North Marion takes Battle for Boones Ferry
Toward the tail end of Friday night's Civil War rivalry game between North Marion and Woodburn, the Huskies held a 21-0 lead, and it appeared the end would be a mirror image of last year's shutout in favor of the Bulldogs.
But with a 1:01 to go and the game firmly wrapped up, North Marion opted to forgo the traditional kneel down to ice the contest. Following Tanner Saucedo's second interception of the game to seemingly end Woodburn's offense for the night, quarterback Sergio Jimenez put a little emphasis on the victory by dropping back and found receiver Brady Hansen for their second touchdown connection of the night to go up 28-0.
Not content to sit back and let the Huskies run up the score, Woodburn answered on the following kickoff, when Tomas Veliz took the ball 70-plus yards up the Bulldog sideline for a touchdown to spoil North Marion's shutout attempt and finish the game at 28-7.
Despite taking the difficult loss to snap a two-game win streak, Woodburn head coach Nick Federico said it's that kind of back-and-forth and one-upmanship that makes the annual Battle for Boones Ferry such a memorable experience each year.
"Oh, it's awesome," Federico said. "You never want to lose, but it's still competitive to the end. Being in these games where everyone is talking about it. It's still fun."
For North Marion, it a season-changing contest. After losing their past two games to fall to 1-2 on the season and heading into the first league game of the season against their crosstown rival six miles down the road, there was extra emphasis on coming out hard against Woodburn.
"Honestly, since we lost to them last year, we've been looking a whole year ahead to play them," said Husky running back David Page, who had a game-high 76 yards on 12 carries. "It was against Woodburn, one of our most important games all year for us. That's going to give us momentum into league, and honestly with the way we played tonight with our defense, I think the Tri-Valley should watch out."
Aided in part by intermittent first-half rains that kept Woodburn from executing their offense, the North Marion defense was nearly flawless. The Huskies allowed just 126 total yards on the night and picked off Bulldog quarterback Jordan Blem four times, while forcing two more turnovers on downs.
"We came together as a team today," said Saucedo, whose 40-yard interception return for touchdown in the first quarter put the Huskies up by two scores and set the defensive tone for the night. "We knew that we had to win tonight. We came prepared, no matter the mistakes we made, we just had to flush it down and do what we do."
Those mistakes were equally present on both sides, as Woodburn and North Marion traded uncharacteristic penalties for encroachment, offsides, delays of game, pass interference and more. But the Huskies were able to overcome their miscues and hold bragging rights for the next calendar year.
Jimenez got the ball rolling on his second pass of the night, a 30-yard stab to Hansen to give North Marion a 6-0 lead after their first possession.
After Saucedo's pick-six, the two teams played to a stalemate for the remainder of the half until Jimenez led a 69-yard drive punctuated by a 10-yard touchdown run with under two minutes left in the second quarter to give North Marion a 21-0 lead heading into halftime.
Jimenez finished the game with 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 11-of-21 passing, adding 57 yards and a score on the ground to lead the team offensively.
The two teams remained knotted for much of the second half. As the weather cleared, Blem found a rhythm and was able to link together a few passes to receivers Veliz and Cole Beyer, but North Marion was always there to end the drive before Woodburn got within scoring range. Freshman Gabe Mata picked off a pass in the third quarter, and the Huskies induced a turnover on downs on a fourth-quarter drive that ended nine yards from the endzone.
"I just think it was wet," Federico said. "I thought (Blem) regrouped himself and did fine."
After the game, Federico re-emphasized the importance of rivalry, which was reborn last year after the Huskies and Bulldogs were placed in the same football conference for the first time in several decades.
"It's good for both communities," he said. "Losing to your rivals, beating your rivals. We all live in this area. It's good for everybody, and I hope the OSAA and everybody notices."
The feeling was mutual, if not a bit more heated, for the players, who chirped back and forth at each other in the week leading up to the game.
"There's social media and everything saying they're going to beat us," Saucedo said. "I got a text myself saying they're going to come at us full speed. I didn't text back or nothing, I just showed them on the field."
North Marion (2-2, 1-0 Special District 2) remains home this week to host the Crook County Cowboys (3-1, 0-1 SD2), who lost their first game of the season, 24-15, to The Dalles on Friday.
Woodburn (2-2, 0-1 SD2) will look to regroup in their own homecoming game coming up when they host the Estacada Rangers (3-1, 0-1 SD2), who likewise suffered their first loss of the season in a 23-20 defeat to Gladstone.
NORTH MARION 13 8 0 7 — 21
WOODBURN 0 0 0 7 — 7
N (8:46) — Jimenez 30-yard pass to Hansen (PAT no good)
N (7:49) — Saucedo 40-yard interception return for touchdown (PAT good).
N (1:50) — Jimenez 10-yard touchdown run (Ledesma run)
N (0:54) — Jimenez 23-yard pass to Hansen (PAT good)
W (0:42) — Veliz 70-yard kickoff return (PAT good)
Jimenez — 11-of-21, 160 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
D. Page — 12 carries, 76 yards
Jimenez — 13 carries, 57 yards, 1 touchdown
H. Wierstra — 10 carries, 40 yards
Hansen — 3 carries, 15 yards
Ledesma — 3 carries, 14 yards
Hansen — 4 catches, 69 yards, 2 touchdowns
Saucedo — 3 catches, 44 yards
D. Page — 1 catch, 23 yards
Torian — 2 catches, 18 yards
H. Wierstra — 1 catch, 6 yards
Saucedo — 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown
Torian — 1 interception
Mata — 1 interception
Routledge — Sack
Blem — 8-of-28, 81 yards, 4 interceptions
Navarrete — 14 carries, 32 yards
Doman — 2 carries, 18 yards
Blem — 2 carries, -5 yards
Veliz — 3 catches, 31 yards
Doman — 1 catch, 29 yards
Navarrete — 2 catches, 12 yards
Beyer — 2 catches, 9 yards
Ortiz — Interception
Pickett — Sack
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.