Nearly every player made a contribution as the McNary High School freshman football team took a 49-7 win over McKay High School last week.
A win in the team’s final match with the West Salem Titans past press time Thursday would earn them a Central Valley Conference title for the second time in three years.
“Everyone played a lot and it was a team win,” said Head Coach Ted Anagnos. “We continue to find guys on this team that work hard and capitalize on their opportunities when called upon.”
La Croix Hill opened scoring with a 7-yard rushing touchdown and followed it with the two-point conversion run for an 8-0 lead. Anthony Nguyen ran 17 yards for another first quarter touchdown on a drive led by backup quarterback Trevor Gilbert for a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter, with McKay pushing forward defensive end Jesse Gomez made a key interception. From there, Brady Sparks caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Trent VanCleave.
Sparks followed it up with the two-point conversion run and the young Celtics led 22-0.
Sparks closed the half with a 37-yard touchdown run for a 28-0 lead.
After the half, Matthew Aguilar intercepted a McKay pass and ran it back 39 yards for a score. Sparks ran in the two-point conversion to extend the score to 36-0.
Isaac Delgado rushed 13 yards for a touchdown and Isaiah Malcom kicked the extra point for a 43-0 lead.
McKay cut the lead to 43-7, but Bryson Canchela returned the kickoff 75 yards for the final score.
Sparks led McNary with 108 rushing yards on 13 carries, 36 receiving yards, two touchdowns and two conversion runs.
“It’s nice to run behind our offensive line,” said Sparks of his performance. “Those guys work hard in practice and deserve the credit.”
Offensive line coach Jared VanCleave has been pleased with the progress of the line play this year led by centers Jason Sperle and Tyler Wehrli, guards Dylan Putnam, D.J. Paqueno, Tristan Martineau, and Jon Collins, and tackles Kyle Bonn, Jacob Vannice, Juan Fonseca and Isaiah Holt.
Defensively, Gomez led McNary with seven tackles, linebackers Kyle Aicher and Andrew Melting added six each, safety Tanner Gordon and nose guard D.J. Paqueno had five each. Chance Lemon, Jerry Rivera, Hayden Sader, Hill, Putnam, Holt and Wehrli had four each. McNary extended their record to 4-0 in the CVC and 7-1 overall.