The Clackamas football team may not have started quickly in its latest game, but the Cavaliers made darn sure to finish that way.
Grant jumped out to an early lead in the two teams' non-league contest on Thursday, Oct. 7 —after Centennial forfeited their scheduled Mt. Hood Conference game against the Cavaliers — but Clackamas took over from there, pulling away to win 48-14 at Franklin High School.
"I was really happy to see our guys deal with some adversity in the first half and then show up and execute in the second half," said Clackamas coach James Holan. "Our kids are playing super hard for each other and displaying some great leadership."
With the win — the Cavaliers' seventh straight (including two forfeits) — Clackamas improved to 7-0 overall; the Cavs are also 5-0 in Mt. Hood Conference play. Grant, meanwhile, saw its three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-3 overall; the Generals are also 4-0 in Portland Interscholastic League play.
After the Generals' early TD — a 26-yard pass in the first quarter — Clackamas came back to tie the game at 7-7 when junior quarterback Blake Baker hit senior Miles Williams for a 49-yard score.
The Clackamas defense — which got interceptions from both Williams and junior linebacker Sullivan McDaniel — shut out Grant in the second quarter and set the table for Baker's 14-yard scoring strike to senior wide receiver Ben Moffett and a 14-7 lead at the half.
The Cavaliers then racked up a 27-7 scoring edge in the third quarter to completely take over and extend their lead to 41-14 after three periods. Junior running back Luke Ash got things started with a 4-yard touchdown run and senior wide receiver K.J. Johnson-Gibson came through next when he hauled in a 4-yard TD pass from Baker.
Then, after Grant added its other score, Moffett made his second TD grab — this one a 13-yarder from Baker — and Ash capped the quarter with an 18-yard TD burst for that 41-14 advantage.
Johnson-Gibson added the game's final score — a 24-yard touchdown pass from Baker — in the fourth quarter.
For the game, the Clackamas offensive line — led by senior Kage Casey, senior tight end Kaden Ludwick and senior Logan Chastain — was dominant, helping Cav runners pile up 240 yards on the ground and average seven yards per carry. Ash was the main beneficiary there, rushing 19 times for 217 yards and two scores, with a long run of 58 yards.
In the passing game, Baker completed 9 of 18 passes for 161 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Moffett led Clackamas receivers with three catches for 66 yards and two scores, while Williams made two catches for 56 yards and one TD, and Johnson-Gibson caught two balls for 28 yards and two more touchdowns.
Next up, Clackamas — sixth in the latest Class 6A coaches poll and ninth in the OSAA power rankings — plays MHC foe Barlow at Barlow High School at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15.
"(Right now), we're staying very focused on each week going 1-0," Holan added.
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