McKenzie River Reflections - Make the McKenzie Connection!

November 1, 2018

 

October 30, 2018



McKenzie Varsity Sports Schedule This Week

The McKenzie Varsity 2018 Volleyball, Football, and Cross Country seasons have ended.

Joseph Wins 2018 Six-Man Crossover Championship

Joseph Overruns McKenzie 64-31

It might have been billed the 2018 Crossover Convocation Championship. A convocation is a gathering or flock of eagles, and the inaugural six-man football championship game featured the Joseph Eagles and the McKenzie Eagles. To be sure, the game announcer never got twisted around all night, the Eagles always had the ball. Speaking of night, the game between the two Special District Champions kicked off on a beautiful, if not unseasonably warm, Central Oregon night held at the fine facilities of the Madras High White Buffaloes.

Joseph, representing the Eastern Oregon Special District 6 League, rode in sporting an undefeated 6-0 season record. McKenzie arrived from the Western Oregon Special District 5 League with a 5-1 overall record. McKenzie led the State in offensive points scored with 420 and Joseph wasn't far back with 344. The glaring difference, however, was Joseph's defense, which had allowed just 24 points over the course of the season, by far the stingiest statewide. McKenzie allowed 134 points.

Joseph put the game's first points on the scoreboard with 8:33 showing when senior running back Tyler Homan broke free of the McKenzie defense and scampered 38 yards to the end zone. With the failed PAT, the score showed Joseph 6, McKenzie 0. About a minute later, with 7:20 showing on the clock to be exact, the Joseph defense would force another McKenzie turnover, a Steven Dover interception, and turned it into a touchdown. Joseph 12, McKenzie 0.

McKenzie would respond at 5:38 when senior Daniel Quirk connected with fellow senior Dover on a touchdown pass. The touchdown was waved off, however, by the officials due to a crack back penalty assessed against McKenzie. McKenzie's drive continued following the penalty but the Joseph defense clamped down and intercepted Dover at the Joseph 10 yd. line. McKenzie's defense would force a punt on the ensuing drive, but Joseph kicked a textbook beautiful 60 yd. plus punt that bounced out of bounds at the McKenzie half-yard line.

Pinned down, McKenzie's Dover was intercepted by Joseph nose guard Steven Beckman, who would return to the 5-yard line. With 1:47 on the clock, Joseph's senior tightend Trey Wandschneider scored a touchdown. The PAT failed and the Eastern boys were now up 18-0.

McKenzie wasn't in the mood to roll over just yet and senior Caleb Thompson, playing safety, intercepted a Joseph pass. With the first quarter time running down, it didn't take Quirk, clearly the fastest player on the field, long to score a nifty 74-yard touchdown run with but 16 seconds left in the quarter. The PAT failed and the quarter would end with Joseph up 18-6.

McKenzie struck pay dirt first in the second quarter. Joseph had once again punted very well, this time down to McKenzie's 10-yard line. Dover handed off to Quirk, who took off like a rabbit with afterburners around the left end and down the sideline, 85 yards for the score. Thompson scored the PAT and McKenzie was back in business. Joseph 18, McKenzie 13, clock at 7:56.

Joseph's Homan would not stand still for the Western upstarts and about a minute later dodged all the Eagle defense for a 45 yd. score. The Joseph Eagles successfully kicked the extra point attempt and regained control of the game.

McKenzie lost senior running back Jermiah McGlasson shortly thereafter following a successful pass completion from Dover and with 5:06 left in the half, a McKenzie 43 yd. pass completion TD was nullified due to a holding call. That seemed to take some wind out of McKenzie's sails going on as Joseph took over possession of the ball on downs and with 1:31 left, connected on a 57 yard pass completion and touchdown to Wandschneider. The PAT failed and Joseph was beginning to roll. Joseph 32, McKenzie 13.

The kickoff was deep, clear to the McKenzie 10 yd line. The Eagles from Finn Rock would turnover the ball to Joseph and the Eastern Eagles didn't waste the moment, Wandschneider hauling in a touchdown pass from Homan with just 8 seconds left. The PAT would fail and the convocation of Eagles broke for halftime with Joseph clearly in control, 38-13.

The second half opened with Joseph's Homan scoring first, 9:34, off a busted play and running 48 yards to pay dirt. McKenzie junior Silas Kress got some satisfaction by blocking the PAT kick attempt. Joseph 44-13. Joseph attempted an onside kickoff that linedrived right into McKenzie sophomore Kaden Kewish's hands, which he deftly handled.

The ensuing McKenzie drive, starting at midfield was helped on two occasions with horse-collar penalties with 6:04 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Quirk would find junior wide receiver River Bloomer open for a 6 yd. touchdown pass. The PAT failed and Joseph led 44-19.

