Culver offense explodes for 34 points in final frame

Behind a huge fourth quarter, the Culver High School football team earned its Tri-River Conference win 48-14 against Santiam on Friday at Culver High School.

The Bulldogs lit up the scoreboard for 34 points in the final frame, but the big play came when head coach Shea Little put in the younger players.

Freshman Jaidon Jones took his only carry of the game 89 yards for a touchdown in the period, which not only highlighted the scoring outburst, but provided the team with a shot of energy.

“We had some little things take away drives early in the game, but in the fourth quarter everything just came together,” Little said. “We’re constantly improving, whether it’s physically, mentally or emotionally, and the kids are working hard.”

Along with Jones’ nearly 90-yard rumble, Culver ran roughshod over the Wolverines with 410 rushing yards, five touchdowns and a night chock full of huge rushes.

Tom McDonald finished the night with 88 yards on three carries, including a 74-yard run for a score, and Juan Diaz rushed for 81 yards, with a long run of 38, and a touchdown.

Levi Vincent scored twice for the Bulldogs, and finished the night with 71 rushing yards on 10 carries.

“We ran the ball well, especially in the fourth quarter,” Little said. “After an interception ended a drive, we just figured we would run the ball.”

Little gave a lot of the credit to a fantastic performance by the offensive line. He said they communicated with each other and were able to work as a unit the best they have all season.

“The offensive line was great all night, and they fired off the ball hard and picked up linebackers on blitzes better than they have all year. They were the players of the game, for sure.”

Culver could have put more points on the board if it wasn’t for minor details getting in the way of drives, Little said. He said that a missed block or assignment resulted in stalled drives, which led to some sporadic offense until the fourth quarter came around.

“There were some penalties and execution issues that stopped us, so we have to clean those up, but the kids played well,” Little said. “We tell the kids to focus on their games and not worry about the scoreboard. If they play hard and play their game, hopefully the scoreboard reflects that.”

The win moves to Bulldogs to 1-2 in TRC play, and while making the playoffs this season is going to next to impossible with Regis, Kennedy and Central Linn at the top of the league, the future of the Culver football program is bright with all the young talent.

“The young guys are working hard, and we’re trying to bring back the family-type atmosphere to the program,” Little said. “The older guys are helping out with that and being great leaders to the younger guys, and we just need to get more numbers and more people in the weight room. If we continue to do that, we should have a successful future.”

Up next for the Bulldogs are the Kennedy Trojans, a TRC game set for 7 p.m. Friday. Kennedy is tied for second with Central Linn with a 2-1 record, and they will be a tall task for the Bulldogs, Little said.

“Kennedy is big up front, and with their full house offense they will be a test for us to see if we can match up physically with them,” he said.

Kennedy beat Central Linn 14-7 last week.

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