Clackamas defense holds key to win over West Salem, 24-14
Clackamas quarterback Austin Atkeson completed 13 of 21 passes for 151 yards with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Tolonen, helping lead the Cavaliers to a 24-14 home win over West Salem in Friday's second round of the OSAA Class 6A football playoffs.
Jailen Hammer and Anthony Talavera each had one touchdown run and Jeffrey Nelson added a 47-yard field as the defending state champion Cavaliers (11-0) advanced to Friday's quarterfinals against Liberty (9-2), a 51-44 winner over Sunset.
After a scoreless first quarter, Hammer scored on a 14-yard run and then Talavera scored on a 1-yard run to give Clackamas a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
West Salem kept things interesting when senior quarterback Simon Thompson connected with senior wide receiver Micah Pugh on a 79-yard touchdown pass that cut the Cavaliers' lead to 14-7.
Nelson's field goal just before the half extended the lead to 17-7 at the break.
A West Salem turnover to open the third quarter set up another Clackamas scoring drive that ended with Atkeson connecting with Tolonen to give the Cavaliers a 24-7 lead.
West Salem answered with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Anthony Gould with 11:09 to play in the fourth quarter, but that was as close as the Titans (6-5) would get.
Clackamas finished with 392 yards total offense with four turnovers -- three fumbles and one interception. West Salem had 223 yards offense with one fumble and one interception.
Hammer led the Cavs' ground game with 10 carries for 59 yards, while Noah Hobbs added 27 yards on six carries, and Atkeson had 21 yards on 10 carries.
Tolonen was Clackamas' leading receiver with seven catches for 90 yards, and Richard Kennewell added three receptions for 78 yards.
The Cavaliers, who extended their winning streak to 25 games over two seasons, advanced to the quarterfinals for the fourth season in a row and the fifth time in six seasons.
Liberty is in the quarterfinals for the first time in three seasons since the Falcons of Hillsboro made the jump from Class 5A.
-- From staff reports