Joseph put the ball in running back Guylen Snyder's care and the junior rambled 39 yards and added on another horse-collar whistle this time on McKenzie. The penalty had fans from both sides of the Mountain now buzzing about who really knew anything about horses, but Joseph used the opportunity to advantage as Homan ran in from 11 yards out for the score. The PAT kick split the uprights perfectly and the Joseph Eagles were flying high with a 52-19 lead.

McKenzie didn't have quit written in the game plan yet, and Thompson returned the kickoff to the Joseph 44 yd. line, setting up McKenzie with excellent field position. A Quirk pass completion to Dover down to the 30-yard line and a Quirk 25 yard run to the Joseph 3 yard line put Joseph on their heels (that is talons). But the talons took their toll, as Joseph's vaunted defense sacked Dover back at the 8 yd. line.

A Quirk pass completion was fumbled at the one-half yd. line on third down and Joseph's defense would hold the goal line on fourth and goal. End of Third Quarter: Joseph 52, McKenzie 19.

McKenzie fans can be proud of their Eagles. Despite numerous miscues, down a ton and facing a worthy opponent, McKenzie didn't lay down. With 9:17 remaining in the game, Quirk would score for McKenzie following a fumble recovery. Joseph answered with a touchdown of its own and with 4:43 remaining, Quirk would rocket off again, this time a 54 yd. touchdown sprint. The PAT failed but McKenzie had narrowed the margin to 58-31. Joseph's Homan, counterpart to McKenzie's Quirk, scored the game's final TD, with 2:38 showing on the clock. The PAT again failed and the Joseph defense, Best in the West, held McKenzie in check the rest of the way. Final: Joseph 64, McKenzie 31.

Crosshill Christian Spikes McKenzie Post Season

McKenzie Varsity Volleyball will not return to Ridgeview High School in Redmond and the OSAA State Final Eight Volleyball Championships. Crosshill Christian, the third seed out of the Casco League, upended Mt. West League Champion McKenzie last Saturday at Finn Rock. The Crosshill Christian Eagles defeated the host Eagles 3-1 to advance to Redmond for the third straight year, where they have finished 5th the past two seasons.

McKenzie, for their part, are left wondering, what if? Last season, McKenzie qualified for the Final Eight and graduated just two seniors. But then, so did Crosshill Christian (the Eagles actually graduated one senior) and three guesses who defeated McKenzie in the Quarterfinals at Redmond last year. You got it, Crosshill Christian, 3-1.

McKenzie defeated the Casco League Eagles earlier in the McKenzie Round Robin Tournament, but back then, that wasn't for all the marbles. What McKenzie most likely wasn't aware of was how focused and purposed Crosshill was arriving last Saturday at Finn Rock for a second round OSAA playoff match. According to a Dad of a Crosshill Volleyball athlete, the school's Boys soccer team qualified this season for the first time in school history for the State playoffs. Last Monday, while attending a Casco League soccer game, the grandfather of one of the Crosshill soccer players and his sister on the Varsity Volleyball team, suffered a medical emergency and tragically passed away. Obviously, the entire Crosshill community, teams and school were shaken to the core. Dad remarked that the sad event seemed to have galvanized the teams and given them a new purpose and bonding.

Occasionally, Real Life steps up and calls a timeout, reminding us how and where we should place our priorities and focus. With that in mind, here's praying that all of Crosshill Christian can find peace and understanding in the moment.

The match Saturday was a classic knockdown between two evenly matched teams. Crosshill 25-22 won the first set. Crosshill jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but McKenzie rebounded, forging a 4-4 tie. The tie score prefaced the tenor of the set as both teams would tie the score nine times all together. The final tie was 18-18 and the largest lead by either Eagle team up to that point was the initial 3-0 margin.

Crosshill Christian put together a 5-0 run, running the score to 23-18 and it looked as if McKenzie couldn't find a kill. But the home Eagles rallied and produced their own 4-1 run and suddenly it was anybodies set, McKenzie 22, Crosshill 24. The latter Eagles finally got the kill they were looking for and it was on to the second set.

Nobody cooled off during the break between sets as both teams resumed the intense back and forth attacks. As before in the opening set, neither team were able to pull away. This match would see 12 tie scores produced, with the last one at 23-all and the largest lead by either team was 3 points early in the set. Crosshill won the second set 25-23. The third set, now with host McKenzie's back up against the wall and facing potential elimination, was more and more of the same.

Some folks grumbled a bit about the admission price set by OSAA for the playoff series, but here to tell you, folks were getting their money's worth. The match was a classic, with all the intensity you would expect from two skilled teams locked in post-season play. The third set produced 10 ties and the final one was at 25 all.

