- Written by Andy Wooldridge (CCCougarfan)
- Last Updated on June 27, 2012
- Published on September 27, 2007
- Hits: 1898
The Fourth ranked LaSalle Falcons hosted the third ranked Cascade Cougars for homecoming, and early command of the Capital Conference race. And when the game was on the line, Chris Nagel carried 9 straight times, then caught a 23 yard touchdown pass, to put the game away for the Falcons.
Nagel's touchdown catch capped a 6 minute drive late in the 4th. quarter.
Cascade played without starting quarterback Nic LaMonica, out with an injury to his left knee, suffered in practice Wednesday.
Vince Hicks added 2 rushing touchdowns for LaSalle, one 2.8 seconds before halftime. Hicks threw only twice in the second half, but both were completed for touchdowns.
Nagel was held to 33 rushing yards in the first half, but had reached the 100 yd. mark of total offense with 4 catches for 67 yards. But in the second half, Nagel and his offensive live mounted a 5:42 scoring drive in the third qtr., another of 4:47 that spanned the end of the third quarter, and finally the 6 minute finale. The Falcons converted on 4 4th. downs to sustain those drives.
Lacking LaMonica, Cascade still threw for 180 yards, including a 75 yard touchdown pass by WR Spencer Beeson to Paul Federico on a reverse to take the early lead. Blake Hall, injured in the first game at Seaside returned to the Cougar lineup for the first time since then, shared time at quarterback with Bryce Petersen. Petersen was 8-12 passing, and lead one last drive into Falcon territory, but a sack by Brian Lockner and an interception by Luis Alvarado ended the Cougars’ last gasp effort.
LaSalle went 3 & punt, and Cascade struck fast. R.J. Williams picked up 9 on a stretch run to the left, and picked up a first down on a delay up the middle. Then WR Beeson took a reverse from Williams and pulled up to pass. He found Federico alone behind everyone at the 45, and Federico took it 55 more yards to the 75 yard touchdown. LaSalle blocked the kick, but Cascade was up 6-0 2:26 into the game.
The Falcons had their first answer of the night, a 4 minute 2 second, 77 yard drive, powered by 6 Nagel touches, the last of which was a 10 yard scamper around the end. Blitzing LB Brendan Brucker and DE Federico both recorded multiple tackles on the extended Falcon drive.
Chris Nagel cuts away from Spencer Beeson.
Chris Nagel reaches for the touchdown.
(James Prichard photo, courtesy OregonLive.com.)
It was quite a while before much more offense occurred, as the defenses woke up.
Cascade went 3 & punt, but the Falcons turned it back over on downs after an initial first down on a 33 yard Hicks pass over the middle to Tony Titrud to the Cougar 29.
Cascade went 3 & punt again, when Peterson’s pass to Dakota Brown was out of bounds, and a fumble. The first quarter ended with LaSalle at their 46.
The Falcon drive picked up some steam when Hicks hit Anton Bredl on a slant route on the left side for 27 yards to the Cougar 27. But Brucker dumped Nagel for a loss, and Brown and Williams secondary work resulted in 3 incompletions, and the Falcons turned it over on downs again.
Hall came on at QB, and Williams managed a first down on a slant run right. Then an unfortunate error derailed the Cougar drive. An inside shovel pass to Williams surprised the Portland officiating crew, who didn’t realize the pass wasn’t a lateral, and Williams had to scramble back onto the ball for a 14 yard loss that camera showed should have been ruled an incompletion. It forced a Kyle Coots punt that Keeney took with a fair catch at the Falcon 40.
The Cougars held LaSalle to another 3 & punt, but the Falcons did the same to Cascade.
R.J. Williams defends Cameron Keeney.
Brendan Brucker pursues Vince Hicks.
LaSalle took over with 5:26 left before half time, and a Hicks shovel pass to Nagel and a pass interference call on Williams against Keeney moved the Falcons to the Cougar 23. A false start, 3 incompletions, and Coots’ sack of Hicks turned the ball back to the Cougars at their 32 with 2:20 left in the half.
Williams picked up 14 on a draw, but a couple incompletions brought up 4th. down. LaSalle was caught with wrong personnel on the punt, and called time out, but they had used them all up, and the penalty continued the Cougar drive.
The drive stalled as a wide open Beeson dropped Hall’s pass in the right flat, and Casey Johnson also couldn’t find the handle on a pass in the middle. A sack of Hall gave the ball back to LaSalle at their 44 with 30.3 seconds left.
