By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The last few weeks haven’t been kind to the boys in the Green and Gold of McKay.
While they battled through injuries and battling through the adversity in front of them.
But with their game against North Salem, and a few new faucets to their offense, the monster that is the Scots awoke as they did against Forest Grove for a 35-9 over their Market Street Rival North Salem.
“This is long await since the last one, the kids are excited, we just got to keep on building and keep on getting better,” said McKay Scots Head Coach Josh Riddell. “It’s not a one day thing, it’s not a one week thing, it’s just a overall, ‘hey, we’re going to be here a long time. We got to get this program better’ and I think the kids know that and they responded to that.
“We kind of challenged our kids up front,” Riddell added of the new approach offense. “And we put a couple different formations where we got a fullback in the game, we got a couple extra blockers at Tight End and challenged those kids.”
The challenge for McKay was to run the ball effectively and the challenge for the other team to slow them.
And Riddell said that it helped having number 45 in the backfield.
It’s been a while since Matt Jarding was a vocal point for his team coming back from injury, and sure heck did he make some noise.
Offensively, he scored four of the Scots five touchdowns from the ground as Noah Tavera passed for another.
For the senior, as awesome as it was to be back and playing, he knows his performance would’ve been as great without the big boys up front.
“Coming back from three weeks of not being able to play running back I feel really good about it and obviously my performance wouldn’t be as nearly as well if I didn’t have my stellar O-line upfront blocking for me,” said Jarding.
Riddell said that Jarding’s performance was tremendous as he returned to one of the two positions the senior is known for.
“He’s a stud, I mean we’ve had guys stepped in and have done a great job in his absence,” said Riddell. “But with that being said, Jarding is a really special player and it’s great to have him back in the backfield. It helps this team out a tremendous amount. We fed him the ball a lot and responded by scoring four touchdowns so it’s a good sign.”
The other position, linebacker, Jarding led the charge slowing down the Wing-T motion offense of North Salem; Jarding got a sack in the second half but it was what the defense did that help give McKay a firm grasp on the momentum of the game:
Though they committed a few themselves, their defense answered themselves with five total turnovers including four interceptions to one fumble recovery.
“Our defense was tremendous,” smiled Jarding. “Our defense was solid. We use to run the Wing-T so we know pretty well and we also beat the other team that ran a Wing-T so I don’t know if that’s coincidence but I feel great about our performance on defense as well.”
The momentum is nice, the win was better; but McKay knows that they’ll need that plus another hard week of practice in order to compete versus a very tough Sprague team that averages 43.4 a game on offense and only allow 13 points defensively following their 56-14 win versus West Albany Friday.
But Jarding isn’t counting out his team versus the Olympians next Friday.
“This is exactly what we need. I’m not going to lie Sprague is a tough team but this shows that if we’re on the same page, we’re all doing our job and we’re all healthy, we’re just as tough of a team,” said Jarding.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald