High school football: Barlow defeats Clackamas 21-14 in overtime
The Barlow Bruins saved some of their most potent plays Friday night, Sept. 23, for the time that mattered the most — in the final minute of regulation and overtime.
Senior running back Hunter MacDonald delivered the deciding blow, capping a dramatic eight-play scoring drive in OT with a one-yard touchdown plunge that helped lift the Bruins to a 21-14 Mt. Hood Conference road win over the Clackamas Cavaliers.
Looking to answer MacDonald's go-ahead score with a score that would extend overtime, the Cavaliers took a positive first step when quarterback Blake Baker completed a seven-yard pass to Parker Harrison on first down from the Barlow 25-yard line.
Then the Bruins' defense took charge.
First, linebacker Silas Bjugan sacked Baker for a nine-yard loss that turned a second-and-3 into a third-and-12.
Next, defensive tackle Rylin Weimer pressured Baker into a hurried, off-balance throw that fell incomplete.
Then on fourth down, defensive back Caleb Perry intercepted a pass in the end zone that was intended for Clackamas' Hudson Normand, providing the exclamation point on the Bruins' come-from-behind win.
"Great plays everywhere," Bruins quarterback Jett Fay said. "The key was everybody keeping their heads up, everybody doing their jobs and keeping the excitement up. Even when things got tough, we kept the excitement up and that was it. Momentum was everything."
Barlow trailed 14-7 in the fourth quarter when the Bruins went on an 11-play, 60-yard drive that ended with Fay scoring on a three-yard run and Brighten Jacobsen adding the extra point to tie the game with 3:54 remaining.
Clackamas then mounted a nine-play, 75-yard drive and were facing a fourth-and-goal from the Barlow 2 when the Bruins called timeout with 28 seconds remaining.
The Cavaliers sent kicker Adam Whitman out to attempt a 19-yard field goal, but Bruins' junior defensive back Sentori Martino leaped high enough to block the kick, helping send the game to overtime.
"We felt good about kicking it right there," Cavaliers coach James Holan said. "We were successful on our two PATs and wanted to give our guy a shot, but … it shouldn't have come to that.
"Obviously, no one likes to lose, but Barlow is a good football team and they play a physical brand of football. I told our guys all week that it was going to come down to a couple of plays. There were some things that happened that were out of our control, that were unfortunate, but it's football. That's part of the deal."
Clackamas took a 7-0 lead when Maddox Maehara scored the lone touchdown of the first half on a four-yard run with 11:01 to play in the second quarter. Maehara's run capped a seven-play drive that was set up when Aiden Pressel recovered a muffed punt for the Cavaliers at the Barlow 38.
After a scoreless third quarter, MacDonald scored Barlow's first touchdown on a two-yard run to pull the Bruins even at 7-7 with 11:56 to play in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers turned around and went on a 12-play, 66-yard scoring drive that ended with Baker connecting with Cooper Beltz on an 11-yard touchdown pass that made it 14-7 with 8:03 remaining.
But the Bruins weren't finished.
In overtime, Barlow got the ball first and might not have scored if not for Fay using his legs instead of his arm on a critical fourth-and-11 play from the Clackamas 26.
"It was supposed to be a pass," Fay said. "I saw everybody on defense drop back (into coverage) and I said, 'I'm going to take this.' I'd had good runs all game, so I knew I could get the first down. So I ran and got exactly 11 yards."
Four plays later, MacDonald was in the end zone, following Matt Sixshade, the Bruins' 6-foot, 300-pound left guard, into the end zone.
"It was a trap play," MacDonald said. "Matt Sixshade blew up the dude he was supposed to trap, it was open and I just punched it in."
For the Bruins (2-2, 2-0 Mt. Hood), MacDonald finished with 23 carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Fay added another 59 yards rushing on 14 carries with a TD, and also completed 8 of 15 passes for 101 yards with one interception. Elijah Green was the team's leading receiver with four catches for 41 yards.
"I knew this team was capable of doing some great things," Barlow coach Tracy Jackson said. "Right now, they know. I mean, you can talk to them as a coach until you're blue in the face, but that doesn't mean that they're buying in. But they're buying now.
"This game tonight is so huge for what we want to do and what we want to be. It's a huge step toward being able to say, 'Yes, you did do this. And, yeah, you can do it again and you will do it again.'"
For Clackamas (2-2, 1-1), Baker completed 23 of 35 passes for 207 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Beltz was the Cavaliers' leading receiver with 13 catches for 133 yards and a score. Maehara was the top ground gainer with 48 yards on 20 carries.
"We didn't do ourselves a lot of favors," Holan said. "We just keep making it very hard on ourselves, and it's unfortunate when we all take turns making mistakes.
"We left some stuff out there on both sides of the ball, but you have to credit Barlow. They came to our field and they beat us. Even though we didn't do everything we needed to do, all the credit in the world to those guys. They deserved to win tonight."
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