Clackamas football shuts out Barlow 28-0
The Clackamas football team was not at its best Friday, Oct. 15.
The Cavaliers were admittedly "sloppy," turned the ball over three times and didn't score in the second half.
But it's a measure of just how good the 2021 Clackamas football team is — the Cavaliers are fifth in the latest Class 6A coaches poll and ninth in the OSAA power rankings — that Clackamas still won 28-0 over Barlow at Barlow High School and was never threatened.
"It was sloppy," said Clackamas senior wide receiver Miles Williams, who finished with four catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. "We have great play calling, great plays, great playmakers and great blocking. We have all the assets to make those big plays. We just have to execute, not get complacent and stay on top of it."
"Coach (James Holan) does a great job of getting us prepared every week," said junior defensive back Nathan Crouchley, who picked off a Barlow pass on Friday and helped keep the Bruins without a completion in the game. "We just need to come to practice with the same mindset, try to get better every day and we'll be where we want to be."
With the win — the Cavaliers' sixth straight on the field and eighth straight overall (they've also taken two forfeit victories) — Clackamas improved to 6-0 in Mt. Hood Conference play and 8-0 overall. Barlow, meanwhile, lost for the second straight time and fell to 3-4 in MHC play and 4-4 overall.
After falling behind by four scores at halftime, the Bruins stepped up and competed in the night's final two quarters.
"We just picked up our intensity, and we just kept going. That's all we can do," said Barlow junior running back Hunter MacDonald, who finished with 13 carries for 48 yards in the loss. "We just kept going. We just can't quit. That's our way of ball."
"I think that when we first started off, we played more run," said junior defensive back Jahvari Martino, who recovered a fumble and also intercepted a Clackamas pass. "We tried to stop the run first and they beat us in the backfield, but in the second half, we played pass first and let our linebackers and line guys get the run. I think that's what we did better."
Early on, however, the Cavaliers were flat-out deadly. After the Clackamas "D" forced a three-and-out on the Bruins' first series, they needed just one play and 10 seconds to score, with junior running back Luke Ash taking a handoff over the left side and breaking free for a 42-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead just 1 minute, 51 seconds into the contest.
The Cavs' "D" came through again on the next Barlow series, forcing another punt after three downs and — after a 49-yard punt return by senior K.J. Johnson-Gibson — giving the ball back to the offense at the Barlow 8-yard line.
From there, on third-and-goal from the four, junior quarterback Mateo Maehara went left out of the Wildcat formation and scored to make it 14-0 just 5:40 into the contest.
The Cavaliers weren't done with their first-quarter fireworks either. After forcing a third straight Barlow three-and-out — with senior Logan Chastain making two tackles — Clackamas took over at its own 43 with 3:57 remaining in the opening period.
From there, Ash picked up five yards on two carries, junior quarterback Blake Baker hit Williams on the right side for 23 yards, then Baker went to Williams again over the middle and he turned that catch into a 29-yard TD and a 21-0 edge with 2:46 to go in the first quarter.
"It's tough to stop us when we've got that many good players out there," Williams said. "We can both run the ball and throw the ball over your head, so it's nice."
Barlow finally got its offense untracked on the following series, marching 52 yards in 11 plays and driving deep into Clackamas territory, with senior Jake Fay picking up 25 yards on four carries and MacDonald adding 17 more yards on three runs.
But there, facing third-and-four at the Cavaliers' 28, senior quarterback Luke Dow saw his third- and fourth-down passes fall incomplete.
Then, after a trade of turnovers — Martino recovered an Ash fumble and Crouchley picked off Dow on the next play — Clackamas was back in the end zone just 12 seconds later. Facing a first down from the Clackamas 46, Baker went deep over the middle to Williams, and he turned it into a diving 54-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead with seven minutes left before the half.
The Cavaliers' defense forced another two three-and-outs late in the half, but Clackamas didn't score again, with senior kicker Brandt Maiden — he hit four straight extra points in the game — missing a 21-yard field goal.
The second half looked much like the end of the first, with the Clackamas defense controlling the contest and both teams making mistakes on offense. As to those mistakes, Clackamas sophomore defensive lineman Devin Brooks intercepted a tipped Dow pass at the Cavs' 42, and seven plays later, Martino picked off a Baker pass aimed for Johnson-Gibson at the one-yard line.
The Bruins drove 49 yards on their ensuing series, with MacDonald picking up 13 rushing yards and senior Yamato Uptegrove 16 more on three carries before the drive flamed out at midfield. That was the last serious drive by either team and the Cavs ran out the clock to win.
"It's just a really big team win," Crouchley said. "We just need to keep trying to make plays, and we came out with the 'W' at the end of the day. That's all that matters."
On their side of the ledger, the Bruins promised to keep battling and improving.
"We just can't quit. We've just got to keep pushing," MacDonald said. "We just need to excel in everything. We need to try hard. That's all."
For the game, Ash carried 14 times for 88 yards and one TD, Baker went 9 for 14 passing with two scores and one interception, Johnson-Gibson added two catches for 57 yards and senior Ben Moffett three grabs for 55 yards.
For Barlow, Fay carried 18 times for 60 yards, while Dow went 0 for 6 passing. In total, Clackamas outgained Barlow 342-154.
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