Hicks hit Nagel on the right sideline for 33, and after an incompletion, hit Keeney at the 8. Keeney clearly came down out of bounds, but was forced out by the hit after the catch while he was still in the air. Hicks rolled right for the score, and the Falcons went to halftime Homecoming festivities up 14-6.
Chris Nagel hauls in the pass againt Spencer Beeson's coverage.
Brown bought the second half kickoff out to the 41 for the Cougars, but Hall’s second pass was picked off by Morgan Maughan. That set off the Nagel show, featuring 5 straight carries at one point. The key play was a 19 yard gain on a draw on 4th. down that Nagel used to push the ball down to the Cougar 18 before Beeson & Johnson got him contained.
After Nagel worked it to the 2, bringing up another 4th. down, Hick hit Homecoming King Brian Swain at the 1, and despite being hit and wrapped up, Swain twisted and extended the ball to the goal line. With Austin Thul’s PAT kick, the Falcon lead was extended to 21-6 with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
Cascade answered fast. Brown broke up the middle for 34 yards to the Falcon 47 with the kickoff, and Williams ran a sweep left for 16 more. Petersen came back on at QB and found Brown, then Williams went around the right end for 29 yards and the score. The Cougars cut the margin to 21-14 as Petersen found Johnson for the 2 point conversion, and momentum was swinging.
R.J. Williams headed for the endzone.
The Falcons had another answer, and it was by several of their seniors. Keeney took Jackson Clarke’s kickoff at the 13 and bolted out to midfield. The drive was all on the ground. Nagel left for 5 before Johnson and Clint Olheiser drug him down. Hicks right for 2, then left for 2, despite Olheiser and Brucker. That brought up another 4th. down at the 41, but Nagel bounced left for the first down at the 29. Nagel drove ahead into Olheiser, then Swain took an option to the 22. Nagel pounded ahead, and it was 4th. down again. The Falcons let the clock wind down as they planed their next step.
That next step was a step to a gap on the right side by Swain, producing a first down at the 18. Hicks dropped back, then covered almost the exact steps Williams had taken for the Cougar touchdown to the right side, and into the endzone. Thul’s kick made it 28-14 42 seconds into the 4th. qtr.
Vince Hicks scoring run.
Keeney’s kickoff went for a touchback, and after an initial first down, the game appeared to get away from Cascade on an R.J. Williams fumble Cameron Mitchell recovered for the Falcons at the Cougar 35 with 8:51 left.
But after Nagel found 8 yards on the left side, a solid hit by Johnson upended Nagel and knocked the ball loose, and Tyrell Williams scooped it up and came up the sideline to the 44 with it. Petersen completed 3 straight passes to Brown, Johnson, and Sean Coleman, to reach the Falcon 31. An offside penalty on the LaSalle defense brought up first down and 5, and Cascade called time out with 6:49 left.
Chris Nagel fumbles.
(James Prichard photo, courtesy OregonLive.com.)
The Cougars came out with a receiver overload to the right, which the Falcons over corrected to. Petersen found Brown alone on the left sideline for the undefended score. The PAT kick sailed wide left, but with 6:48 left, the Cougars were still within 1 score, down 28-20.
Keeney took the kickoff 17 yards out to the 35, and the Falcons literally handed the game over to Nagel, and over 6 minutes later, Hicks hit Nagel on a swing route for the final score.
Chris Nagel heads into traffic on the drive that puts the game away.
The Cougars had 1:36 to work with, and Beeson’s 19 yard kickoff return set the Cougars up with 70 yards to go. Dillon Davidson got 20 on a slant run, and Petersen hit Beeson for 11 more. The Falcon defense then stepped up one last time. Lockner’s sack of Petersen forced Cascade to use their last time out. Petersen hit T. Williams for 4, bringing up 4th. down, and Alvarado set off the Homecoming celebration with the interception at the Falcon 12 with 6 seconds left.
LaSalle Coach Mike Fanger described the score just before halftime, and the Falcon scoring drives that followed both of Cascade’s second half scores, as “Big answers! Similar to against Yamhill-Carlton, when we had to answer, the kids did it. We have 20 seniors, and I would hope they would. It’s their time. You are only a senior once.”
Fanger also acknowledged the Cascade effort, noting “I’d be shocked if they are not a playoff team. If they had had LaMonica, who knows what would have happened.”