McKenzie set up senior Jade Hayes for a crucial kill to go up 26-25 and behind senior Kanyen Kamrath's serve, won the next point and the match 27-25. The fourth set had all the earmarks of the same script, the two Eagle teams locking up early in the set at 3-3. Crosshill took a 6-5 lead and surprise, surprise, the set took an unexpected turn and not good for the home team. Crosshill found another gear and several holes in the McKenzie defense.

It wasn't a sudden turn as McKenzie continued to battle ferociously, but rather methodically and with discipline, Crosshill built the largest lead of the day, 14-5, and then gradually extended it to a 13-point advantage, 24-12. McKenzie fans held their breath as their team rallied to win the next four points, but that's when Crosshill put on the lockdown, hit the winning kill, sealed the 25-16 match win and began to refocus their energies toward next week's trip to the State Finals.

As for McKenzie, it is the time to recognize a worthy opponent and reflect on their season. Specifically, for the four Eagle seniors who will never put on a McKenzie Volleyball uniform again, the time to wonder, what if, now takes on greater relevance.

Eagle Runners Finish Cross Country Season

McKenzie's Cross Country runners put a wrap on their 2018 season, culminating in the 5,000 meters 2A/1A Boys Junior Varsity race held last Thursday, October 25, at Valley of the Rogue State Park.

Eagle junior Alder Montes, the top McKenzie finisher, placed 10th out of a field of 26 Junior Varsity participants, running the course in a time of 22:42.10 minutes. Teammates junior Bodie Harbick finished 16th posting a time of 25:14.21 min. and senior Deighton Castle was 23rd with a time of 30:43.97 min.

Bandon freshman Trevor Angove won the race touring the distance in 20.00.57 min. and freshman teammate Chase Barker finished second overall, turning in a time of 20.07.99 min. Bandon won the Junior Varsity team race with a team total 26 points and Lakeview, the only other complete team in the race finished second with 29 points.

Bandon junior Isaac Cutler, timed in 17:04.86 min., won the Varsity Boys 2A/1A 5,000 m. race and Bandon likewise won the Varsity Boys team race with 52 points. Lakeview placed second with 64 points.

Mt. West League At State

Mt. West League Volleyball Champion McKenzie's remarkable 2018 run hit a wall last Saturday, October 24, when Crosshill Christian defeated the Finn Rock hosts, 3-1. Crosshill advances to the OSAA State Final Eight Championships in Redmond and McKenzie's season ends with a overall record of 25-9 and a final 8th Class 1A OSAA State ranking.

The 12th ranked Alsea Wolverines, representing the MWL as a Second Seed in the First Round OSAA State Volleyball Playoffs defeated the visiting 11th ranked Umpqua Valley Christian/Melrose Monarchs, 3-1, last Wednesday, October 24. The Wolverines won the first set 25-20, dropped the second set, 13-25, and won the final two sets, 25-11 and 25-23. Alsea advanced to the Second Round and traveled to 6th ranked Days Creek on Saturday, October 27. The Wolf Pack held off the Wolverine attack, winning the match, 3-1, and Days Creek advances to the OSAA Final Eight Championships next weekend in Redmond.

As for Alsea, its season is finished with a 22-11 overall record. Mohawk, the MWL third seed to the State playoffs, traveled to 5th ranked Perrydale on Wednesday's First Round and lost three sets, 13-25, 13-25, and 12-25. Perrydale advanced to meet South Wasco County and the 26th ranked Mustangs (14-11) 2018 season has ended.

Eastern Oregon Dominates Civil (Crossover) War

Eastern Oregon bulldogged and hogtied Western Oregon last Saturday at Madras High School. The occasion was the inaugural Football 6-Man 2018 Crossover series featuring the top 4 Western Oregon teams versus their top 4 Eastern Oregon counterparts. At the end of the day, the Special District 6 Eastern Oregon teams swept, winning all four games by a collective score of 255-52. The two fourth place teams kicked off the Series and South Wasco County routed Eddyville Charter, 65-13.

Next up was the two third place teams, Echo of the East and Gilchrist of the West. Same tune, Echo 55, Gilchrist 0. Harper Charter finished second on the East side and they routed Western runner-up Powers, 71-8. Joseph capped the night with a strong 64-31 victory over Western Oregon SD-5 Champ McKenzie.

To McKenzie's credit, they scored more points against the potent Joseph defense than all the other teams the latter faced all season prior. To be sure, regardless of the lopsided victories Saturday, OSAA and the participating teams should regard the six-man pilot program a success this past season.

 

McKenzie River Reflections

 

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