By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore– It’s a preview for hopefully when the football season comes around at the 2A-level.
Gervais and Salem Academy.
Going under G-Town Cougars and the Salem Academy Hornets, the latter ‘Hornets’ was SA’s mascot before going with the Crusaders that they are known as now.
It was a scrimmage. The Cougs were done for the day and were hoping for one last opportunity to pick up some reps, SA had the perfect opportunity between their two pool play games to squeeze them in at McKay City Park. So the two went to work on a Sunday afternoon.
Back-and-forth they went. The squad from Gervais had the ball in their court, never really trailed much in the scrimmage coming off their win against the Pro Baller 7-on-7 and a strong performance against the eventual Tournament Champions in McNary as well as North Salem.
George Barrorso had picked off the Hornets Brandon Reed to hand the G-Town squad a brief 16-14 lead on Salem Academy late in the game.
“It felt great you know, we could’ve won but we got to work harder and get better. We got to work harder to get better,” said Barrorso.
It seemed as if Chase Brown’s interception that followed Barrorso’s a few plays later was the turning point in the scrimmage. Brown’s interception tied it at 18 as the Hornets tacked on a Reed-Justin Johnson score to push ahead in the contest 25-16.
“It was a great game, we both battled it out. There’s good points for us to learn on defense and offense, so keep working and keep getting better,” said Reed, who played linebacker as well as quarterbacking the offense.
The Salem Academy mojo rolled right into their win against Hillsboro as the squad reached the Quarterfinal round before falling to the Capital 7-on squad mid-Sunday afternoon down the road from their home campus.
“It was good momentum defensively and it translated over straight into offense, rolling and get a bunch of touchdowns. It was a fun game (against Hillsboro) for sure,” said Reed.
For the Cougars, coming off of their first win of the Fall Sunday, it was a good learning experience in finishing a game as they were a few minutes from their second win.
Their 21-7 defeat to the Celtics Football Club of McNary was their only crooked score on the day as they faded in their 27-16 defeat to the Hornets as they look to build from this Sunday’s for their next week game’s with the Oregon 7’s 7-on league.
“I think it’s just more reps and more reps. I mean we’re trying to show these kids, some kids don’t know what a Cover 2 is, some kids don’t know what a Cover 3 is and it’s something brand new to them,” said Cougar Head Coach JJ Navarrete. “We’re literally starting from the bottom and working our way up and showing them.
“We’re competing against every team with every team we played with today with the exception of McNary and we lost 21-7 to McNary, they’re a squad. Little old Gervais that can pull 40 kids out for football and they bring 100-plus kids out and get to pick from the best and we bring what we bring. We’ll get there, I have a lot of faith in these guys…I think come season time we’ll be pretty dang good.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald