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Multiple Teams · St. Mary’s School Varsity Football falls to Clatskanie High School 26-7

Saturday, October 7, 2017

1:00 PM

Clatskanie High School

St. Mary's School

Game Recap

The St. Mary’s Crusaders had tremendous difficulty sustaining drives after costly mistakes kept them in unfavorable positions on a long Saturday afternoon. The visiting Clatskanie Tigers received the ball to start the game, and their opening drive ended with an interception by senior safety Mike Miles. The Crusaders took over on their own 30 yard line, and garnered one first down before they were forced to punt. Junior running back and punter Gavin Rajagopal booted it deep and the Tigers found themselves with their backs against the wall at their own 5 yard line. The Tigers capitalized on penalties and missed tackles as they marched down the field 46 yards in 9 plays, and then connecting on a 49 yard touchdown pass to cap off their second possession of the game. This would be the only scoring from either team in the 1st quarter.

The Crusader’s next drive fizzled as a pass from junior quarterback Cody Conner bounced off the hands of sophomore wide receiver Aliiloa Kaeo-Wailehua, who was attempting to avoid an unfortunately placed referee, and into the hands of a Clatskanie defender. After taking over near midfield, the Crusaders still forced the Tigers into a 4th and 17 on the Crusader 25 yard line, where the Tigers connected on a touchdown pass for their 2nd score of the game. Once the Crusaders got the ball back, things were clicking until costly penalties forced them into a 4th and 4 deep in Tiger territory. After stopping the Crusaders on 4th down, the Tigers once again capitalized through the air as they scored on a 64 yard touchdown pass on 1st down.

As the Tigers kicked off, Kaeo-Wailehua was back deep to receive, determined to spark the Crusader offense with a great return. The ball came to him, and he went to work, returning the ball all the way to midfield. The St. Mary’s offense took it the rest of the way, off of runs from Miles, Rajagopal, junior running back Jake Reynolds, a 5 yard scramble from Conner, and a 10 yard pass from Conner to Rajagopal to convert on 3rd down. In the end, Rajagopal would take it 19 yards to score on the ground – his 12th on the year.

To begin the 3rd quarter, the Tigers – who had learned their lesson about kicking it to Kaeo-Wailehua – attempted an onside kick and, after a very favorable bounce, recovered it. They took the ball 50 yards in 8 plays for the final scoring play of the game. This made the score 26-7 after another failed 2-point conversion. For the remainder of the game, the exhausted Clatskanie Tigers ran out as much clock as they could, and St. Mary’s tried in vain to find paydirt again.

The true lowlight of the game was the injury of Cody Conner, who likely won’t see the field again this season. This is a devastating blow to the Crusaders. Kaeo-Wailehua will take over his duties as quarterback moving forward.

The 3-3 Crusaders enter league play this Friday as they travel to Cave Junction to take on the 3-3 Illinois Valley Cougars. Last week the Cougars fell to the Lost River Raiders 19-61. Both teams are 0-0 in league play.

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St. Mary's School