Foxes rally – Silverton 3-0 in league, Kennedy moves to 4-0

September 2022 Posted in sports

By James Day

Silverton High took over sole possession of first place in the Mid-Willamette Conference on a wild Friday night of football in the valley.

The Foxes rallied from a 2-touchdown deficit to take out South Albany 39-35 in the home opener at McGinnis Field. Silverton, 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the MWC, scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to stun the RedHawks, 3-1 overall and in league. The win moved the Foxes to No. 1 in the OSAA’s Class 5A rankings.

Surging Dallas, meanwhile, won its third in a row, taking out West Albany, 26-21, at Memorial Stadium in Albany to match South Albany’s 3-1 league mark. West Albany is 2-1 and Lebanon and Central are lurking at 2-2.

Silverton closed out South Albany with a 93-yard scoring drive in the game’s final moments. Jackson Pfeifer scored the game-winner on his third TD of the period on a two-yard run with 32.9 seconds left, but the big play was a 43-yard double reverse pass from Carson Waples to Cohen Mulick that put the ball on the RedHawks 3.

Cohen Mulick

Cohen Mulick

Waples, the backup QB as well as a starting wide receiver, took a handoff from WR Elijah Howard and delivered a strike to Mulick deep down the right sideline. Pfeifer scored three plays later.

Waples: “I knew it had to get completed if we wanted a chance to win the game and I had a special feeling about it when I lined up. We have worked on it only a couple of times, but I knew as soon as I let go of the ball that Cohen was going to make a play and he did.”

Mulick: “That was a trick play we’ve had for a little while and Carson just aired it out. We ran it just like we had in practice. And we have a lot of guys who can catch the ball.”

Coach Dan Lever: “I knew we could try to go down the field with short passes and getting out of bounds, but you’ve got to get a big chunk at some point.”

Sawyer Teeney

Sawyer Teeney

South Albany outscored the Foxes 15-0 in the third quarter and took a 35-21 lead into the final period. But Silverton struck quickly to get back into the game. First, sophomore QB Sawyer Teeney stunned the South Albany defense by hitting Pfeifer for a 61-yard touchdown pass on a post pattern on 3rd-and-1 to make it 35-27.

Then, Mulick made a huge play on special teams, blocking a RedHawks punt and giving Silverton the ball at the 20. It took the Foxes just one play to get in the end zone as Pfeifer swept around the left side for the 20-yard score. With 8:54 left the RedHawks led just 35-33.

The visitors then drove into Silverton territory, getting one first down on a fake punt. But the drive stalled at the 37 and the RedHawks punted out of bounds at the Foxes 7 with 4:29 to play.

And the 93-yard drive began.

Teeney picked up a first down on a five-yard run run to the 18. Pfeifer added another first down on a four-yard run to the 31. Mulick caught a four-yard pass for a first down at the 41. Teeney then rolled out to the right to escape the pressure and served up a sidearm pass that Elijah Howard caught for 13 yards and a first down at the South 46. One incomplete pass later Lever sent in the double reverse pass and the Foxes executed it perfectly to snatch the victory.

“Our kids are really resilient and willing to learn from their mistakes,” said Lever, the Foxes’ first-year coach. “That’s what it takes to get better. Everybody did their part. It was like a heavyweight title fight. We had to learn how to take their best punch and be OK.”

Football Notes: The steadily improving Teeney threw for three scores and ran for one for the Foxes. The Foxes had a short week, returning to action Sept. 30 at McGinnis against 0-4 Corvallis (after Our Town’s press time). The Foxes’ freshman squad improved to 2-1 Monday with a 48-22 win vs. Central.

Kennedy: The Trojans turned in their third consecutive shutout and improved to 4-0 with a 21-0 road win at Dayton. JFK is 2-0 in Class 3A’s Special District 2.

Trojans QB Elijah Traeger threw a pair of TD passes, one to Owen Bruner and one to Brett Boen and the defense did the rest. Since opening the season with a 52-8 home win against Stanfield, the Trojans have blanked their past three opponents, Siuslaw, Jefferson and Dayton.

No. 2 Kennedy hosts No. 12 Scio (3-1 overall, 1-1 in league) at 7 p.m. Thursday in another Special District 2 showdown.

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