By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– It was one of those weekends in which you couldn’t go wrong with which match-up you went to in 4A. They were all as compelling as the other in the stacked 4A Quarterfinals.
For Cascade and Marist, it was a rematch of their Week 6 meeting in which the Cougars edged the Spartans 38-33 as they entered Friday night’s game at Scio High School with an 10-0 record.
The first half lived up to expectations. Cascade led 14-6 after the first quarter, Marist swung momentum into their favor in the second quarter as they eventually led 20-14 before each squad jockeyed for the lead going into the halftime break of the Sparts 62-35 4A State Quarterfinal win on this night.
Marist led 34-28 at the halftime break, but the Cougars had seen three touchdown scampers of at least 60-yards each. Their fourth touchdown, a Jacob Hage-to-Shawn Kuenzi passing connection, was of the 39-yard variety as the game was shaking up to possibly be a shootout despite the slight momentum advantage in favor of the Spartans.
“We started fast, but we just didn’t finish tonight and that’s kind of what got us,” Hage starts. “I think it came down to the front and that’s where we lost tonight.”
After their slow start, Marist relied on their push up front offensively and defensively to set the tone over the final three quarters. Outscoring the Cougars 56-21 in the final 36 minutes with Lucas Tunski going off for five touchdowns and slowing down Cascade’s hot start down to a trickle.
“We worked so hard all season; it sucks to go out like this. We started off on fire and we just went onto cruise control which hurt us a lot,” said Teagan Allen. “I’m excited for next year. Some people say that we won’t be that good next year. This group is really talented, we had a lot of seniors and I love each and every one of them.”
Hage and Blake Lewis each rushed for over hundred yards in their final games in a Cascade uniform. Hage finished with 182 yards on 19 carries with two rushing touchdowns and one through the air. Lewis contributed 116 on 13 with a touchdown.
Lance VanHoose contributed the lone touchdown in the second half as VanHoose finished with 71 yards on 11 carries as this senior class saw two perfect Oregon West Conference titles, winning three league titles, and went 24-11 in their four years at Cascade.
“It’s great, I hope they follow in our footsteps the next couple of years,” Hage said.
Marist heads to the 4A State Semifinals where they’ll play Estacada for a spot in the 4A State Title Game. The Rangers defeated La Grande 44-22 Friday night at Sandy High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald