By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– With all the noise of Senior Night, the rivalry game with Stayton and the other external and internal pressures that surround them Friday night, Cascade settled in against the Eagles.
Separating themselves in their 48-0 victory, clinching at least a share of the Oregon West Conference-title going into their season finale against Sweet Home next week. Improving to 7-0 on the season, 4-0 in OWC-play and looking for another deep run in the 4A postseason here in a few weeks.
“We’ve had this dream since seventh-and-eighth-grade. We’ve all been playing together, it’s been the same team that we’ve had. The same group of guys. For us, it’s just keep playing our game I guess,” Collin Smittle said.
The Eagles had already locked up the second-seed in the conference, having the tiebreakers over Woodburn and the Huskies who sit behind them in the standings, saw some success with their backs in Easton Hughes and Eli Brown on the ground.
Even trying a new faucet in their offense that caught the Cougars off-guard going into halftime with an option-play with quarterback Cody Leming.
“We haven’t run a lot of option plays this year, but throwing those in and throwing in an extra wrinkle into the offense is kind of nice. It gives us an extra guy to run the ball,” Leming starts. “But as long as we get our running backs the ball, they’ve done amazing this year…I’m hoping to be a little distraction.
“Non-stop all season long (Hughes and Brown) have been amazing running backs. They’ve been so dependable and it’s awesome on a night like tonight and gain yards with those guys.”
Leming ripped off runs of nine and 15-yards on those option reads in the second quarter. Stayton finishes off the regular season next Friday at home against Newport, looking to build some momentum for the postseason.
For the Cougars, they saw roughly nine players pick up a carry in the victory. Four had at least fifty-yards on the ground, taking pressure off of Jacob Hage to throw the ball.
But Hage ran in it three times himself as he and Blake Lewis each had at least 100-yards in the victory. Cascade had five different players score at least once in the victory.
“It was awesome. We got our second line in, they did good. We got all of our running backs the ball, we got the receivers the ball. I think everyone touched the ball,” said Lewis. “That’s going to be a big part of the playoffs because if someone gets hurt, the next guy is going to be ready.
The Cougs will close out the 2021 regular season on the road in Sweet Home, looking to finish the regular season 9-0.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald