By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’s been a unique start to the year for the Chemawa Braves Football Team.
Going JV-only this season with a little more than a dozen kids on their roster. Their first game was called after three quarters because of injuries that played into their game with Willamina being cancelled last Monday.
But this Monday was different. They were healthy enough to play, healthy enough to go four quarters with Gervais edging the Cougars 12-0 at Chemawa Indian School. Both touchdowns came way of junior Evan Namingha with the latter sealing the victory with 39 seconds left in the game.
“As a team, we did good. We got a little more to work on, but we did good. It was fun…we got stuff done and it surprised me because we got five-or-ten yards at a time,” Namingha said of the win.
The rushing game that included Namingha and Matos Morales excelled. Morales did the bulk of the rushing with roughly 100-yards on the ground while Namingha picked up over 50 yards rushing and had 28 yards passing. All while having four lineman on their roster.
“It was good, we have four total offensive linemen and we bring in a couple of wide receivers to help block a little bit, so it’s great to see everyone block and move people and improve from the first game,” said Braves Head Coach Steve Crane.
And as much as their offensive rushing attack helped burn clock, the defense was spot on. Crane credits Defensive Coordinator Gary Lay in getting the team ready as Chemawa forced four fumbles in Monday’s win with senior Juan Miranda anchoring the defense.
“Juan Miranda, he did good. Both our corners are awesome and our safety, both our linebackers did good. Everyone did their part and that’s what I’m proud of and we came out as a team,” smiled Namingha. “We just got to come out 100-percent and have more fun basically.”
The Braves host Taft next Monday before a three-game road trip that will have Chemawa go to Neah-Kah-Nie (October 10), Gaston (October 17) and Colton (October 24) before closing out the season at home against Yamhill-Carlton on Halloween.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald