In a 5A football quarterfinal battle to the end, Scappoose falls 21-14 at Pendleton

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: JOHN BREWINGTON - Senior Quincy Cleveland scored one of two touchdowns for Scappoose in its Nov. 9 state quarterfinal game at Pendleton, but the Indians struggled on the ground much of the way and fell to the Buckaroos.Both teams landed punches at Pendleton last week, but in the end, the Buckaroos won on points.

The Bucks emerged victorious, 21-14, in their Class 5A quarterfinal clash with Scappoose on Friday night, Nov. 9.

That left the Indians with an 8-3 final record in their first year up from the 4A ranks.

"It was a battle from start to finish," Scappoose coach Sean McNabb says. "We stood there toe to toe with them and slugged it out.

"The kids left it all on the field."

The Buckaroos (10-1) will play in the state semifinals for the first time since 1977, and they'll get to play Thurston, which knocked off nearby rival Churchill, 49-48, in another quarterfinal.

Both that game and the other semifinal, Wilsonville vs. West Albany, will take place Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium. Pendleton-Thurston starts at 5:30 p.m.; Wilsonville-West Albany kicks off at 2:15 p.m.

Scappoose left Friday morning for the Pendleton game, stopped in Arlington for lunch and did some pregame work at Stanfield High, using the weight room for a quick workout and the gym for a walk-through.

The temperature in Pendleton for the game was in the low 30s, "but nothing unbearable," McNabb says.

Round-Up Stadium was loud, and in other ways, too, the conditions and environment made for a great high school football atmosphere. "The (grass) field was fast and in good shape," McNabb says.

It was the second meeting between the teams this season. On Sept. 21, Pendleton visited Scappoose and rallied from a first-half deficit for a 47-27 regular-season win.

The Indians went into the Oregon School Activities Association playoffs ranked sixth in the state. Pendleton was ranked third.

At Round-Up Stadium, also the home of the annual Pendleton Round-Up rodeo, Scappoose fumbled on its second offensive play.

Pendleton capitalized with a 35-yard pass that set up a 10-yard touchdown run on third-and-4 by 6-1, 185-pound senior Aiden Patterson.

The Bucks lost senior quarterback Trent Sorey to a season-ending knee injury in the final minute of the first quarter, but backup Cooper Roberts, a 6-3, 190 junior, proved to be effective as the game went on.

Scappoose, however, evened the score on Quincy Cleveland's 4-yard TD run midway through the second quarter.

The Indians went in front 14-7 when Connor McNabb burst through the middle for a 15-yard scoring run with 4:14 left in the half.

"We were wearing them out a little with our fast pace and no-huddle (offense)," Coach McNabb says.

The Indians found it hard to sustain that forward progress, though.

"We ran the ball pretty well at times, but we weren't consistent with it," Coach McNabb says.

Pendleton tied the score with an eight-play, 59-yard drive and 6-yard TD pass from Roberts to Patterson on the home team's first drive of the third quarter.

The Buckaroos focused heavily on their ground attack, especially after halftime and without Sorey.

With six minutes left in the game, Patterson ran around the left end for 19 yards and a go-ahead TD.

"They ran the ball well. We had a hard time stopping them," Coach McNabb says. "They found a bit of a weakness in our defense."

Down the stretch, Scappoose had fourth-down plays come up short from the Pendleton 40 and 43, and time ran out.

The Indians left Eastern Oregon disappointed, of course, because their season had come to an end short of the grand prize.

Of perhaps some consolation to the Tribe, thought, was knowing not only that they had played a strong first year of 5A football but also that they performed better in the rematch than they had in the regular-season game with Pendleton.

"We battled them to the very end," Coach McNabb says. "Our level of competitiveness was better, and we were more prepared both offensively and defensively this time."

In the quarterfinal, Pendleton led in total yards, 356-212, piling up 237 on the ground.

Scappoose, normally a very potent rushing team with three solid running backs as well as junior quarterback Jakobi Kessi, was held to 92 yards rushing.

The Indians passed for 129 yards (50 on five receptions by Connor McNabb). Kessi hit 11 of his 26 pass attempts.

"Jakobi played well, but we had some shots that just missed," Coach McNabb says. "But it shouldn't have come down to just that. We didn't run as well as we should have."

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