Hillsboro mistakes help Scappoose roll, 47-18
Too much Scappoose and far too many mistakes doomed Hillsboro early in a 47-18 defeat against the Indians Friday, March 19 at St. Helens High School.
Playing at neighboring St. Helens High due to subpar field conditions at Scappoose, the home Indians wasted little time putting the Spartans in their place, scoring three times in the opening quarter en route to what would be a relatively easy win.
Indians head coach Sean McNabb was pleased with his group's effort, but like most coaches found his team's imperfections after the fact.
"It's always nice to win, but I think we made a lot of mistakes," McNabb said, "We turned the ball over more than we needed to, allowed them to move the ball a little bit, didn't create some three-and-outs when we needed to, but I think in all I'm really proud of the way the guys played and happy for the seniors."
Two of those seniors were running back Deacon Smith and receiver Logan Johnson. Smith carried the ball 15 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns, while Johnson caught three balls for 151 yards and two scores, including an 81 yard catch-and-run to put Scappoose ahead 6-0 on the game's third play from scrimmage.
McNabb said the game plan was to attack the Spartans through the air in an effort to open-up the inside run play. The plan worked, as junior quarterback Lukas McNabb was nearly perfect in the first half, throwing for 172 yards in the first quarter and 312 yards in the first half. In all, the 6-foot-3 signal-caller completed 17 of his 20 pass attempts for 361 yards and four touchdowns.
"We typically try to take advantage of what we see and thought we could throw the ball because of how they align their corners," Coach McNabb said. "We felt like if we could get their linebackers moving around we could open our inside zone play, which is really our bread and butter."
Hillsboro couldn't seem to get out of their own way early in the game, seemingly making mistakes at the most inopportune times. Scappoose's first score — Johnson's 81-yard catch-and-run — came on third-and-long, their second came following a 25-yard third down pass play set up a 3-yard Smith touchdown, and their third was a play after the Indians fumbled in the backfield and multiple Spartans had the loose ball slip through their hands.
"This is a super young team, so there are going to be mistakes," Hillsboro head coach Dan Shuff said. "Defensively, we just weren't communicating. We had like 10 guys doing one thing while one guy was doing another, and they were finding that one guy. That's what they do well and hats off to them."
Adding insult to injury, even when the Sparts made a play in the first half, it was negated by an ensuing mistake or a penalty.
Trailing 13-0 in the first quarter, junior running back and defensive end Adonai Nava-Perez dazzled the limited spectators in attendance with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. However, the play was called back for holding and any momentum Hillsboro may have had was quickly extinguished.
Shortly thereafter the Indians made it 20-0 on a 37-yard McNabb to Colin Stoddard touchdown pass to end the first quarter. They added a 5-yard D'Angelo Macedo-Becker touchdown run to start the second quarter, and added a 13-yard touchdown pass to Dominic Lite.
Hillsboro's lone first half score came on a Slade Shufelt 21-yard scamper with 2:18 remaining in the half, but Scappoose responded with a 74-yard drive capped by a 1-yard Smith run with :07 left to give the Indians a 40-6 halftime lead.
The second half played out differently, with Scappoose making the mistakes and Hillsboro putting some things together.
The Spartans went 75 yards in four plays to start the half, capped by a 42-yard Nava-Perez touchdown run 1:46 into the quarter. The Indians fumbled on the ensuing possession, but Hillsboro failed to capitalize, throwing an interception deep inside Scappoose territory.
The Indians fumbled again on their next possession before putting their last score on the board early in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard pass from McNabb to Lite. Coach McNabb wasn't particularly pleased with his team's effort in the second-half, but ultimately found solace in the win.
"We came out flat and weren't playing very disciplined," he said. "We had some good performances. I thought Rich Krieger played really well, Cutter Sandstrom brings it every single game, and sophomore Trey Dierenger played a lot of minutes and is going to be a really good player for us, but we need to sustain that effort throughout."
Hillsboro never quit. Nava-Perez ran hard, Shufelt did as well, carrying 19 times for 129 yards, and freshman quarterback Calvin Perkins showed a lot of moxie playing in place of injured quarterback Ian Ingram who left in the second quarter with an injury.
Shuff was proud of his kids' work in the second half, but at the same time wished they could've played equally well to begin the game, while understanding at the same time that it's what you often get with a young team.
"It's frustrating because we didn't change anything at halftime," Shuff said. "We just kind of woke up and got a little fire in us, and started playing harder, executing and doing our job."
He added a nod to Perkins — who stands just 5-foot-6 — for stepping-up both at quarterback and in the defensive backfield.
"He's competed from the start, but got in there with that injury," Shuff said. "We told him Tuesday that he was going to start for us on defense, but he did a nice job at quarterback and I was proud of him."
Hillsboro's opponent next week has yet to be determined.
Scappoose is scheduled to play Canby at 7:00 p.m. on March 26, at Canby High School.
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