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Briseno power – Ball-carrier keeps Foxes offense balanced

James Day

When the football season started we knew that Silverton boasted some potent offensive weapons. Quarterback Jordan McCarty was back for his third season as a starter. Veteran wide receivers Vandon Fessler and Austin Ratliff also were on hand, as well as a sizable and seasoned offensive line. That left running back.

During fall camp fifth-year coach Josh Craig suggested it might be a “running back by committee” sort of approach, involving Jackson Pfeifer, Keegan Walter, James Toland and Alex Briseno. Then Pfeifer hurt his foot. Toland and Walter also were vital to the defensive effort as linebackers. That left Briseno, an unheralded 5-9, 150-pound junior, to assume the heavy lifting.

He has been a revelation, rushing for 716 yards and 14 touchdowns for the 9-1 Foxes, who have advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive (non-COVID) year. No. 2 Silverton faced off with No. 7 North Salem after Our Town’s presstime.

Briseno uncorked perhaps his best game of the season against McKay in the first round of the playoffs on Nov. 5. He juked, shifted, slashed and pounded his way for 180 yards on 26 carries and scored the final four Silverton TDs in the 42-7 victory against McKay. He was not stopped for negative yardage on any of his 26 carries.

Alex Briseno

The Foxes, who were a perfect 7-0 in Special District 3 (Mid-Willamette Conference), dominated the all-league team. Craig was named coach of the year, John Horner was named assistant coach of the year, McCarty was named offensive player of the year, two-way senior standout Orie Schaffers was picked lineman of the year and senior linebacker Walter shared defensive player of the year honors with Tyler Seiber of South Albany.

McCarty was named first team at QB. Fessler and Ratliff also were first-team offensive choices. 

Schaffers was joined on the first-team O-line by senior teammate Sam Willis. First-team defensive choices include Schaffers, Willis, Walter, Toland and DBs Fessler and Ratliff. The 2nd-team offense included lineman Sam Clements and Briseno. The 2nd-team defense included lineman Jermain Ifenuk, linebacker Carlos Recendiz and DB McCarty. Foxes earning honorable mention were DB David Russell, RB Pfeifer and OL Elijah Roper.

Kennedy, ranked second in Class 2A, also is in the quarterfinals. The Special District 2 (Tri-River Conference) champions (9-1) advanced with a 38-0 thumping of Nestucca on Nov. 5.  The Trojans faced Gaston on Nov. 13 after Our Town’s presstime.

Boys Soccer: The Foxes finished 8-3-5 and advanced to the 5A quarterfinals for a second time under coach Marty Limbird. Along the way Silverton defeated  Woodburn, a seven-time state champion, for the first time in school history. The Foxes were eliminated 1-0 by top-ranked LaSalle Prep.

Defender Solomon Moore of the Foxes was named first-team all-Mid-Willamette. Midfielder Dominic Doyle was named to the second team, while midfielder Carlos Flores and defender Victor Cortes earned honorable mention.

Girls Soccer: The Foxes took third in the MWC and finished 6-6-1 overall, falling in the first round of the 5A playoffs against No. 3 North Eugene. Midfielder Marissa Johnston and defender Natasha Fink were named to the all-conference first team. Defender C.J. Shepard and midfielder Yesenia Gaspar and forward Allie Schwarzinger were named to the second team, while defender Elise Doyle, defender Trillian Hawley and defender Jade Snook earned honorable mention.

Cross Country: The Kennedy girls took fifth in Class 3A-2A-1A team competition at the OSAA state championships Nov. 6 at Lane Community College in Eugene. The Trojans were led by freshman Rachel Kintz, who finished 24th in 21:53.5. Also scoring for Kennedy were Nora Breeden (31st, 22:43.4), Kylee Rodriguez (50th, 24:31.1), Alyse Williams (52nd, 24:37.3) and Aleks Eyles (55th, 24:42.5). 

Silverton, meanwhile, sent both teams to state, with the boys finishing 12th and the girls finishing 13th. Top finisher for the boys was Carter Gauvin (37th, 17:52.0) and the girls were led by Alisha Larkin (56th, 22:37.5).

Volleyball: Silverton finished 16-6 and one match short of the state’s final four in Class 5A. The Foxes won their playoff opener against Redmond before falling in the quarterfinals to C.V. 

Follow me on Twitter.com
@jameshday. 

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