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Wilsonville quarterback Jayce Knapp threw for 237 yards and four touchdowns

COURTESY PHOTO: GREG ARTMAN - Chad Overholt, No. 5, and Noah Ochs, No. 73, lead Wilsonville on to the field Friday, Sept. 6.

Wilsonville football coach Adam Guenther wanted to see improvement in week two.

He got it, as the Wildcats won 41-7 at Churchill last Friday.

"With a group of kids like we have this year, that's our goal every week is to get a little better than we were last week," Guenther said. "I think the kids listened a little bit better. I think they put in the game plan a little bit better. They put themselves in the right position to make plays and did."

Wilsonville and Churchill, two of the top Class 5A teams last year, entered this season in similar situations after graduating huge senior classes.

"They graduated 28 like we graduated 35," Guenther said. "They're in a very similar boat. They're very young."

The Wildcats scored their first touchdown of the season on their second possession at Churchill.

Under pressure, junior quarterback Jayce Knapp stepped up in the pocket and dumped the ball to running back Lucas Graves, who then went 46 yards to give Wilsonville a 7-0 lead with 5:43 remaining in the first quarter.

"The very first touchdown set the stage for us," Guenther said. "I think there was some relief to get that goat off our back."

Graves finished with 73 yards rushing and 68 receiving on 17 touches.

Churchill running back Deonte Jones, who broke his right wrist in week one, started for the Lancers and scored a 14-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:49 remaining in the second quarter.

However, Jones hurt an ankle later in the first half and never returned.

The Wildcats took the lead on Knapp's 19-yard pass to Chad Overholt with 3:48 remaining in the first half.

Wilsonville then scored on its first possession of the second half when Knapp connected with Hunter Napoli for a 29-yard touchdown pass to extend the Wildcats' lead to 21-7.

Knapp, who was named the starting quarterback last week after battling with sophomore Chase Hix into the season, completed 13 of 19 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns at Churchill.

"He's going to get better every week," Guenther said of Knapp. "He got better last week and he's starting to see the field better. He needs to be a little bit quicker on some of his throws and stay relaxed in the pocket, but he did a good job."

Overholt put Wilsonville up 27-7 on a 2-yard run with 7:42 remaining in the third quarter.

"We had a good third quarter," Guenther said. "We made some adjustments at halftime and the kids listened and were coachable."

The Wildcats added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard pass from Knapp to Payton Dart, and then a 77-yard run by Rocne Beecham.

Wilsonville opens league play and celebrates homecoming this Friday against Cleveland.

The Warriors are 2-0 thanks to the running of Finian Jamesberry, who has more than 450 yards this season.

"They're a lot better than they were last year," Guenther said. "Things are starting to click a little bit. We got better. "We got more disciplined, and we've got stuff we still need to work on and clean up."

Derek Wiley
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