- Written by Andy Wooldridge (CCCougarfan)
- Last Updated on June 27, 2012
- Published on November 30, 2007
- Hits: 1847
Saturday Night Shoot Out Starts a Little Early, at 5 P.M. and ends with an all-SkyEm Final.
Marist Coach Rory Rosenbach declared to his team "The way you guys came out in the second half was outstanding. And now we have one more shot at Sisters. Let's make this one count."
After losing last season and this to Sisters, an all Sky-Em final at Reser next Saturday will give the Spartans what they wanted, and they hope the third time will be the charm. Coach Rosenbach noted "This time, the goal is to score more than them, and keep them under 50. We had some turnovers in the red zone before." They almost did again tonight, but responded with the key sequence late in the third quarter that closed out the Panthers.
Rosenbach observed "Hats off to Central. They played hard all night. We made some adjustments at halftime, and the kids played smart. We played Marist ball in the second half."
Qwest player of the game Ryan Bell observed "We saw their safety over-pursuing, and that set up the passes," referring to the repeated damage the Spartans did to the right side. "We spread out to counter their blitzes, and once we were able to pass, it allowed us to run better. It was because of the way their defense was set up. We don't usually roll out, but their system allowed us to."
The Spartans' ability to pick up, or counter, the Panther blitzes was a big factor in the game, and minimized what is usually a decided Cental advantage.
(Updated with photos.)
#5 Marist Spartans (10-2) vs. #7 Central Panthers (10-2)
The Spartans have hit stride just at the right time, beating 3 straight playoff opponents (counting Newport in the last regular season game), and scoring 147 points in the process. Senior QB Ryan Bell directed a diverse Marist offense to 565 yards of offense against YC. Meanwhile, the sometimes suspect Marist defense has also jelled in November, allowing only 2 touchdowns in the playoffs.
Who would have thought the Panthers under Coach Shane Hedrick, with one of the most wide open and well prepared offenses in the state at any level, are the pikers of offense in the final 4? Though the Panthers are the only team to reach the semifinals to not hit 50 in a playoff game, Sophomore QB Shane Hedrick still has led Central into the 30’s (or more) every game since mid-September.
Against the usually solid Siuslaw defense, Hedrick completed 18 of 26 passes for 2 touchdowns and 301 yards, including 7 to Eric Phillips for 177 yards, and a touchdown.
The North Coast Officials' Assn. provides the crew for tonight.
Marist has won the toss, and will receive. They will have the breeze behind them, as Central defends the north goal. Its chilly, but no rain for now.
Both these teams are sky-high, based on the way they are flying around. Ontario and Sisters were up, but serious. These guys are way wound up.1st. qtr.
Central comes out with an on-side kick, and JJ Oliveros covers it at the Spartan 37. 6 plays later, Grant Hedrick puts the ball high in the left corner of the endzone, and Michael Hamilton skys for the score. Roman Daberkow curls the kick inside the right upright for a 7-0 lead 2:29 into the game.
Central QB Grant Hedrick throws…
And Michael Hamilton skys for the touchdown catch.
Another onside kick, but Marist is ready, as Nick Gammie grabs it at the Marist 47. A 16 yard pitch, madeahead of the line, to Colton Thomas, and a 23 yard completion to Bryson Black puts Marist at the 1. It takes 3 tries, due to a bad snap, forcing a wild scramble by Ryan Bell, but finally Chad Swenson pounds into the endzone. Gabe Sherpergerdas' kick ties it at 7 @ 6:47.
Marist QB Ryan Bell (10) scrambles against the Central defense.
Touchback with the wind behind the kickoff. Panthers go 3 & punt. Spartan ball at their 49 after a shanked punt, that frankly wasn't even that good.
Brandon Whiteman picks off Bell's pass, and Central is at the Spartan 34.
Ryan Bell (10) throws under pressure by John Pratt (12),
And the Marist Offense become defenders after Brandon Whiteman picks off the throw.
A deep ball on the right side is incomplete, and Central is called for pass interference! The crew has now lost the entire crowd already.
Time out Central at the Marist 39, facing 4th. & 4, @ 4:40. The punt kicks back to the 30, and Marist takes over, at the 34. Strange use of the timeout.
