By Jeremy McDonald
HILLSBORO, Ore.– Early on in the second quarter, the metronome-clapping quarterback Bryce Fornshell and running back Juan Diaz were just picking apart the McKay defense and their defense slowed Ryan Bangs and the Scots offense to a crawl.
The game was getting out-of-control with McKay behind 21-0 and the Scots were trying whatever they can to keep from getting shutout entering halftime.
“You know, it wasn’t disappointing, it was kind of…I was expecting a little more,” described sophomore linebacker Zair Ku Beiza on the feeling of that they could’ve been better out there to start the game. “Then the second quarter rolled around and we performed.”
That’s when a change in quarterback, going from the six-foot-two-inch Bangs to the five-foot-eleven-inch Jovi Davis mid-way through the second quarter had started some sparks in the pile of wood that was their offense.
“It’s a big responsibility I was stepping into knowing we were down three (scores) to zero, but these are the guys that I love and the guys I spend most of my time with,” starts Jovi Davis walking into the game with the score what it was. “If I want to go to battle with anybody, it’ll be these guys.”
Davis hit Jamer Silva in the seam on a big pass play, but the senior fumbled it and turned it over. The defense however, cracked down and got the ball back to Davis with the first-half winding down.
Russell Wilson-like, Colin Kaepernick-esc coming off the bench, Davis used his good quarterback IQ and his raw athleticism to help McKay drive down the field and cap it right before halftime with a fourth-and-goal pass play to Khyler Beach to break the shutout right before halftime and them getting the ball back to start the second-half.
Needing a score to get truly back into the game, Davis and his offense did just that as the senior QB found Zontel Brown for a strike to make it 21-14.
Though Davis was on fire, he was more concerned in helping the Scots try to complete the comeback.
“I just try to do my best put effort into this team, I’m not into trying to do the whole, ‘my effort thing’, it’s a whole team effort,” said Davis. “We came out with an ‘L’ at the end of the game so I’m not sit here and go, ‘oh yeah, I had an excellent game’ or anything. We got somethings to fix as a team and that’s what I want to worry about.
“Yeah I had four-touchdowns, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to have our school get put on the map again.”
The Tide got a score to go back up 14, Davis found Beach again. The McKay defense cracked down starting with Raul Solis and company up front to Bangs at the Safety position helped keep the Scots afloat Glencoe didn’t run with the game as it originally thought it was going to be,
“Amazing, I thank the D-Line and the safeties. They were there behind my back and they were in front of me. They told me where the ball was going to run and I just performed thanks to my defense,” said Ku Beiza, who made a few plays himself during this span.
Head Coach Josh Riddell was impressed with how the team responded from last week’s West Albany loss as they matched Glencoe’s 35-21 score with Davis’ fourth-touchdown of the game, this time with his legs off a keeper.
“That’s something we like to see, coaches like us, we didn’t think we did that and this week, that changed and that was a bright spot, but obviously it would be cooler if we got a couple more touchdowns and it was a different outcome.
“But hey, I’m proud the way that they fought. I definitely proud of them about that.”
As it came down to crunch time, the Scots defense gave it’s offense the golden ticket to tie this thing up, or possibly win it with their next touchdown strike. Confidence was high that they could do it, but the Tide had other plans.
McKay’s offense was forced to punt with 3:35 left, defense gave it back. Davis threw an ill-advise pass that was intercepted, the defense stopped again. Then the dagger:
Davis tried to keep the drive alive as he looked left and threw over the hands of his receiver, only to see Glencoe pick-it-off and ice the 42-28 victory on a Pick-6 play with seconds remaining; stunning the Scots as they shook it up after the game.
Angry? Yes. Pissed? From the looks of it, that’s a yes too. But for the first-time being in that situation all season, they certainly are ready-to-go knowing they were 79-yards, 83-yards, 80-yards away from possibly playing for overtime after being down 21 at one point in the game.
And, on a short week, McKay has South Salem Thursday and the Saxons will be riding high after their Mayor’s Cup victory over North Salem Friday night on home turf. But, the Scots will be ready after this game for South and moving forward for the rest of the season.
“Frustrating, yes. It was frustrating a lot because we worked hard shutting them down and our offense performed the best they could,” said Ku Beiza. “I will guarantee you we will be hungry for them, we will want to win.”
“I saw a lot of our teammates faces when those zero-zero’s came up and a lot of them felt hurt, so I can guarantee you Salem-Keizer, you guys will have to watch out for the Scots because we’re coming off mad heads like our heads just got chopped off,” adds Davis. “We’re going to come on fire, explosive. South, I don’t know what’ll hit them.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald