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Wilsonville drove inside the Crater 5-yard line twice in the first half, but finished with zero points to show for it.

COURTESY PHOTO: GREG ARTMAN - Wilsonville junior Lucas Graves carries the ball against Crater Friday.

Even in a 40-point loss at home, Wilsonville coach Adam Guenther saw improvement last Friday.

"Believe it or not, we got better from the jamboree to week one and we're going to get better between week one and week two," Guenther said after the Wildcats lost to Crater 40-0 to open the 2019 season. "We just didn't play very disciplined football and that needs to change."

The Comets scored three touchdowns in the first half, two through the air and one on the ground, to take a 21-0 lead.

The Wildcats drove inside the Crater 5-yard line twice in the first half, but finished with no points to show for it.

The Comets then added a passing touchdown and a safety in the third quarter, and a rushing touchdown and a field goal in the fourth.

Wilsonville, which graduated 35 seniors off last year's team that reached the Class 5A finals, lost four fumbles in the loss to Crater.

"Part of our strategy going in was we were going to take the first two games and treat them as tryouts," Guenther said. "We've got to see who wants to play where."

The competition included quarterback, where junior Jayce Knapp got the start and then split time with sophomore Chase Hix.

Knapp completed 12 of 22 passes for 132 yards. Hix was 2-for-6 for 17 yards.

"We're getting closer to solidifying who we want where," Guenther said. "We'll see how it works out next week."

Payton Dart led the Wilsonville receivers, catching six passes for 76 yards. On the ground, Lucas Graves had 86 yards on 13 carries.

"There were a lot of good things that did happen," Guenther said. "It's an opportunity for us to learn and get better."

Friday was the first time Wilsonville's offense had been shut out since 2013.

"We showed our inexperience in trying to push the ball too much and trying to do too much instead of just taking what the defense gives us," Guenther said. "I think people started feeling that they needed to do more than they had to once the game progressed, but I also think as the game progressed we got better.

"They were more physical than we were and we need to match that going forward. I think our route's can be a little crisper. We were a little lazy on some of those. We need to see the field better and just keep playing. Everybody, including myself, has something that they can learn and get better at next week."

Guenther added that one game will not derail the Wildcats season. Wilsonville lost to South Medford 35-7 to open the 2017 season and then went on a 10-game winning streak to reach the state semifinals.

"One game is not going to define the season," Guenther said. "If we can get to league healthy and get back on the right track, let the momentum keep rolling, we'll be good.If we get better every week, good things are bound to start happening."

The Wildcats play at Churchill this Friday in week two. The Lancers lost to Thurston 54-0 in their season opener.

"We have the train heading in the right direction on the track," Guenther said. "We've just got to get everybody on board."

Derek Wiley
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