Sherwood rolls past Crescent Valley for a 68-7 victory

by: DAN BROOD - TURNOVER -- Sherwood senior Tanner Shadbolt (43) heads upfield after intercepting a Crescent Valley pass in the first quarter of Friday's state playoff quarterfinal game.SHERWOOD — For the seniors on the Sherwood High School football team, it was their final chance to play a game on their home turf at Aaron J. Contreras Memorial Stadium.

They wanted their last home game to be a memorable one.

Well, mission accomplished — in very impressive, commanding fashion.

The Bowmen, in their final home game of the season, struck early and often on their way to scoring a 68-7 win over Crescent Valley in a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal game played under rainy conditions Friday at Sherwood High School.

“This was a special night, and a lot of fun,” said Sherwood senior running back/defensive back Keegan Lawrence, who rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns on offense while also intercepting a pass on defense. “I’ve played here since third grade. This meant a lot to us.”

“It’s a great way to go out,” said Sherwood senior fullback/linebacker by: DAN BROOD - LONG GONE -- Sherwood senior fullback Mickey Schaefer is on his way to the end zone in the state playoff quarterfinal victory over Crescent Valley.Jake Reimer, who rushed for a pair of touchdowns. “This was just awesome.”

Crescent Valley, the No. 3 team out of the Mid-Willamette Conference, finished its season with a final record of 7-4. Sherwood, the Northwest Oregon Conference champion and defending Class 5A state champ, improved to 11-0 with the victory. The Bowmen also advance to face Ashland in a Class 5A state playoff semifinal game to be held Saturday, starting a 1 p.m., at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

“We’re excited for that,” Sherwood junior tight end/outside linebacker Zak Taylor said. “We’ll be ready.”

The Bowmen sure seemed to be ready right from the start of Friday’s quarterfinal game, as they wasted little time taking total control of the contest.

On Sherwood’s first offensive play from scrimmage, Lawrence sprinted 68 yards for a touchdown to help give the Bowmen a 7-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game.

“It’s fun blocking for Keegan,” Sherwood senior tackle Travis Kotowski said. “He’s so fast.”by: DAN BROOD - TEAMWORK -- Sherwood senior fullback Jake Reimer (47) celebrates with linemen Cam Theimann (64) and Nick Aspen following one of his touchdown runs in the 68-7 win over Crescent Valley.

The next time Sherwood got the ball, Reimer ran 43 yards to the Crescent Valley 2-yard line, setting up his own 2-yard touchdown blast that gave the Bowmen a 14-0 lead with 6:07 left in the first quarter.

The big plays continued from there.

On the next Crescent Valley offensive possession, Sherwood senior cornerback Tanner Shadbolt intercepted a Tanner Sanders pass and returned the ball 24 yards to the Raider 26-yard line.

On the very next play, Lawrence ran around right end for a 26-yard TD run that pushed the margin to 20-0 with 4:21 still remaining in the first quarter.

Then, following an interception by Lawrence, Reimer ran 17 yards for a touchdown that made the score 27-0 with 1:41 left in the first quarter.

The avalanche of points continued in the second quarter.

Sherwood senior fullback Mickey Schaefer scored on a 45-yard run with 10:27 left in the period.

Junior Mason Rivers, returning to action from injury, sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown that upped the lead to 41-0 with 9:01 remaining in the half.

Schaefer had a 56-yard touchdown scamper and Lawrence scored from 35 yards out to help the Bowmen take the margin all the way to 54-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Sherwood got a 22-yard touchdown run from senior A.J. Smith and a 37-yard touchdown run by sophomore Kobe Higgins. Crescent Valley’s one touchdown came on a 34-yard pass from Sanders to sophomore Joe Casey.

“We were really motivated,” Sherwood senior guard/linebacker Andrew Rice said. “It was our last time to play on this field. And Crescent Valley had the biggest line we’ve faced all year.”

“It went a lot better than I expected,” Kotowski said. “We dominated.”

That certainly seemed to be the case in the opening half of the contest.

In the first half, Sherwood had 404 yards of total offense, including 388 rushing yards on 14 carries.

“We were definitely motivated,” Lawrence said.

“We’ve pumped up for every game,” Reimer said. “But this is the playoffs, and we’re a little more jacked-up. It was really nice to jump ahead like we did.”by: DAN BROOD - SCRAMBLING MAN -- Sherwood senior quarterback Kevin Larkin slips as he heads up field in Friday's state playoff game.

For the game, Sherwood, behind the blocking of senior center Cam Theimann, Rice and senior Nick Aspen at guard and Kotowski and junior Saul Uruza at tackle, among others, rushed for 498 yards on 31 carries.

“We had great blocking up front,” Lawrence said. “Our offensive line is great, and the wide receivers do a great job blocking down field. The backs have it easy.”

Lawrence led the Sherwood rushing attack with his 133 yards, coming on just four carries. Schaefer had 101 rushing yards on two carries. Rivers ran for 81 yards on two carries and Reimer had 68 yards on five carries.

Meanwhile, the Sherwood defense limited Crescent Valley to just 147 yards of total offense, including five rushing yards on 20 carries.

“We really got after it,” said Taylor, who had a quarterback sack. “We knew we had to keep being aggressive.”

by: DAN BROOD - TO THE HOUSE -- Sherwood senior Keegan Lawrence is on his way to scoring his third touchdown in the quarterfinal win over Crescent Valley.Also for the Sherwood defense, senior defensive end Jordan Kurahara and senior defensive tackle Ryan Jurgens each had two tackles for losses. Rivers had a fumble recovery.

“We’re definitely in playoff form — hit hard and hit fast,” Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence said. “On defense, we were lights out again. On offense, we’re just dialed in with all of our team speed.”

For Crescent Valley, Sanders completed seven of 15 pass attempts for 101 yards.

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