By Jeremy McDonald
PHILOMATH, Ore.– Through all the adversity of injuries and the lack-of-depth to start the season and found themselves in a 1-2 hole entering league, Cascade have fought themselves in a favorable position that they wanted to be in all of long entering Thursday’s game at 4-2 overall:
On top of the Oregon West Conference standings entering the last week of the regular season.
“Like coach said in the locker room, we don’t rebuild, we reload,” said Quinn Legner. “And I feel like each week we’re reloading with different guys, it doesn’t matter who’s in and you get to see our character out on the field that we’re never going to give up on each other and we’re always going to fight until the end and the results have what we’ve been wanting.”
And Thursday was another adversity test, this time against a Philomath program that has won two of their last three meetings dating back to 2013.
Quinn Legner scored the first two scores to help put the Cougars up 14-6 entering the second half, but Philomath knotted it up at 14 in the early going of the second half.
That would be as close as it got as Marco Reyes rumbled for a roughly 32-yard score to put Cascade back up six with a little more than four minutes left in the ball game as everyone stepped up to the challenge that was presented in front of them.
“I’m just happy everyone stepped up, I’m proud of everyone, every single one that we have here,” said Reyes.
The Cougars defense, after allowing that last Warrior strike, continued to deny Philomath an opportunity to make it closer entering the fourth quarter where Ethan Coffey once again found his name called crossing the end-line off a two-yard strike to all but ice the 28-14 Cougar win Thursday night on the road.
With rival-Stayton doing what they had to do in Aurora through two lighting delays in their 19-7 victory over North Marion gives Cascade a full-game on the Huskies entering their meeting next Friday in Turner.
Championship week is what Head Coach Brandon Bennett mentioned to the team post-game, and excitement is high as they don’t want that possibility of having that dreaded ‘Co’-next to Champions again this year as they did last season.
Especially on Senior Night. That alone has seniors like Legner and Reyes not wanting that in their possible last home game in a Cougar uniform.
“It just feels amazing, I mean we’re taking one week at a time,” said Legner on what’s ahead next Friday. “But at the beginning of the season our senior goal was to win a league title and now we get to compete and it even better because we get to do that at home on Senior Night, so I can’t ask for anything more.”
“I love the feeling, I feel like we’ve worked really hard for this and I’m proud of everyone,” adds Reyes.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald