POWDER ROLLS; ON TO FINALS
By Gerry Steele
For the Observer
HILLSBORO Just how dominating is Powder Valley? We may never know because the Badgers very seldom play a complete 48-minute football game.
Top-ranked Powder Valley buried its second straight opponent in the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Class 1A state playoffs Saturday when the Badgers stomped fifth-ranked Mohawk 58-12 in the semifinals at Hillsboro Stadium. The game ended with 11:40 left in the fourth quarter because of the 45-point mercy rule.
Powder Valley (11-0), which defeated Jewell 57-0 in the quarterfinals in just one half, has played just 20 seconds more than five quarters in two state playoff victories. The Badgers scored on eight of their 11 drives Saturday.
The Badgers will play fourth-ranked Powers (10-0) in the state championship game Saturday. Powers, which beat Cove 16-8 in the quarterfinals, beat No. 2-ranked McKenzie 42-24 in the other semifinal Saturday.
The OSAA will set the time and site today.
The Badgers scored their 58 points against Mohawk despite having the ball on offense only 12 minutes, 15 seconds.
Powder Valley scored 22 first-quarter points while running just one offensive drive.
The Badgers took the opening kickoff and marched 72 yards on 12 plays, using 3:56 on the clock. Quarterback Todd Baxter completed three passes to Deven Thompson on the drive and Cody Taylor capped it off with a 2-yard dive up the middle for the touchdown.
"That first drive was one of our longer drives of the year," said Powder Valley coach Alan Stanfield.
Four plays after the ensuing kickoff, Powder Valley went up 16-0 when Justin Deal intercepted a Derek Robinson pass in the flat and raced 29 yards to the end zone.
Stanfield said Powder Valley's defensive pressure on Robinson set up the score.
"On Deal's interception we ran a double blitz up the middle," Stanfield said. "Rylie Wendt went first, then Todd Baxter delayed behind him."
Stanfield said Baxter had Robinson in his grasp when he threw the ball.
"Our defense was just outstanding all day," he said.
Powder Valley increased its lead to 22-0 about three minutes later when Taylor broke a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown.
On the play, Taylor took the kick at his own 23, was hit by several Mohawk players near midfield, but maintained his balance, then followed his blocks to the end zone.
"Cody got hit, and should have went down, but he spun around and stayed up," Stanfield said. "The Mohawk players then sort of let down after Cody didn't go down."
And, if that wasn't enough of a shock for the Indians, Powder Valley added 28 more points in the second quarter in just 3:23 of offense.
After Mohawk scored its first touchdown three minutes into the period, Thompson kicked into gear.
The senior running back scored three times in the quarter on runs of 11 and two yards, and a 35-yard pass from Baxter.
Baxter added the fourth touchdown on a 1-yard run as Powder Valley built a 50-6 halftime edge.
Stanfield let his reserves play in the third quarter. Mohawk had the only score of the quarter, pulling to within 50-12 entering the fourth.
Then, with the starters back in the game, Baxter found Taylor on a 66-yard scoring strike. Taylor caught the ball at about the Mohawk 35 and raced untouched for the touchdown.
"Cody made a nice catch on the play," Stanfield said.
The Badgers then lined up for a Deal PAT kick attempt to end the game. But, the center snap was high. A quick-thinking Deal corralled the ball and found Kaycee Shroyer in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Stanfield said the fan support for the Badgers was great.
"Some of our volleyball and basketball girls donned cheerleader outfits and led the crowd in some cheers," he said. "It was a great crowd turnout, I think."
This was the Badgers' fourth straight trip to the semifinals. Powder Valley will be gunning for its first state football title next week. Powder Valley's only other trip to the title game was a 50-12 loss to Dufur in 2000.
Powder Valley 58, Mohawk 12
Mohawk 0 6 6 0 12
Powder Valley 22 28 0 8 58
P Taylor 2 run (Shroyer pass from Baxter)
P Deal 29 interception return (T. Weems pass from Baxter)
P Taylor 77 punt return (Run failed)
M Krull 4 run (Run failed)
P Thompson 35 pass from Baxter (Pass failed)
P Baxter 1 run (Shroyer pass from Baxter)
P Thompson 11 run (Run failed)
P Thompson 2 run (Shroyer pass from Baxter)
M Binford pass from Wilkins (Pass failed)
P Taylor 66 pass from Baxter (Shroyer pass from Deal)
Rushing Mohawk: Binford 16-73, Robinson 14-65, Tennent 3-16, Krull 6-12, Wilkins 4-(-15). Powder Valley: Deal 5-83, Taylor 7-54, Baxter 7-53, Thompson 2-13, Gray 1-6, Forman 2-4, J. Weems 1 -(-4).
Passing Mohawk: Wilkins 1-1-0-5, Robinson 0-3-1-0. Powder Valley: Baxter 8-12-1-149, Gray 1-2-1-(-1).
Receiving Mohawk: Binford 1-5. Powder Valley: Thompson 4-60, Taylor 3-77, Shroyer 1-12, J. Weems 1-(1).
Tackles Mohawk: Devine (6 solo, 3 assist). Powder Valley: Deal (7 solo, 3 assist), Wendt (4 solo, 5 assist), Baxter (4, 4), Lynch (4, 2), Shroyer (4, 2).