Dayton wins; Amity, Sheridan, Willamina all fall on their opening night
The McMinnville Grizzlies nearly pitched a shutout against 5A Madison Friday Night. Mac won 56-8 in their home opener. Click here for game recap.
Dayton 26, Kennedy 12
The Dayton Pirates moved to 2-0 on the season with a 26-12 victory over Kennedy Friday night in their home opener.
“It was great to be home,” said coach Brodie Unger. “In football, you always enjoy those home games.”
Unger said it was another week of the good and the bad.
“These first couple games we figured would be grind-it-out games,” he said. “The main thing is to continue to evaluate ourselves and find our identity. That’s going to be a process.”
The Pirates had an 8-0 halftime lead on a first quarter 27-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Darren Ashley to Corwin Hiatt. The two teams matched third quarter scores, the Pirates’ coming on a 4-yard run by Connor Spivey. A 5-yard touchdown run by Ashley and a 13-yard scoring run by Chance Bowlin helped put the game away for Dayton.
Ashley finished the game 12 for 19 for 190 yards. “He’s one of those guys growing into that leadership roll,” Unger said, “and he’s getting better.”
“There were some improvements (from last week), but to be honest not as much as I wanted,” Unger said. “We just got to continue to play hard and get better each and every day.”
Unger said it will take some of the younger guys “playing older than they are” for the team to play to its potential.
Amity 19, Pleasant Hill 29
The Amity Warriors were rusty in their season opener, falling 29-19 to Pleasant Hill at home Friday night.
The Billies had the advantage of this being their second game. They lost last week 14-10 to Dayton.
“There were some first game jitters, things I’m confident we’ll get fixed quickly,” coach Jared Hinkle said. “They were more polished and did a better job of executing their offense.”
The Billlies jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter on a defensive touchdown, a safety and a field goal. Amity had an option play go south leading to the first score. The safety was the result of a botched snap on a punt.
Amity trailed 22-6 at half. That proved too big a deficit to overcome, although Hinkle said the team played cleaner as the game went on.
Senior quarterback Brett Hilt led the way, scoring both Warrior touchdowns on the ground and finishing with close to 200 yards rushing. Isaac Nance and Colby Graham also ran the ball well, Hinkle said.
Hinkle added they had several plays that could have turned things around, including a few dropped interception opportunities and a missed fourth-and-one attempt.
“We were one or two little things away from making a big play,” he said. “I got to give Pleasant Hill all the credit. We’re talking about making plays tonight and they did that.”
He added, “It was great effort all night by our guys. We just need to clean up those little mistakes that cost us big time tonight.”
Amity will take on Gaston at home next week in another non-conference game. Hinkle expects his team to be ready.
“We are still 0-0 against league opponents. Playing good teams in preseason like tonight will make us better going forward.”
Sheridan 14, Monroe 24
After being tied 14-14 at the half, things slipped away quickly - literally - for Sheridan’s season opener at Monroe Friday night.
In their first possession of the second half, Sheridan drove to Monroe’s 10-yard-line before fumbling. After a Dragon score, Sheridan fumbled on the following kickoff, leading to another Dragon score. Sheridan was stripped again on the next series - the third of five second half turnovers.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” coach Brice Ingram said.
The Spartans also racked up 75 yards in penalties. Ingram believes fatigue played a factor in the numerous lapses.
“I’ll take some of the blame; I don’t think we were in game shape,” he said. “Game shape is different than practice shape. I think we got gassed in the second half.”
The coach praised his offensive line for getting the run game moving.
“We were running the ball at will,” he said. “We dominated the line of scrimmage.”
Willamina 8, Gaston 36
Willamina’s season got off to a tough start as they fell hard in a nonleague game at Gaston, 38-8. The Bulldogs only touchdown came on a 40-yard run by Jordan Thomas. They will look to rebound next week in their home opener against Heppner.
Scores will be posted as they are reported.