By Jeremy McDonald
SPRINGFIELD, Ore.– As Central’s day ends against Mid-Willamette Conference-foe North Salem, both playing as ‘Central Football Club’ and ‘North Salem Football Club’, the Panthers Justin Girod lined up at quarterback while starting quarterback Chase Nelson was out at receiver.
“I’ve never played quarterback before, but it was pretty fun coming out here and throwing the ball-around. It was quite hard,” joked Girod.
They were moving kids around different spots in their 21-0-win Saturday afternoon at Bob Keefer Sports Complex that also saw Brayden Foreman moving from linebacker to safety, recording an interception in the process as Central went 1-2 on the day.
The squad was knocking off the cobwebs and were slow out of the gates against the Island Boy Camp’s GymClub before finding a groove against the Uncommon Athlete’s Varsity squad. A few dropped passes spelt doom that could’ve turned the 28-14 game into a totally different game.
“We haven’t played all together for a while, we were warming up the first couple of games. It was good for us. It was fun competing against guys again,” Girod said. “Just take every opportunity to come out and compete against other teams. It was just good to compete.”
For North, they were without TC Manumaleuna for the games, but had adjusted. Josiah ‘JoJo’ Davis, had proved to be clutch for the Vikings as they pulled off two overtime victories Saturday afternoon with a catch and an interception.
Differences in their wins over Uncommon Athlete Teal and the IBC’s ’99 Problemz’.
“So today our Quarterback wasn’t here, so I knew I had to step up. TC is gone…so they were talking to me and stuff to come out and be a leader,” said Davis. “They were asking me stuff like what to do, so I was trying to be a leader out there and help my team out.”
The boys of Roseburg High came up from Douglas county and it came down to the wire. Down 9-6, North Salem nearly had a two-point interception that could have allowed an opportunity for them to go for the win. The next play the Indians, playing as the ‘Tribe’, scored to push their lead to 15-6.
The Vikings were able to strike late, falling to Roseburg 15-12 before stepping in for Salem Academy for a fourth-game against their conference-foe later in the afternoon. Marking another January weekend in which the ‘NS’ were in action and putting in work.
“It was tough, but we knew we were playing down because we do that sometimes. We have to realize that we’re better than that,” said Davis, as North floated between the Eugene-area and La Salle High School. “We just have to make adjustments on the fly and (Roseburg) was playing really good and we were expecting that.
“Someone told us they like to throw deep and we made our adjustments at the beginning of the game. But as we saw, we tried to go Man Defense on it. Their quarterback was smart with his reads and hitting the flats every time. It was a smart move.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald