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SPHS sports round-up: The Bucks pick up another blowoust victory in football on Friday, while the cross country team is led by junior runner Broden Lear

WOODBURN INDEPENDENT PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Senior outside hitter Isabelle Wyss has been leading the St. Paul volleyball team on the court this season with athleticism and vocal leadership. As a result, the Buckaroos are 17-2, 9-0 in the Casco League and are ranked No. 2 in the 1A classification by the OSAA.

After a slight hiccup in its home tournament, the No. 2-ranked St. Paul volleyball team (17-2, 9-0 Casco League) is back to its winning ways and has rattled off four victories in a row.

In the St. Paul tourney on Sept. 21, the Bucks beat Perrydale 2-0 before falling to 2A Portland Christian 2-1. The Royals are 13-3 on the season and are one of the top teams in their classification.

Despite the setback, St. Paul jumped right back into Casco League play and continued dominating the competition. On Sept. 25, the Bucks beat Falls City and C.S. Lewis Academy 3-0 in back-to-back matches.

After that, St. Paul played a pair of games at Livingstone Adventist Academy, where they beat the host school 3-0 before doing the same to Willamette Valley Christian.

Next up for St. Paul is a trip to the desert southwest, where the team will participate in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix.

The Bucks' first game, with an opponent to be determined, is at set for 9 a.m. Friday, with additional games scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

After the Bucks return home, their first contest will be a road game at Jewell on Oct. 8, followed by a home game against Crosshill Christian the next day. They finish off their regular season schedule with a home game against Perrydale on Oct. 15, a road game at Falls City on Oct. 17 and a road game at their counterparts from Newberg, C.S. Lewis Academy, on Oct. 22.

After that, it's time for district and state playoffs for the reigning 1A champions.

While they may not be undefeated this season, a second state championship in a row is still very much a possibility for coach Lesli Hiller's squad.

Football demolishes Mohawk

Once again, the St. Paul football team put up big numbers in a blowout victory, this time a 60-0 win over lowly Mohawk on Friday.

The No. 2 Bucks are 4-0 on the season, 1-0 in league play and are looking ahead to a road game at 0-3 Siletz Valley this Friday.

A 24-0 first quarter against Mohawk was highlighted by a trio of passing touchdowns from senior signal-caller TJ Crawford.

The first was a 17-yard toss to sophomore tight-end Bryce Williams. The second was a 56-yard catch and run by senior running back Mitch Curtis. The third was a 36-yard touchdown catch from senior running back Saul Martinez.

St. Paul completed all of its two-point conversions to take a 24-0 lead into the second quarter.

The biggest play of the day on offense came in the second quarter, when Crawford found another senior running back in Gianni Grasso.

The speedy Grasso caught the ball on a short pass and legged out a 78-yard touchdown, making it 32-0 Bucks after a two-pointer.

At half it was 40-0 St. Paul thanks to a three-yard rushing touchdown by Crawford, who managed five total scores in the first half alone.

A 39-yard touchdown run by Martinez and a 45-yard punt return touchdown from Curtis made it 54-0 St. Paul through three quarters.

The final score of the game was a two-yard run from junior running back Jaden Thompson, bringing the game to its final score of 60-0.

The Siletz Valley game kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday. St. Paul's next home game is a Thursday night contest on Oct. 10, when it will host rival Perrydale.

Cross-country competes at Champs Invite

The St. Paul cross-country team found itself at the Champs Invite race on Sept. 20 in Lebanon, and it had a strong showing among quality competition. The Bucks didn't send any female runners, but the boys made their presence felt in the race and had a few solid finishers.

St. Paul finished fifth among nine teams in attendance, led by the performance of junior Broden Lear, who finished second in 17:10.48.

The Bucks' next-highest finisher was freshman Gage Cook, who placed 33rd in a time of 20:26.44. Junior Hayden Schindler placed 37th in 20:55.60 and freshman Jackson Cook was 40th in 21:08.10.

The next meet on the docket for St. Paul is on Thursday when the team travels to Stayton for the Regis/Stayton High Invitational. After that, the Bucks will participate in the Celtic Invite in Keizer.

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