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Fast start: Openers show promise

James Day

Will Silverton High senior quarterback Jordan McCarty explode for nearly 400 yards of total offense every Friday? Who knows, but it should be a fun ride.

McCarty threw for 322 yards and one touchdown and scrambled for 66 more yards and two more scores on Sept. 3 as the Foxes thrashed Class 6A Grant of Portland 41-7 in their opener at McGinnis Field. Silverton, no. 4 in Class 5A, took on Tualatin, No. 4 in 6A, after Our Town presstime.

The 6-1, 180-pound McCarty led the Foxes on drives of 85, 65, 84, 80, 86 and 50 yards in the first three quarters as Silverton raced out to a 41-0 lead. McCarty did not play in the fourth quarter. The Foxes ran up 525 yards of total offense and recorded 8 plays of 20 yards or more.

“It was a good first win for our guys,” McCarty said. “We’ve got some dudes that love to play football.”

Senior wideouts Vandon Fessler (7 catches for 189) and Austin Ratliff (3 for 100 and a score) plagued the Grant secondary throughout, while running back Jackson Pfeifer slashed and juked his way to 73 yards and 3 TDs on just 11 carries.

“I’m proud of the way my guys played,” McCarty said. “We have a lot of fast receivers and a line that can hold its blocks.”

The offensive line of Elijah Roper, Caelan Beatty, Sam Clements, Orrie Schaffers and Sam Schaffers did not allow McCarty to be sacked and consistently opened holes for Pfeifer and the other backs.

The defense was solid, too, holding the Generals to 95 yards and just 4 first downs. Grant missed a field goal on its only serious drive of the game. The visitors scored on a fumble return.

Kennedy received similarly strong quarterback play as the Trojans, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, opened with a 34-6 win at Gaston. 

Riley Cantu, who took over for the injured Dylan Kleinschmit and went 5-0 as a starter in the spring season, passed for 124 yards and a score and led the Trojans on the ground with 53 yards and a TD.  

Cantu, like McCarty, had a lot of help vs. the Greyhounds. 

Owen Bruner rushed for 48 yards and a TD and caught 3 of Cantu’s passes for 58 more yards, including a 14-yarder for the game’s first score.

Elijah Traeger ran for 33 yards and 2 TDs.

Bruner and Traeger also intercepted a pass apiece to help spark the defense, which shut out the hosts until the final period..

“I thought as a team we really improved from the jamboree,” Kennedy coach Joe Panuke said. “Our blocking and tackling was much improved and we played much better team defense. Gaston is a good football team, I won’t be surprised if they win their league and be a playoff team.”

Kennedy, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, played Santiam Christian, No. 3 in Class 3A, after Our Town presstime.  

Soccer: The Silverton boys are 2-0-1 in non-league and currently hold down the No. 1 ranking in Class 5A. The Foxes’ lone blemish is a 3-3 tie at No. 3 Wilsonville. Silverton begins Mid-Willamette Conference play Sept. 28 vs. West Albany. The league currently boasts three top 5 teams, the top-ranked Foxes, No. 4 Corvallis and No. 5 North Salem. 

The Silverton girls are 1-1-1, with the win against Mountain View. The Lady Foxes, ranked 13th in 5A, also open league play Sept. 28 vs. West Albany.

Kennedy, meanwhile, which in its first season of a boys soccer cooperative with Salem Academy, is 1-0, with a 5-2 victory against Willamette Valley Christian. The squad is playing in the Class 3A-2A-1A Special District 2, along with Taft, Blanchet Catholic, Western Christian, Delphian, Dayton, Yamhill Carlton, Gervais and Perrydale. 

Volleyball: Silverton is off to a 3-1 start in Mid-Willamette Conference play, one game behind 4-0 West Albany. The Foxes’ only loss was to West Albany on Sept. 7. The MWC has three teams in the Class 5A top 10. West is No. 2, Crescent Valley (2-1) is fifth and the Foxes are eighth.

Kennedy, mean while, is 1-1 in the Tri-River Conference and 1-3 overall. The Trojans started 0-3 before getting on the winning track Sept, 9 with a 3-2 win vs. Colton.

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