At the EPHS Homecoming football game on Thursday, Oct. 11, the varsity Eagles blasted through the visiting Willamette Wolverines. Final score after regulation was 45 – 18, for the Eagles, proving them strong contenders for a first-round home game when the playoffs get started.
The Eagles recovered their own opening kickoff to set the tone early, but spent most of the first twelve minutes feeling out the Willamette defense. That is, until Jakob Combs ran 14 yards for the first score of the game near the end of the first quarter. The Eagles offense found its rhythm and was all but unstoppable from the second quarter onward.
Combs went on to collect 163 of the Eagles’ total 371 rushing yards on twenty-eight carries and received once for 15 yards and another touchdown in the fourth quarter. Eagles’ head coach, Jacob Schauffler, was quick to point out his running back’s commendable performance. “Jakob Combs had a heck of a night,” Schauffler said. “He ran extremely hard.”
Caleb Ash also played a solid offensive game. Ash carried the ball sixteen times for 116 rushing yards, caught two passes for 49 receiving yards, and reached the end zone three times to put 18 points on the board— not to mention Ash’s whopping 8 individual tackles on defense.
But, more surprising was junior quarterback Jorge Quintero’s 57 rushing yards in eight attempts on the keeper. Quintero also scored a touchdown on one of his carries. In the second quarter Quintero ran across the end zone from 19 yards out.
Coach Schauffler talked about how his offense creates scoring opportunities. “With the offense that we’ve got, they’re going to key running backs,” Schauffler said. “It just naturally opens up for Jorge.”
Quintero connected for nine completions for 126 of the Eagles’ 157 passing yards, three times for touchdowns to receivers Ash, Combs, and Carlos Flores. Flores caught four receptions over the evening for a combined 71 yards. Zerger had four receptions for 22 yards of his own.
Once again, it must be noted what spectacular work the Eagles special teams accomplished. In the third quarter, the Eagles kickoff team forced back-to-back fumbles with onside kicks. The first of these put the Eagles within the 30 yard line, allowing them to rack up 13 points in about two minutes.
Bryson Baker was only credited with two tackles during the game, but, those two tackles made a huge difference. It was Baker’s hard hitting that forced fumbles. Coach Schauffler explained he normally does not like to elevate certain athletes above the rest of the team, but he could not help giving credit to Baker.
“Bryson Baker single-handedly made a couple of those plays,” Schauffler said.
Eagles’ football is on the road for their final two games of the regular season. First, against Marshfield High School on Friday, Oct. 19, and then at Ashland High School on Friday, Oct. 26th. Eagle Point and Ashland are quite close in the power rankings; and, with both teams sharing an identical win-loss record it promises to be an exciting match-up.