By Jeremy McDonald
CANBY, Ore.– The first half ended just perfectly for North Salem Saturday night against Canby in their 42-13 defeat to open the 5A Special District 2 league season.
The line opened up holes. Erick Gonzalez and Jerrik Wangler hit them. Gonzalez stepped in for the injured Josiah Davis, making the move from receiver into the backfield in trying to help the team.
“It’s not easy. It’s very different than from receiver,” Gonzalez said. “Just reading holes and trying my best trying to help my team out.”
Gonzalez finished with 84 yards on seven carries.
The passing game came around. TC Manumaleuna connected on back-to-back passes to Neil Kniefel and Jamar Soaladaob as the drive ended with a three-yard strike by Kyler Hammond. Bringing the Vikings to within 15 of the Cougars entering halftime down 21-6.
“It was amazing to score on that (drive)… The line did a good job on that drive and we struggled after that,” Hammond said. “The second half we came out weak, we kind of let it all go away. We lost that steam.”
North Salem made a few plays here and there during the second half, but couldn’t get consistency as they did in that last possession of the first half with Canby scoring three more times in the second half before Gonzalez snapped the run with 2:35 left in the game.
The last two weeks have been tough for sure for the Vikings following their 48-28 win over Roosevelt, battling the injury bug while battling some playoff-caliber teams while they heal up in the process. It’s just a matter of coming together, points Gonzalez as they now prepare for Hillsboro Friday at North Salem High School.
“It’s just all about all of our teammates stepping up and doing their jobs. We have a key player in JoJo (Davis) missing. We got guys like me, I had to step up at running back because he’s gone. We need a lot of people to step up right now,” Gonzalez said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald