Indians nab early lead, but mistakes prove costly in early Class 5A Special District 1 showdown

PHOTO COURTESY: JOHN BREWINGTON - Connor McNabb dances into the end zone at Scappoose High for a touchdown that gives the Indians a 14-0 lead against Pendleton on Sept. 21.The Pendleton Buckaroos showed Sept. 21 at Scappoose why they are a force to be reckoned with in Class 5A football this season.

The visiting Bucks rallied from early deficits to stay undefeated, beating the Indians, 47-27, in a showdown of top teams in the Oregon School Activities Association's new 5A Special District 1 for football.

Scappoose led 14-0 in the first quarter and 20-7 in the second quarter before Pendleton began to assert itself.

"We had a chance to take a 21-0 lead," Scappoose coach Sean McNabb said. "Up 14-0 and we stopped them again, but we let them off the hook, missed an assignment, and they wound up continuing their drive and scoring."

The Buckaroos got a 22-yard interception return to cap the first-half scoring and go to intermission on top, 21-20.

Pendleton scored the first two TDs of the third quarter and extended their lead to 34-20.

Scappoose was within 34-27 going into the fourth quarter, but the Buckaroos got two TDs in the final frame to pull away.

"Against a good team, you can't make a lot of mistakes, and that's what happened," McNabb said. "Defensively, we didn't line up how we should have, and offensively we didn't win some one-on-one matchups."

The Buckaroos came into the game ranked fifth in the 5A coaches poll and sixth in the OSAA computer rankings. The Indians were sixth in the coaches poll and third in the computer rankings.

This week, the Bucks are ranked fifth (coaches) and first (OSAA), while the Indians are eighth and seventh.

Pendleton improved to 4-0 overall, 3-0 in the East Division of 5A Special District 1. The only other team unbeaten in league play is La Salle Prep, which is 2-0 in the East after its 35-7 win Friday at Putnam.

"They have a really fast team, they're good up front, and they have a lot of kids back from last year's team," McNabb said of the Buckaroos. "They feel this is their year."

Scappoose slipped to 3-1 for the season and 2-1 in the West Division. The Indians are tied for second in the division with Forest Grove and St. Helens. Wilsonville, which beat visiting Hillsboro 54-0 on Friday, is 2-0 in the West and 4-0 overall. Wilsonville is No. 1 in the coaches poll and fifth in the OSAA computer rankings.

Scappoose will play host to Wilsonville on Oct. 5, but first comes the Columbia County rivalry game against St. Helens. It is 7 p.m. Friday at Scappoose. McNabb was hoping for a solid week of focus from his team in practice.

"We're in good shape. Just got some things to fix," McNabb said.

The first touchdown of the Pendleton game came on a 60-yard run by Scappoose's Matt Roth. Michael Reed kicked the point-after.

"Matt bounced one off tackle," McNabb said.

Then Connor McNabb ran 13 yards for the TD that gave Scappoose a 14-0 lead, with Reed again converting the PAT.

"We put Connor in as a wildcat quarterback, and he made a power read and took it in. We ran the ball really well in the first half," Coach McNabb said. "Pendleton started to load it up (to stop the run) a little more in the second half."

McNabb also scored on a 16-yard pass hookup with quarterback Jacobi Kessi to put the Indians into their 20-7 lead.

The third-quarter Indians TD came on Quincy Cleveland's 1-yard run.

"Tommy McKedy played well in the offensive line, did some really good things, and our running backs — Matt, Connor and Quincy — all had some nice runs," Coach McNabb said.

For Pendleton, Shawn Yeager scored three touchdowns on runs of 1, 6 and 33 yards. He had both TDs in the fourth quarter.

Aiden Patterson broke loose for Pendleton touchdown runs of 44 yards (in the first quarter) and 33 yards (in the third quarter).

The Bucks scored to open the second half on a 26-yard pass from Trent Sorrey to Blake Davis.

Pendleton had two touchdown plays called back on penalties.

Coach McNabb said a big key and turning point to the game came down the stretch.

"Pendleton took a lead, but we got the ball into the red zone and were fourth-and-4 and tried a pass into the end zone, and didn't execute it. A score would have tied the game, but then they marched 96 yards an scored," he said. "We were a little deflated, I think, and we didn't respond the way I would have liked to have seen us respond at that point.

"We didn't execute well enough to win the game, bottom line. But it's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the season. We still have a lot of football left to play."

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