Central Catholic football rolls into Class 6A semifinals with win over Sherwood
The only thing that could stop Central Catholic High football's starting offense was halftime Friday night, Nov. 19, at Hillsboro Stadium in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state playoffs.
After Zach Grisham came up with the Rams' fourth interception of the first half against No. 21 Sherwood with only five seconds left, CC didn't find the end zone.
But their five possessions before, plus two kickoff return touchdowns, all ended in touchdowns to give the Rams a 49-21 halftime lead.
On the Rams' first possession of the second half following a Bowmen three-and-out, Central Catholic scored almost instantly, finishing the quick drive off with a 30-yard touchdown run from Ellis Bynum.
The Rams' backups came in after that and were forced to punt once, but found the end zone one last time to give the game it's final score of 63-21.
"Our offense was really clicking tonight," Rams coach Steve Pyne said. "Outside of a couple throws by Cru (Newman) early on, I thought he played efficiently. I think our offensive line blocked extremely well, backs ran well. It was a good night overall for us … that was maybe as complete as a half as we (have) played."
The halftime numbers were eye-popping -- something you'd normally see from a full 48 minutes.
Newman was 14 for 18 passing for 241 yards and two TDs in the first half, which ended up being his final numbers as well.
Running back Ellis Bynum picked up where he left off from last week against Mountainside, picking up 79 yards rushing with two TDs before the 30-yard scamper gave him his final line of 109 yards rushing on 12 carries and three TDs.
And wide receiver Jordan King caught seven passes for 109 yards and one score, as well as an interception on defense in the first half.
And now @jsking08 will end the drive on this 26 yard TD catch. He's got 6 catches for 106 and the TD. PAT is good and its 49-21 Rams with 36 seconds left in the half #opreps pic.twitter.com/0cXxVV3uto— Austin J. White (@ajw_sports) November 20, 2021
Plus, it never hurts to have Timmy Mitchell return the opening kickoff for a touchdown and get another kickoff return from Central Catholic x-factor Stryder Todd-Fields to make it 35-14 early in the second quarter.
"Our team just came out explosive; we wanted explosive plays from the start and that's what we did," Newman said. "We're just taking what they give us, not doing too much, just reading the defenses and having fun with it. The chemistry is there right now so we're just going to keep on going."
The Bowmen certainly kept things interesting though after falling behind 21-0 quickly.
Sherwood quarterback Bjorn Bergstorm hung tough despite throwing two early interceptions and hit Cody Hall for a 68-yard touchdown to make the score 21-7.
The Bergstorm-Hall connection only grew from there as they hooked up for an 18-yard score that made it 28-14 Rams. Later, on a fourth and goal from the Rams' 8-yard line, Bergstorm hit Hall between three Ram defenders to make the game 35-21.
Cody Hall have a night! Makes this spectacular catch on 4th down for the 8 yard TD. He has 10 catches for 185 yards and 3 scores already! Less than 5 to go in the half #opreps pic.twitter.com/kgR1R4hcs1— Austin J. White (@ajw_sports) November 20, 2021
Hall had 11 catches for 193 yards and three TDs at the break, while Bergstorm was 15 for 23 for 230 yards with three TDs and four interceptions. Hall made one more catch in the second half to finish 12 receptions and 201 yards.
While the Bowmen offense kept the Rams honest, in the end they were on the receiving end of too much firepower from Central Catholic.
"I thought we did a good job of making them do what they really didn't want to do and that was throw the ball as much as they did," Pyne said.
The win moves Central Catholic to 13-0 on the season with three blowout playoff wins (49-0 over Oregon City in round one and 48-17 over Mountainside in round two).
However, the semifinals might not be as easy. The next opponent up to take a swing at the Rams is rival No. 9 Jesuit, who upset No. 1 Lake Oswego 56-49 on Friday.
The two normally meet in the regular season for the annual "Holy War" game, but didn't this regular season.
Leave it to the gods to create this one in a semifinal showdown.
"I think it's going to be a hard-fought game, super fun, and I'm so glad we get to play them this year," Newman said of the matchup with Jesuit. "Just so excited and it's going to be a dog fight all the way through."
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