By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– The ride that Scio has been on was probably unprecedented.
They started the season with less than 20 kids, roughly about 17. Probably be big enough to be fielded as an 8-man team in 1A with two at every position.
They lost a tight game to Molalla, lost a worse game to Rainier 39-0.
But that game and the Santiam Christian was probably their Exhibit A and B for their season turnaround.
It as if their loss to the Columbians was the valley. The lowest of the low. And the 30-22 win over the Eagles was like the picking themselves off the cavas and realize they can do this.
And as they picked up a few kids onto the roster that now tips over 20 with about 23, they’re playing for more than themselves.
“I think we’re going to finish it off by playing as a team. I think if we put all of our hearts in it, which we have been, we’re going to finish it as a team,” said Adam Stratemeyer. “I think we did so well in this game because we played for each other, not for anyone else. At camp Coach told me, it’s not where you started but it’s where you finish.
“We couldn’t get a play off at camp and we’re not done yet so I think that’s what matters.”
Entering their final game of the season, with David Simmons under center and Stratemeyer, Daniel Simmons and Kade Mask the three-headed monster in this game with Hunter Gray and Bryce West out recovering from injuries, the Loggers looked like the Scio of last year with how well they were playing with one another.
Simmons scored the first touchdown as Stratemeyer used his size like a Fullback in blocking and running as well as on defense. Austin Ellis and the line up front made plays defensively to help ensure Corbett didn’t do anything funky offensively. Devin Unrau also blocked a few punts Friday night on.
Then the sophomore in Mask. He was like Mighty Mouse out on the field, one moment you see him in the backfield and the next, he’s wheeling off a 26-yard run, then a 32 yard run, another 25-yard run and a 18-yard strike in the endzone as Mask scored four touchdowns in the 48-0 win over the Cardinals.
Ironically, one of the four was a 23-yard passing strike from David Simmons as Mask not just scored but took people’s ankles as a slip from the Turf Monster had the Cardinals defense slipping trying to keep up with him.
“We got a lot better, we improved a lot. It was good to see,” said Mask as they put that exclamation point to a 7-2 season.
It’s weird to think that a team that some thought won’t have a good season, crap could they compete in most of their games with low numbers compare to Madras, SC and Corbett let lone of a good season.
But as they churned out wins over Salem Academy, the White Buffaloes, Yamhill-Carlton and Blanchet Catholic to name a few, confidence grew since that Santiam Christian game to show that they’re not the same team in Week 2 as they are Week 9 with the playoffs next week after claiming the 3A Special District 1-East title in Week 9.
“It helped us build back up and we got a lot better. Just keep working hard,” said Mask.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald