La Salle makes history at Estacada
The Falcons win ugly and clinch their first back-to-back league titles
It wasnt pretty, but the La Salle Falcons rallied around their defense Friday night to drop Estacada 30-0 and clinch at least a tie for first place in the Tri-Valley Conference football standings. Its the first time in La Salle Prep school history that the Falcons have earned back-to-back league titles in football.
The win put the defending state champion and top-ranked Falcons at 4-0 (6-2 overall) in the TVC heading into this Fridays league final with Molalla (2-6, 1-3). Gladstone (7-1, 3-1), which plays North Marion (3-4, 0-4) Friday, is in second place.
With Fridays loss, Estacada slipped to 2-2 in league (5-3 overall).
Last Fridays game was played on a rain-slickened grass field, in the rain, at Estacada. Both the Rangers and the weather slowed the Falcons, who had four turnovers and had to turn to their defense to stage two goal-line stands.
La Salle veteran quarterback Mark Holenstein was 1-of-6 passing, and he was intercepted twice. La Salle senior running back Colin Meisner (22 carries, 130 yards, 60-yard kickoff return) and Falcon sophomore running back Mike Bianca (3 carries, 90 yards) headed up an offense that picked up 262 yards on the ground.
Following a Falcon turnover and a Ranger punt, Meisner put the first points on the scoreboard eight minutes into the game, scoring on a 2-yard run.
The Rangers punted again, and La Salle gained great field position, taking possession near the midfield stripe. The Falcons then marched all the way to the Ranger 1, before fumbling the ball away as the first quarter was winding down.
Sean Hays got two points for La Salle on the penetration, as he tackled Estacada quarterback Bryan Rhone in the end zone for a safety, and a 9-0 Falcon lead.
The Rangers kicked off from their own 20 following the safety, only to have Meisner return the kick 60 yards to the end zone for a Falcon touchdown. George Lillys second on-target PAT kick of the night made it La Salle 17, Estacada 0.
Following yet another La Salle turnover, Estacada penetrated to the La Salle 29, before giving up the ball on downs.
The Falcons got a break just before the half that gained them another touchdown and a more comfortable 24-0 lead. The Rangers appeared to have stopped the Falcons short of the goal line on downs with seconds remaining in the first half. But the Falcons maintained possession, thanks to a Ranger penalty on fourth down. And Holenstein kept seven yards to the end zone on the next play for the score.
Thanks to penalties, the muddy field and defense, neither team threatened in the third period.
And the Rangers got renewed hope early in the third stanza, when Rhone intercepted a Holenstein pass and returned it to the Falcon 25. A late hit advanced the ball to the 12, and the Rangers appeared poised to score.
Four plays later, Estacada had first-and-goal at the La Salle 2. But the defense held a second time, and four plays later La Salles offense took over at the 3 on downs.
A short time later, La Salle running back Mike Bianca busted a 90-yard run to the Ranger end zone, and the game was in the bag.
Estacada threatened to foil the shutout, driving deep into La Salle territory as the game-clock was winding down. But La Salle defensive back Drew Conaway picked off a pass in the end zone, and the Falcons ran out the clock for the 30-0 shutout. It was the first time this season that the Rangers had been held scoreless.
Junior linebacker Ryan Cavanagh was big for the Falcons on defense, making 10 solo tackles. Meisner came through with an interception, and junior linebacker Jordan Luyamba forced a fumble that was recovered by Jacob Meek.
the White Buffaloes
Ranked second in the state behind the La Salle Falcons, the Gladstone Gladiators didnt let the wet weather bother them last Friday, as they rolled to a 58-8 win over Madras.
The Gladiators were up 26-0 at halftime and they led 33-0 before Madras finally found the end zone in the third quarter.
Eleven different backs carried the ball for Gladstone and seven different players scored touchdowns, as the Gladiators amassed 413 yards in offense.
Sophomore Handsome Smith led the ground attack with 16 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown. Senior Austin Winter carried 16 times for 53 yards and three touchdowns.
Gladstone quarterbacks Austin Galvin and D.J. Williams passed for 131 yards, and Galvin threw a 4-yard scoring strike to Dalton Moe (3 receptions, 77 yards).
Sophomores Eric Prom and Max McCaslin also rushed for touchdowns.
Senior lineman Oscar Sanchez picked up a Madras fumble and returned the ball 32 yards to the end zone for a touchdown, and senior lineman Ben Hunter pounced on a White Buffalo fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.