Joyce said. "We're trying to get better each week. The score tonight is not indicative. There's something to build on. Where we started this journey to where we're going to finish this is going to be night and day. It's just a matter of taking the time."

Derek Wiley
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