HILLSBORO — The Scio Loggers showed why they’re the favorites in Oregon Class 2A football on Saturday. A perpetual running attack logged nearly 400 yards as Scio hammered Weston-McEwen 46-8 in the state playoff semifinals at Hillsboro Stadium.
A spectacular season for Weston-McEwen ended in the most unspectacular way possible as a very good TigerScot team looked everything but that against the dominating Loggers.
The TigerScots (11-1) couldn’t contain the run game that Scio (12-1) brought to the line on every play of the game. The Loggers carried the ball for close to eight yards per touch and never once attempted a pass.
“Not getting the ball is so frustrating,” Weston-McEwen quarterback Dallas Reich said. “When we only get the ball for maybe a minute at a time, there’s nothing you can do.”
Scio used a double wing back formation on almost every play, handing off to one of its two workhorse backs. The back would slide along the line before jutting up field off the offensive tackle’s shoulder.
The running duo of Daniel Harper and Sean Heil rumbled for 314 yards and four touchdowns, all but two runs for less than a dozen yards. The Scio offense killed the ’Scots with persistence, not big plays.
“Nothing they did was any different than what we planned for,” Reich said. “We knew exactly what they were going to do and we just didn’t step up to the plate.”
But the TigerScots’ woes were two-fold. When the offense finally got its paws on the ball, the football tried to go back to the Loggers like there was a magnet buried in it. The team’s first six drives ended with a pair of interceptions and fumbles each, a turnover on downs and then a punt.
They would only get one more drive.
The Loggers — the two-time defending state champs — held a 46-0 advantage on Weston-McEwen before the TigerScot offense showed signs of the team that ran up scores on opponents this season. With a minute and change to play in the game, Reich hit running back Elliot Salter on a seven-yard touchdown pass.
The game long ago out of hand, coach Kenzie Hansell said the scoring play was important for his team to remind them of the successful season they had built.
“The effort was still there today and we’ve had a great season,” Hansell said. “We were 11-0. We deserved to be here but sometimes the ball game doesn’t go your way and unfortunately that was today for us.”
The Scio offense was also its best defensive weapon, Hansell said, because its long drives drained the clock and kept the TigerScot defense on the field. Weston-McEwen defenders couldn’t manage any turnovers and the Scio yardage just kept coming. Junior Tyler Peterson had 11.5 tackles while senior Nick Lively added another eight.
Peterson also led the offense with 36 yards rushing and Reich completed 11 of 17 passes for 85 yards. The offensive numbers were well below the TigerScots’ season average when they scored 473 points in the first 11 games.
But Scio was a different caliber of opponent than the teams the TigerScots laid all those points on, Reich said. Saturday’s Weston-McEwen team played much differently than in those games, as well.
“I don’t want to say star-struck in a bad way but I think that’s just what it was,” Reich said. “We went into this game thinking nothing’s going to phase us and we got out on this stage and faced an opponent that actually could play with us.”
Scio will face Gold Beach (12-0) next Saturday, Dec. 3, for the state championship. Gold Beach beat Oakland 50-6 in the other semifinal game.