COVE FOOTBALL HEADS TO POWERS
By Raenelle Kwock
Observer Staff Writer
COVE The Cove Leopards will return to the 1A state football quarterfinals after a two-year absence.
The location of the quarterfinal: Powers (500 miles away in southern Coos County).
Cove coach Skip Pereira joked Powers is a "foreign country.
"We'll need to get our visas this week and head out to Powers," he said jokingly.
The Leopards ran away from the South Wasco County Redsides in the second half en route to a 36-12 state first round win Saturday.
"We're very emotionally up and I thought the kids played tremendous on defense," Pereira said.
Pereira said both teams played well on defense.
"Our special teams and defense made our win possible," Pereira said.
Cove's Tom White caused havoc on the defensive line by bursting through to sack the quarterback.
"It was a great win," White said.
The defense held the Redsides to 122 yards of total offense. The Leopards had 341 rushing yards, thanks in large part to Cody and Nate Savage. Cody carried the ball 23 times for 175 yards, while Nate had 96 yards off 18 touches.
"This is awesome," Cody Savage said.
He said the Leopards knew the Redsides were a good team.
Cody Savage's 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter was his second rushing TD. The Leopards led 22-6.
The Leopards added to their lead as Nate Savage ran a 17-yard TD up the middle, breaking several tackles along the way. Cove's lead grew to 30-6.
A Leopard fumble helped the Redsides late in the fourth quarter. A late hit penalty was assessed to the Leopards giving the Redsides good field position.
They mounted a drive, which was capped off by quarterback Aaron Mason's wobbly 9-yard TD pass to Jessie Baney to make the score 36-12 with 1:07 left.
Pereira said the Leopards "threw the gauntlet down in the second half" by taking the Redsides off the line of scrimmage.
He said the Leopards were challenged "to drive the ball down the field.
"We responded in the right manner," Pereira said.
The Redsides kept the game close in the first half after the Leopards jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Cody Savage ran for a 51-yard TD in the first quarter. Josh Pfel intercepted a pass at the Leopard 11 and pushed his way into the end zone in the second quarter.
A Leopard fumble led to Mason's 38-yard TD pass to Steven Kresse in the second quarter.
Pereira said the Leopards were not able to sustain consistency in their offense and it is something they need to work on and find a remedy for, so that it does not put undue pressure on the defense.
"Again, I think we have the firepower in our offense and we have been able to score 40 or more points all year," Pereira said. "We still haven't gotten to our potential."
He said he was disappointed about Cove's lack of consistency getting first downs in the first half. He added the Leopards are a much better passing team than what they showed against the Redsides.
Pereira said the Redsides were tough defensively.
"I thought defensively their kids were battling us," he said. "They would not stay blocked and made our job so much tougher to sustain."
The time and day of the quarterfinal will be announced later this week.
So. Wasco County 0 6 0 6 12
Cove 6 8 16 6 36
C Cody Savage 51 run (pass failed)
C Josh Pfel 11 INT return (Jason Hagey run)
SWC Steven Kresse 38 pass from Aaron Mason (run failed)
C C. Savage 1 run (Andy Altenburg pass from Pfel)
C Nate Savage 17 run (C. Savage run)
C C. Savage 17 pass from Hagey (pass failed)
SWC Jessie Baney 9 pass from Mason (kick failed)
RUSHING SWC, Blake Chastain 7-29, Jeff Espeland 3-11, Brad Zizilas 5-(minus 4), Kresse 10-29, Jamie Peterson 1-3, Mason 4-(minus 8), Jesse Henderson 1-(minus 2). Cove, N. Savage 18-96, C. Savage 23-175, Hagey 14-41, Raage Sofe 2-5, Pfel 3-11, Altenburg 2-8, Cole Pagliarulo 1-5.
PASSING SWC, Mason 6-14-2-64, Zizilas 0-1-1-0, Kasey Skaar 0-1-0-0. Cove, Hagey 2-7-0-22, Pfel 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING SWC, Kresse 4-54, Nelson Hernandez 1-1, Baney 1-9. Cove, Pfel 1-5, C. Savage 1-17.