A 36 yard pass to Thomas on the right side starts off the drive strong. Marist is flirting with delay every play, and get one called, taking a long time to get plays in. Bell's pass is overthrown, off his receivers' hands, and intercepted by Casey Connor. But Hedrick throws it right back to Thomas.
Consecutive interceptions leaves Marist at the Central 48. A sack forces a punt, which the wind takes for a touchback.
3 & punt, after a deep ball is over 10 yards over everyone. Another shanked punt into the wind gives it to Marist at the Central 39., 39.7 sec. before the end of the qtr. Bell finds Thomas on the right side again. He fumbles, but out of bounds, and Marist is at the 22 as the qtr. ends.
Central's left defensive side has proven vulnerable to the pass. Look for Marist to keep going there.
Another Connor interception, off a tip again, gives it to Central at the 5. John Pratt punches it out to the 28 on the first run, giving the Panthers breathing room. Which they will need, having to punt again. With the wind, the punt is good for 35 yards.
JT Torado cuts Black in half, after a short catch, forcing a fumble. Pratt recovers at the 35.
Central’s Grant Hedrick (9) follows the blocking of John Pratt (12).
A non-call for interference, and a holding call, hold the Panthers up, but Hedrick leads the Panthers down, and on the 9th. play, hits Pratt for a 9 yard score, putting Central up 14-7 @ 4:17. Central's O-line is able to slug it out with Marist's.
Marist’s Chad Swenson (4) takes advantage of a block by Mathew Deveraux (75).
Central’s JJ Olveros (20) & Derek Rardin (71) chase Marist’s Ryan Bell (10).
Deep pass left to Gianni Carter + a 16 yard penalty mark off, and then a 17 yard completion to Thomas, and soon Marist is down to the 5. Time out with 1:52 in the half, as the pace has gotten wild. Abad snap forces a 4 th. down scramble, and Bell sweeps left and scores. Tied at 14 with 57 seconds until intermission.
Hamilton's return takes it to the 40. A completion to Eric Phillips goes out of bounds, but they keep the clock running! An incompletion brings up 4th. down, and with 6.7 to go. Pratt is stopped short of the first down, and Marist has 1 shot with 2.2 seconds. But the pass is to green space, and its tied at 14 at the half.
# # # # #
Marist isn't playing as sharp as you would expect at this point in the year, but is hitting some big plays. Central is a little more consistent, but maybe not as explosive, except for their interceptions.
The pace is rather frantic, and that's producing some of the mistakes, offensively, defensively, and some of the official oddities too. He who can either settle down, OR capitalize on the confusion, will gain the upper hand. The wild pace of the first game has hung in the air, producing another wild one.
# # # # #
Central gets it first, and with the win. The Panthers need to do some business with the wind, and before the weather that is working its way south, worsens.
But no, its 3 & punt.
Central’s Eric Heide (81) tackles Bobby Edwards.
An inside handoff to Bobby Edwards works for 30 for Marist, and a 28 yard scoring completion to Thomas, on the right side again, puts Marist up 21-14, when the kick goes off the left upright, but thru, @ 8:47.
Colt Thomas (7) scores!
Hamilton answers with a 52 yard return!
Michael Hamilton (2) with the kick return.
4th. & 9, and Central goes for it on the Marist 22. But the completion is for only 1 yard, and Marist takes over at their 21, @ 5:20. Good as a missed kick.
Another completion on the right side, for 16 this time, moves up field, and when Bell finds Carter alone at the Panther 45, he is off to the races, to the 4 for 59 yards.
Ryan Bell (10) throws for Marist.
Gianni Carter (6) sprints for 59 yards.
After a bad pitch, a 14 yard completion to Thomas sends the Spartans to a 2 TD lead, 28-14 @ 3:40.
Very big sequence for Marist, as Central almost recovered the bad pitch, but it scooted out of bounds.
Will Swindling's sack keys the 3 & punt stop. Marist is looking for the knockout with 1:50 in the qtr.
Edwards' draw is the perfect call against the blitz, and then Swenson's stretch right goes for 49. Bell's 3 yard burst caps the drive with 23.4 seconds left, and Marist bolts to a 35-14 lead.
In less than 4 minutes, Marist has blown it open, after Central didn't get that loose ball on the bad pitch.
