By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
The McNary High School varsity football teams’s disastrous fourth quarter in a game with the West Salem High School Titans Friday, Oct. 25, meant the team had to settle for third place in the Central Valley Conference.
With the teams tied 35-35 at the start of the fourth quarter, McNary’s offense seemed to lose steam, resulting in a steady stream of miscues and penalties. The Titans won 44-35.
“Two fumbles were extremely costly to us. One before the half, and one in the fourth quarter. Both were our own fault. Both set up scores for West, and took away scoring opportunities for us,” said Isaac Parker, McNary head coach. “We really hurt ourselves with those fumbles.”
The Celts struggled on the opening drive of the game, and punctuated it with a shanked punt that set up the Titans with a short field at McNary’s 48-yard line. Three plays later, Titan Brady Rediger scored the first touchdown of the game for a 7-0 lead.
McNary started the next drive from its own 32-yard line and made a slow march back down the field highlighted by Hayden Gosling connections with Kyle Torres and David Gonzalez. The Keizer team made it to the red zone with a bit of trickery. Gosling handed off the ball to running back Brett Hildebrand, who passed it to Tanner Walker giving the Celtics first-and-goal at the Titan three-yard line. Kyle Torres notched a touchdown on a two-yard run to tie the game 7-7.
On the first play of McNary’s return, Celts Lacroix Hill, Jake Burrus and Perry Groves put Titan Quarterback Cade Smith on the run and he lost control of the ball. Burrus fell on the ball giving McNary possession at the Titan 28-yard line.
Hildebrand broke free of the pack from West’s 21-yard line to put McNary up 14-7 after a successful point after by Hayden McCowan. The Titans tied the game again with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
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