Cascade Coach Terry Graham said “I would love to play them again. We made too many mistakes, mental mistakes these guys usually don’t make. We had a good effort; that wasn’t the problem, but we just didn’t make the plays they did. We will be ok. There will be better days ahead because of this in the long run.”
Despite being almost the whole show in the second half, Nagel, the 2006 Capital Conference Player of the Year, saw Hick’s score before halftime as the turning point. “That was huge. It gave us momentum going into the third quarter.”
A combination of Falcon ball control and leg cramps on the first chilly night of the season severely limited the Cougars’ R.J. Williams’ second half production. A rainy day gave way to a clear evening on the Alder Creek turf.
Fanger and Graham both had observations on how the game shifted to the Falcons.
Fanger was “Impressed by the way Cascade battled without LaMonica. That’s a Terry Graham trademark. There defensive scheme was very good. We didn’t handle Cascade’s blitz early. We have to go back to the black board. And R.J. (Williams) did a fantastic job on Cameron (Keeney)! He only caught one ball, though it was key to that drive before the half. It’s why our game plan is to spread it around early, and find something that works. Cascade’s game plan was very good.”
That something that worked, as is often the case, turned out to be Nagel.
Graham also saw the action around half time as key. “They scored with 2 seconds left. Then, after the half, we come out and throw an interception on the second play. That created a big hole for us.”
Graham admitted the larger LaSalle line eventually made a difference as well, observing “Their line is more physical. That number 50 (255 pound tackle Simeon Dixon is a big boy!” And despite the second half offensive drives, Graham saw the Falcon defensive line as the group that really was the difference. “Eric Whalen is a good Defensive End. We didn’t get enough offense in the first half.”, referring to the Cougars’ inability to put LaSalle behind, and force them away from the run in the second half, when Nagel took over. LaSalle had 9 first downs in the first half while Cascade managed only 4.
Eric Whalen wraps up R.J. Williams.
Next week, Cascade (4-1, 0-1) visits the Gladstone Gladiators (4-1, 2-0), who came back from a 7-6 halftime deficit at North Marion against the Huskies, to pull away to a 26-7 victory. Meanwhile, LaSalle (4-0, 2-0) visits the Stayton Eagles (1-4, 0-1) who were drilled 62-12 at Sisters by the Outlaws.
Cascade – Paul Federico 75 yd. pass from Spencer Beeson (kick blocked) 9:34
LaSalle – Chris Nagel 10 yd. run (Austin Thul kick) 5:26
LS – Vince Hicks 8 yd. run (Thul kick) :02.8
LS – Brian Swain 2 yd. pass from Hicks (Thul kick) 5:20
C – R.J. Williams 29 yd. run (Casey Johnson pass from Bryce Petersen) 4:16
LS – Hicks 18 yd. run (Thul kick) 11:18
C – Dakota Brown 26 yd. pass from Bryce Petersen (kick wide) 6:43
LS – Nagel 23 yd. pass from Hicks (Thul kick) 1:36
Cascade – 20-79, 1 TD; R.J. Williams 11-69, 1 TD; Dillon Davidson 2-23; Bryce Petersen 2-(-8); Blake Hall 4-(-7); Dakota Brown 1-2.
LaSalle – 47-179, 3 TD; Chris Nagel 30-148, 1 TD; Hicks 11-24, 2 TD; Brian Swain 4-4; Ian Keeney 2-3.
Cascade – Bryce Petersen 8-12-1 TD, 1 Int., 83 yds.; Spencer Beeson 1-1-1 TD, 0 Int., 75 yds.; Blake Hall 3-10-0 TDs, 1 Int, 22 yds.
LaSalle – Hicks 11-21-2 TD, 0 Int., 182 yds.
Cascade – Paul Federico 2-84, 1 TD; Spencer Beeson 2-19; Casey Johnson 2-18; Dakota Brown 2-32, 1 TD; Sean Coleman 2-16; R.J. Williams1-7; Tyrell Williams 1-4.
LaSalle – Chris Nagel 5-90, 1 TD; Brian Swain 2-27, 1 TD; Tony Titrud 1-33; Antol Bredl 1-27; Morgan Maughen 1-(-6); Cameron Keeney 1-11.
Cascade – Brown 3-69; Beeson 1-19; Federico 1-4.
LaSalle – Keeney 4-163.
Cascade – 10.
LaSalle - 16.
Cascade – 2-1.
LaSalle – 2-1.
Cascade – Kyle Coots 3-92 yds.
LaSalle – Cameron Keeney 4-163 yds.