Kris Carey of North Medford (27) rushes the quarterback in the first half of the Les Schwab Bowl Friday at PGE Park in Portland. - Craig Mitchelldyer

'New' South can't handle North

PORTLAND — The reclassification of high schools tweaked the annual Les Schwab Bowl so that players from Portland-area schools Canby and Tigard play for the South, but losing local talent didn't affect the North Saturday.

Behind a strong running and passing game that racked up 436 total yards, and with only two Jesuit players, the North romped over the South, 42-14, before 6,380 at PGE Park.

Afterwards, though, no one really looked at the scoreboard.

"I thought we played well," said South defensive back Derek Hogenson of Crater. "We had a good time.

"We all weren't really in football shape, but it was a great week, one that I'll remember for the rest of my life."

The win boosted the North to a 29-27 edge in the annual summer classic that dates back to 1948, when it began as Portland against the rest of the state (and the state won seven of the first nine).

There were only smiles after the game, part of which came from eight different players scoring in the contest. North quarterback Connor Kavanaugh, who is headed for Portland State and home games at PGE Park, threw for just 77 yards but was named quarterback of the game for his squad.

College preparation ended up as one of the focal parts of the week long event.

"This really got me ready for what I'm going to be facing in college," said South offensive lineman Jason Slowey of North Medford, who is headed for Western Oregon. "There were six other guys going to Western that I met here. And, we played against a lot of guys going to Oregon, Oregon State. It was a great week."

Even Crater coach John Beck, who coached the South defense, had kind words for his squad.

"We played really hard, forced some turnovers, kept us in the game for a while," he said. "(The North) has a lot of great athletes, and you can only hope to contain them for so long, especially when you can't blitz."

The game got so out of hand that when the South scored late in the third quarter to pull within 35-14, it invoked a blowout rule that caused the North to kick off again because it still led by more than 16 points.

Teams also weren't allowed to blitz or rush conversion kicks.

The score could have been a lot worse.

The South recovered a fumble in its end zone to end one North drive just inches from a score, and scored its first touchdown after referees huddled to confirm that West Albany quarterback Jake Haberly had scored before he fumbled into the North end zone.

And, that drive had been set up by a fumble on a punt by the North.

South's troubles on offense lasted through most of the first three quarters. It didn't get its second first down until less than six minutes remained in the second quarter. That first down, though, came as part of a touchdown drive — four plays over 27 yards — that tied the score at 7-all.

From there, though, the North resolved its turnover issues and rolled to victory.

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