Football team stuns Valley Catholic in opener
|Valley Catholic Valiants|
BEAVERTON - Estacada's football team made four trips to the end zone in the fourth quarter Friday night to pull off a 40-39 shocker at Valley Catholic in the season opener.
The host Valiants found themselves in charge 39-16 late in the third quarter after Daniel Pruitt scooped up a fumble and took it 55 yards for the score.
Everyone would think it was over, but that was not the case.
"Our kids kept believing they could win," Estacada coach Andy Mott said. "They wanted the ball, they wanted to score again, and we stayed true to the course."
The fourth did not disappoint, as freshman Waylon Reidel scored from 16 yards out with 10:06 left. After defensive hold by the Rangers, senior running back Jose Vasquez crossed the goal line to make it a one-possession game with 3:31 to play.
Estacada recovered the ensuing onside kick, but were stopped on fourth down.
The ball went back to Valley Catholic.
The Rangers defense made yet another stop, giving its offense one last chance from midfield with 1:28 to play.
Estacada QB Isaiah Shaffer found sophomore Jordan Stores with a deep pass that put the end zone within reach.
"I saw the ball in the air, and I knew my guy was right behind me," Stores said. "I went up and got it, that's all I remember because I got rocked at the end. That left a mark."
Shaffer found an opening on the near sideline and blasted through to make it a one-point game with 0:18 on the clock.
Mott kept the offense on the field, and Vasquez rumbled over the goal line for the two-point conversion and the win.
Valley Catholic was left with one Hail Mary desperation heave that fell incomplete to make Estacada's comeback official.
The Rangers are home at 7 p.m. Friday for their home opener against Molalla at Buzz Randall Field.
Valley Catholic took a 25-8 lead into halftime with the Rangers only touchdown coming on a 1-yard plunge by Sam Garrison.
"Our defensive coordinator, Coach [Marc] Shilling told us 'If not you, then who?'", Schaffer said. "If we don't step up to do our job, who will? I think everybody took that to heart and did their roles."
It made a difference, as Estacada forced a punt on Valley's opening drive of the second half. The Rangers then marched the length of the field and scored on Kaden Settle's 1-yard burst, followed by his two-point conversion to pull within 25-16.
Valley had a chance to put the game away in the third quarter when Trey Eberhart returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for an apparent score only to have the play wiped out when an official threw a flag for taunting.
"We got a gift," said coach Andy Mott about the taunting call. "They made a great kickoff return for a touchdown, and [the penalty] gave us a chance to play defense instead of being down another score."
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