- Written by Andy Wooldridge (CCCougarfan)
- Last Updated on October 1, 2012
- Published on September 29, 2012
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Foxes Get First Ever Win Over Bulldogs
Silverton – Fourth ranked Silverton marched the length of the field on their first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead over second ranked West Albany, and led the rest of the way to take a 28-21 upset win. Under a full moon, and in front of a capacity crowd, it was the Foxes' first ever win over the Bulldogs, and put them alone in first place in the 5A Mid-Willamette League.
The Foxes' sophomore quarterback Cole Chandler, left, capped the game's opening drive with a 31 yard quarterback draw, and finished Silverton's second possession with a 27 yard scoring strike to Preston Kirk on a button hook route down the left sideline, making it 14-0 Foxes. Meanwhile, Silverton's defense forced three and punts on both of West Albany's first two drives.
The early advantage allowed Silverton to play an extremely aggressive run defense aimed at controlling West Albany's explosive Jake LaCoste, and for the most part, it was effective.
"That defense was a product of him having run for like 500 yards on us last year," Silverton head coach John Mannion said, "but those first two touchdowns sure did help, being able to play from the lead all night."
West Albany, playing without junior wide receiver, who was lost for the season in the Crescent Valley game, was relatively one dimensional, and though LaCoste is a pretty good dimension, the Bulldog's inability to beat the Silverton defense deep with any regularity meant the Foxes could continually put 9, 10, and often 11 in the box, and regularly send several linebackers on run-blitzes.
LaCoste still finished with 212 yards, on 39 carries, which was more that West Albany netted on the ground. However, Lahoda completed only 4 of 12 passes, for just 90 yards.
"We are definitely a team in transition right now," West Albany coach Randy Nyquist said. "There were some passes we didn't catch, but I'm going to have to work on our offense. We'll take that challenge on."
It was far from an artistically attractive game, marred by a half dozen first half turnovers, and eventually 4 by each team. Silverton's 3 first half turnovers, including a pair of interceptions thrown by Chandler, cost the Foxes chances to blow the game open early, and their third one, a fumble after a completion eventually led to the Bulldog's first score after a relatively short, 54 yard drive, behind a steady diet of LaCoste, including a 5 yard scoring run that got West Albany on the scoreboard 3 minutes before halftime, making it 14-7.
But when West Albany suffered their third turnover of the first half, a Calvin Chamberlin interception of Bulldog quarterback Cody Lahoda that Chamberlin returned to mid field with 18 seconds left, Chandler redeemed himself. After hitting Kirk for a 28 yard gain, Chandler connected with Kirk again in the back of the endzone for a 22 yard touchdown with 3.7 seconds left before halftime, and a 21-7 lead at the break.
Preston Kirk (1) wound up taking the ball away from a West Albany defender for a touchdown just before halftime.
West Albany actually caught a break on the ensuing squib kick, which they couldn't cover, as Silverton recovered with just over a second still showing on the clock. But the officials sent the teams to the locker room after the clock didn't stop when it should have.
The first half also was held up for over 20 minutes, while medics attended to West Albany defensive lineman Devon Wade, after Wade suffered an apparently serious right hip or upper leg injury, collapsing to the field while following one of the interceptions.
Jake LaCoste (28) represented most of the West Albany offense, but struggled to find
running room against the SIlverton defense.
The Bulldogs came roaring out of the locker room for the second half, as LaCoste broke containment for a 31 yard run on the first play of the third quarter, his best gain of the night. Two plays later, a run blitz by the Foxes' Chris Garcia blew LaCoste up short of the line of scrimmage, but Lahoda handled the next blitz with a 23 yard scoring strike to Brendan Breslin that cut the Silverton lead to just 21-14.
But West Albany would get no closer, and fell back behind by two touchdowns with 4:21 left. The Bulldogs were also overloading the box with their defense, and when Garcia got to the second level, there was nothing but green grass waiting, and Garcia out-sprinted the pursuing Bulldogs for a 56 yard touchdown, and a 28-14 Silverton lead with 4:21 still to go in the third quarter.
Chris Garcia (10) was Silverton's answer to West Albany in the rushing game showdown.
Garcia would finish with 155 yards on 29 carries.
It took until almost 4 minutes into the 4th quarter before a near steady diet of LaCoste led to a 6 yard touchdown, on the 6th of 7 consecutive playes where he carried the ball, as West Albany cut the margin to 28-21.
But it was as close as the Bulldogs would get. The Fox defense forced LaCoste to fumble on a fourth down at mid field, with less than 3 minutes left. Lahoda recovered the ball, but short of the first down, and West Albany turned the ball over on downs.
Silverton couldn't move the ball, but their defense forced another fourth and one, and LaCoste was thrown for a loss at his own 20. The Bulldogs used their 3 timeouts on defense, but Chandler picked up a first down on fourth and six on a sweep dive to the right side, allowing Silverton to to run out the clock, and their fans to rush the field.
"We have confidence in our sophomore quarterback," Mannion explained.
Chandler finished with 10 completions on 16 throws, and 2 touchdowns against 1 interception, in addition to 57 rushing yards.
West Albany (4-1, 2-1) returns home to face cross-town rival South Albany (2-3, 1-2) in the Bulldog's homecoming game next Friday. The Rebels fell to Corvallis 53-43 tonight.
"I made some adjustments, and we scored more on them than anyone has since Springfield back in the opener," Nyquist said. "But that's a good football team, and you have to give them credit. They are the most physical team we have faced. Some of those turnovers were on us, but some they created."
"The good news is we can clean up some things, and play better," Nyquist added. "Against a good team, you find out what your strengths are, and also what your weaknesses are."
Silverton (5-0, 3-0) travels to Lebanon (2-3, 2-1) next Friday. The Warriors won 44-22 in Woodburn tonight, pulling into a 4 way tie for second in the Mid-Willamette League, with West Albany, Corvallis, and Crescent Valley, who shut out Dallas 30-0 tonight.
"On Monday, I told the team we had 5 tough games left," Mannion said. "Now, we have 4."
When asked about now being the team that has the bulls-eye on their back, Mannion felt the Foxes would handle it well.
"They handled it when West hit big plays tonight, and didn't panic. You knew they would score, but they bounced back. It was an awesome effort. I told them they should be proud of what they did."
"They don't panic," Mannion concluded.
West Albany 0 7 7 7 - 21
Silverton 14 7 7 0 - 28
Silverton – Cole Chandler 31 yard run (Michael Dooley kick) 8:41
Silverton – Preston Kirk 27 yard pass from Chandler (Dooley kick) 3:40
West Albany – Jake LaCoste 5 yard run (Matt Wiest kick) 3:00
Silverton – Kirk 22 yard pass from Chandler (Dooley kick) :03.7
West Albany – Brendon Breslin 23 yard pass from Cody Lahoda (Wiest kick) 10:27
Silverton – Chris Garcia 56 yard run (Dooley kick) 4:21
West Albany – LaCoste 6 yard run (Wiest kick) 8:11
Rushing: West Albany – LaCoste 39-212, Gabe Stone 1-1, TEAM 2-(minus-8); Silverton — Garcia 29-155, Chandler 5-57, Ken Pike 6-16, Max Wilson 1-3, Martin 1-(minus-1), TEAM 2-(minus-5)
Passing: West Albany — Lahoda 4-12-1-90; Silverton: Chandler 10-16-2-146
Receiving: West Albany – Breslin 3-74, Jackson Soto 1-16; Silverton – Kirk 6-114, Craig 2-29, Nick Teubel 2-13
(Photos by Andy Wooldridge)