By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– It was a slow start to the game Saturday afternoon for the West Salem JV offense, but once they got things rolling it was like Heath Ledger’s Joker going ‘here we go’.
A Judah Aliffua-Brody McMullen 65-yard touchdown connection got the Titans on the board late in the first quarter, but West Salem would turn to their running game offensively as their defense tried their best to keep Hunter Ruberto at bay.
“It was great. It was great to see everyone locked-in every possession,” Aliffua said. “It was really just our O-Line doing their assignments today, blocking great and our running backs were hitting every hole. Fighting until the whistle.
“The defense, we might have a couple of drives here and there where we weren’t locked in but once we knew what we were doing they were locked in. (McNary) wasn’t doing anything.”
Ruberto scored the lone touchdown for the Celtics in the second quarter, but McNary couldn’t duplicate the success their West Salem counterparts had despite Roberto’s 28-carry, 141-yard game.
“He’s always been a superstar. Ever since we were little, he played with his heart out like he did today, all to him,” said Celtic QB Jackson Alt of his running back. “We just had a couple bad plays and a couple of bad breaks. Made a couple of bad reads, we just got to play tougher next time. We got to play with all of our all. If we play hard, then maybe a different outcome.”
West Salem led 28-7 at the halftime break in their 42-7 victory at McNary High School. The Titans Johny Withers led the offensive charge, having a high quantity of carries like Ruberto with 26 carries with 258 yards and two touchdowns.
Taking advantage of the gaps his offensive line was giving him and the West Salem backs an opportunity to make the run-up field.
“Great blocking. Oh man it was a really fun game, just getting the ball every time and power through. It was fun,” Withers said.
McNary’s Ben De Vos had two receptions for 25 yards and had five carries for six yards. Aliffua threw for 148 yards and a touchdown while rushing eight times for 89 yards and a rushing touchdown in Saturday’s game.
Both squads will meet again April 3 at West Salem at 1pm
Photos By Jeremy McDonald