The quarter ends on a deep bomb for Phillips that is incomplete.
Central can't move, and Marist takes over with 10:35 to kill.
Central’s JT Tirado (5) can’t find room to run against Marist.
And 12 plays, and 5 minutes and 10 seconds, later, Central finally stops Marist on their 33, but most of the quarter is gone.
Marist’s Ryan Bell (10) throws to his right for a completion once again.
Marist’s Bryson Black (23) takes the pitch.
Bryson Black (23) works the clock.
A Spartan personal foul puts the Panthers at midfield. Central is running it, and running out of time. Finally a pass, but we have less than 2 minutes to go.
Michael Hamilton makes a diving catch for Central.
Central reaches the 8, and calls time, but with only 50 seconds left. Another Connor run, and another Panther timeout, with 43.2 left, at the 6. Jeff Gratreak grabs the 6 yard scoring toss, but with only 40.3 seconds left, they still trail by 35-21 a margin.
Jeff Gratreak (3) with the touchdown for Central.
Peter Anderson recovers the onside kick with 39.2 left for Central! Connor runs and goes down, with a left ankle turned, and it turns dead silent. 2 plays winds it out; its an all Sky-Em Final, as Marist wins 35-21.
Talk quickly turned to the task at hand against the Outlaws. Coach Rosenbach described the game plan as "Obviously, stop #1 (Cory McCaffrey), at least some of the time. We have to get off the field on third down. We will have to play our best, but also get some breaks, and turnovers. And that will be hard. Sisters doesn't turn the ball over very much." When asked what Marist will do to help that, Rosebach noted "We practice strips every day. The coaches teach the technique. It is just going to be up to the players to make some plays."
Bell believes the Spartans have a shot. "Our defense is hitting their stride now. When we played Sisters before, we were disappointed, but made it our mission to get another shot. We can score points on them, and if the defense gets a couple stops, as they have been, we get the ball more. That allows us to do what ever we want offensively. Sisters is a great team, but we are looking forward to the challenge, and the opportunity."
The Spartan defense, especially against the run, was impressive, allowing only 106 yards, and 36 for Connor, usually an effective threat in space for the Panthers.
And maybe the odd-year effect, which sends Marist back to the finals in 2007, after winning in 2005 & 2003, will also be the third time as the charm, in that third try against Sisters.
As for Central, its off to basketball, and assuming Connor's ankle injury isn't too serious, next season should see the Panthers right back in the hunt, with 12 returning starters, including Hedrick, Connor, Phillips, and Hamilton.
Central 7 7 0 7 - 21
Marist 7 7 21 0 - 35
Central - Michael Hamilton 21 yard pas from Grant Hedrick (Roman Daberkow kick) 9:31
Marist - Chad Swenson 1 yard run (Gabe Schepergerdes kick) 6:47
C - John Pratt 9 yard pass from Hedrick (Daberkow kick) 4:17
M - Ryan Bell 7 yard run (Schepergerdes kick) :57
M - Colton Thomas 28 yard pass from Bell (Schepergerdes kick) 8:47
M - Thomas 13 yard pass from Bell (Schepergerdes kick) 3:40
M - Bell 3 yard run (Schepergerdes kick) :23
C - Jeff Gratreak 7 yard pass from Hedrick (Daberkow kick) :40
Central - Pratt 9-46; Casey Connor 14-36; JT Tirado 5-21; Hedrick 6-2; Omlid 1-1.
Marist - Swenson 7-49, 1 TD; Bobby Edwards 4-36; Bryson Black 9-29; Thomas 1-16; Bell 11-14, 2 TDs.
Central - Hedrick 16-27, 3 TDs, 0 Int., 120 yards; Connor 0-1, 0 TDs, 1 Int., 0 yards.
Marist - Bell 20-30, 2 TDs, 3 Int., 269 yards.
Central - Eric Phillips 3-33; Gratreak 3-27, 1 TD; Travis Heide 2-21; Hamilton 1-21, 1 TD; Pratt 1-9, 1 TD; Tirad 5-8; Bo Walace 1-8; Connor 1-1.
Marist - Thomas 8-102, 2 TD; Gianni Carter 5-96; Bryson Black 3-19; Edwards 3-16; Jeff Bedbury 2-24; Chad Swenson 1-7.