Molalla took a few extra players to Scio last Friday, just in case of an emergency.
The Indians, who were already missing senior Bo Edwards with a knee injury, needed everyone of them.
"We had four or five guys get injured during the game, starters, and as we slowly started losing kids, we started struggling," said Molalla head coach Sean McElhaney of the Indians 36-7 loss to open the 2019 season. "The nice thing was we had a couple of younger guys that filled in pretty good. They did a good job."
The Indians played two freshmen on defense — Logan Blackman at cornerback and Matt Mueller at safety.
After falling behind 14-0, Isaac Thomas-Klementis got Molalla on the scoreboard on a quarterback sneak into the end zone.
But Scio then broke a 77-yard run to extend its lead to 22-7 at halftime.
"They're a tough team to defend because they're so tight and our kids were over anxious so we were running past the guys instead of waiting for them," McElhaney said. "You're defending them so close that if you miss, then they are going to get a big gain and that's really what happened. They didn't have many long drives. We would stop them for two plays and then they'd get a big run. And then we started losing people and had people in positions they don't normally play."
Molalla's offense finished with 142 yards rushing and 122 yards passing.
Thomas-Klementis completed 7 of 15 passes for 51 yards. He also had seven carries for 44 yards.
Damian Pingo rushed for 82 yards on 14 carries and also completed a 21-yard pass.
"The offense was not perfect, but I can see where we're headed," McElhaney said. "I recognized all the plays we ran. We didn't always run them as well as we could have."
Molalla plays at Estacada (1-0) this Friday.
"We need healthy bodies," McElhaney said. "That would help us a whole lot."
He is not sure when Edwards, who injured his knee during the jamboree at Gladstone, will return.
"It's going to be painful for him when he does come back," McElhaney said. " We want him back as soon as he can tolerate the pain. We obviously don't want him out there if he's going to get himself hurt more. I'm hoping by first league game (Oct. 4 vs. Tillamook), but could be sooner or later."
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