By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– The snowball effect occurred at Scio High School Friday night in favor of the home team.
Two weeks after their 45-8 season opening defeat to Salem Academy, the Loggers of Scio found themselves in a 8-8 gridlock with rival-Jefferson on this cool March evening in the Willamette Valley. The Lions tied the game up as halftime approached, off a Jace Aguilar-to-Elijah Stelly touchdown throw after Kade Mask handed the Loggers a brief 8-0 lead earlier in the quarter.
Something was different for Scio however coming out of the halftime break, Carson Geneser would hand the Loggers a 16-8 lead midway through the third quarter. Fire and passion not to have a duplicate performance from Week 1 and knowing their Jefferson counterparts were riding high with a perfect 2-0 record to start the season.
Scio gets a blocked punt, turned into a Mask score. 24-8 2:18 left in the third quarter.
“It was a great feeling, we loved it. We just learned a lot from last week and got it done,” said the Loggers Jett Lefeber. “That was a pretty tough loss (to Salem Academy), we learned a lot from that game and had two great weeks of practice and we just showed out tonight.”
The Jett helped his offense conduct a 30-0 swing by the early going of the fourth frame. But down 30, call it a last gasp but the Lions called an audible and caught the Scio defense off-guard. Breaking out the old-school Wildcat Offense.
Switching between Zach Wusstig and Stelly as the ball-carrier and Trevor Withee in at QB for a few snaps, Jefferson began to chip away at the deficit. Stelly goes 60-yards, 38-16 with 4:58 left in the game. The Lions got the onside kick, a minute later Wusstig scored from 16-yards out with 3:43 left.
Now it was a 38-24 and the Jefferson defense had just got the ball back with some time to make one final push for the improbable. Knowing if they didn’t have that lull in the third quarter, who would’ve known in this rivalry battle as they now prepare for Regis next Friday.
“It was definitely fun, something new. Never practiced it before, but we all know what we’re doing. We came in and we scored, if we could’ve had one more quarter it could’ve gone the other way,” Wusstig said. “Regis, they’re a tough, good team. You know, start off Monday getting ready for them and hopefully get the ‘W’.”
The late-game rally petered out sadly in the closing seconds, icing the 38-24 win for Scio, getting the Loggers back into the win column for the first-time in the short-season as they prep now for Blanchet Catholic on Thursday in Salem.
Wusstig finished with 103 yards on 21 carries and a reception for two yards for jefferson. Stelly went for 75 yards on six carries with 58 yards receiving with a rushing and receiving touchdown in the game.
Mask finished with 159 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. Carson Geneser rushed for 104 yards on 14 carries and a reception for 20 yards. The Loggers threw two passes in the game.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald