Running game dominates, and defense makes key second-half stops in 49-21 road victory

PHOTO COURTESY: JOHN BREWINGTON - Scappoose High running back Quincy Cleveland gets into the Wilson secondary during the Indians'  49-21 road victory on Oct. 11 in Portland.It wasn't the cleanest or the most complete game of the year for Scappoose.

Still, the Indians were in control all the way as they beat Wilson 49-21 Thursday on the Trojans' field in Southwest Portland.

"It wasn't the best game," Scappoose running back Quincy Cleveland said. "We shouldn't have given up 21 points to them. We should have put more points on the board.

"But it was exactly what we wanted — we wanted to get a blowout."

Wilson showed some big-play capacity, but Scappoose showed more of it.

"We're far from perfect. We've still got a long ways to go," Scappoose coach Sean McNabb said. "But the whole thing is about getting a little bit better all the time."

The Indians' ground game is good pretty much all the time, and it was again on Thursday.

Scappoose got three touchdowns each from two running backs, Connor McNabb and Cleveland, and another one from running back Matt Roth.

Cleveland capped the Scappoose scoring when he busted a dive play 85 yards in the fourth quarter.

He finished with 179 yards rushing on 13 carries, while McNabb had 113 yards on 19 attempts. Roth went for 46 yards on three runs, and quarterback Jakobi Kessi gained 49 yards on nine carries.

Scappoose's total was 418 yards on the ground on 55 plays, a 7.6-yard average.

"We have four guys, counting Jakobi, who can wear you down, especially with our offensive line," Coach McNabb said.

Kessi and freshman backup quarterback Luke McNabb combined to complete 12 of 25 passes for 94 yards.

That gave Scappoose 512 yards of total offense to 157 for Wilson, which had 41 running plays for 93 yards and was 6 of 16 passing for 64 yards on a windy but clear night.

Wilson had chances to score more often, but the Portland Interscholastic League school came up empty three times in the red zone in the second half. Scappoose stopped the Trojans on downs at the 18-yard line, then on fourth-and-goal from the 2, and then on downs at the 13.

"I thought our defense did really well," Coach McNabb said. "Our young kids went in there late in the game and made stops, too."

The overall play by Scappoose on both sides of the ball overcame some issues with penalties and other occasional minor lapses, which included some loose kickoff coverage.

"The message we want to send to our guys is, we can't have so many flags, we've got to be smart," McNabb said. "I still want us to play aggressive, but some of the calls, the holding penalties and so forth, we can't have in a couple of weeks, especially when the playoffs are rolling around."

Scappoose improved to 5-2 overall in its first season since moving up from Class 4A to 5A. The Indians are 4-2 in the new 5A Special District 1 for football and are in great position to finish second in the West Division, with one regular-season league game to go (Oct. 19 at Cleveland).

Wilson fell to 2-5 for the season and 2-3 in the West.

Also, for the second time this season, Scappoose bounced back from a loss. The Indians' only setbacks have been against 5A Special District 1 East leader Pendleton and last week versus Wilsonville (5-0 in the West). Pendleton and Scappoose are ranked 1-2 in the state by the Oregon School Activities Association. Wilsonville topped Scappoose 41-20.

"We came out on fire tonight. We were really motivated," Roth said. "All week in practice we were going hard, even though the week was shorter."

Scappoose began the game with a six-play, 50-yard touchdown drive. Connor McNabb cracked across the goal line from the 1.

After a Wilson three-and-out, Scappoose went 54 yards in seven plays. Kessi flipped a swing pass to McNabb that worked for the final two yards and a 14-0 lead.

The Trojans muffed the kickoff, and Thomas Greiner recovered for Scappoose at the Trojans' 34.

But Kessi was hit trying to throw from the pocket, and Wilson linebacker Andy Martinez intercepted the pass over the middle, then raced 66 yards for a touchdown.

Early in the second quarter, Scappoose got the ball at the Wilson 32 after an errant punt snap by the Trojans.

Cleveland capped an eight-play drive with a 6-yard touchdown run, and the Indians led, 21-7.

A 12-yard punt by Wilson gave Scappoose the ball at its 47, and three plays later, Roth got into the end zone on a 35-yard run.

"The O-line did really well. Wide receivers made good blocks. Those guys are real good," Roth said. "They gave me the opportunity to bust it out."

Wilson closed to within 28-14 by scoring the first points of the second half. After Scappoose suffered its own botched punt snap, Martinez ran 24 yards for a touchdown on the next play.

The Indians came right back, though, going 57 yards in six plays, with Cleveland breaking loose for a 27-yard TD run and upping the lead to 35-14.

Scappoose made it a 42-14 game early in the fourth quarter by marching 93 yards in 11 plays. McNabb covered the final 16 yards for that touchdown.

Wilson quarterback Hunter Davis hooked up with wide receiver Riley Clark from 21 yards for a touchdown.

Moments later, Cleveland took off on his 85-yard TD dash, scoring with 6:53 left.

"I kept thinking they (the Wilson defenders) were going to catch me, but it felt good," Cleveland said of going all the way from the Indians' 15-yard line.

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