Barlow relies on ground control to beat Reynolds
Mount Hood Conference
Barlow's football team dominating the second-half with a pair of clock-crunching drives to pull off a 28-26 win over Reynolds on Friday.
The first one was an 11-play march in the third quarter that saw a pair of third-down conversions on a short catch by Carter Baggs, and another in the flat by running back Andrew Collins, who refused to go down despite having four Raiders tugging at him.
"We brought the physicality, pinned our ears back and tried to pound them into submission," Collins said.
The referee had to blow the whistle to kill the play inside the 10-yard line.
The Bruins faced another third down, which saw Nick Collins take a handoff over the right side and lunge forward only to come up a half-yard short of the goal line.
Barlow QB Jaren Hunter took the fourth-down snap and traveled a similar path into the end zone to put the Bruins in front for the first time 25-20.
Barlow did it again in the fourth quarter, this time with an 11-play drive that saw Hunter plunge through the middle for convert a pair of short fourth downs. On his second keeper, Hunter was met at the line of scrimmage only to spin out of the tackle and fall forward to move the chains.
"He came up and hit me as hard as he could, but he didn't wrap up, so I was able to spin out of it," Hunter said.
The Bruins tried for the end zone when Hunter whipped a throw toward the sideline for Josh Nomie, who turned upfield but only got a couple steps before getting knocked out of bounds at the 2-yard line.
Enter sophomore kicker Abi Hoffman, who booted through a 20-yard field goal from the right hashmark for what proved to be the winning points.
"She has liquid steel in her veins," Barlow coach Terry Summerfield said. "She drilled it and just jogged off the field."
During a 17-minute stretch of the second half, Reynolds had its offense on the field for three plays.
"They have an explosive offense, so we wanted to try and keep them off the field," Summerfield said. "We found a niche in the running game, and our offensive line did a super job."
Reynolds started its final drive near midfield with 3:09 to play and found itself in trouble after penalties for holding and a false start backed the Raiders up to a first-and-25. But Barlow let them off the hook with a personal-foul penalty.
Reynolds made the most of its second chance when Keedin Branch picked his way through the middle 14 yards to the end zone to trim the margin to two points with 1:19 left.
The Raiders faked a hand-off into the middle and saw a roll-out pass fall incomplete at the pylon on the two-point try.
"We were thinking play-action, and our kids did a great job covering everyone up," Summerfield said.
Reynolds put an onsides kick in play that traveled about 20 yards, twice the required distance, and Barlow's Cyle Calcagno took it off the bounce in space and casually stepped out of bounds.
The Bruins took two snaps in the victory formation before heading for the handshake line at midfield.
Barlow (7-2) hosts Glencoe (5-4) the third-place team out of District 3, in a first-round playoff game at 7 p.m. Friday.
"One of our goals from the start of the year was to earn a playoff game in front of our home crowd," Hunter said. "Hopefully, this puts ourselves in a position to make a run."
Reynolds (5-4) earned a wildcard spot into the playoffs and travels to No. 10-ranked North Medford on Friday night.
The Raiders got off to a fast start against Barlow with running back Miles Wilson back in the lineup after getting hurt in the third game of the season. He took the handoff on Friday's first play from scrimmage and went 71 yards for a touchdown.
Reynolds scored on its next possession, as well, to go up 13-0 midway through the first quarter when QB Dominique Miller kept the ball around the right side for a 5-yard touchdown.
The scoring chance was set up when Miller dropped back on third-and-19 and hit Nick Haynes, who broke wide open across the middle of the field for 38 yards. Next up, Miller got off a late pitch to Reggie Akles, who turned it up the sideline for a 24-yard gain.
Barlow put its first points onto the scoreboard early in the second quarter when Hoffman hit a 36-yard field goal.
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This story is slated for our Tuesday, Nov. 5, print edition.
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