Cascade Christian’s Jake Ayala, right, congratulates Ben Joffer after a long touchdown run during Friday’s game.

Challengers post third straight shutout

CENTRAL POINT — The matchup on paper promised a competitive game when one-loss Myrtle Point met fourth-ranked Cascade Christian Friday night.

When the final horn sounded, however, the scoreboard at Dutch Meyer Stadium told a much different story.

Cascade Christian forced four turnovers, limited the Bobcats to 55 total yards and jumped out to a 56-0 lead at halftime en route to a 69-0 romp in Sunset League football action.

Sophomore quarterback Colton Cochran tossed three touchdown passes and ran for another and senior Ben Heidegger accounted for three touchdowns to pace Cascade Christian.

The Challengers amassed 384 of their 500 yards of offense on the ground, while the defense held Myrtle Point to only two first downs and recorded their third straight shutout.

"I would say that was our most complete effort of the season," said Cascade Christian offensive/defensive coordinator Brandon Boice, whose team has outscored its last three opponents 184-0. "We asked the kids to come out and fly around and play hard they did."

With the win, the Challengers (6-2, 5-1 Sunset) secured the league's No. 2 seed and a first-round home game when the Class 3A state playoffs begin. Unbeaten and top-ranked Gold Beach clinched the No. 1 seed with a victory over Coquille Friday night.

Myrtle Point has now suffered two straight defeats to drop to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in Sunset play. The Bobcats are still alive for the third and final playoff berth but must defeat Gold Beach next Friday and hope Coquille loses to Bandon to get in.

But a playoff berth was the furthest thing from the minds of the Myrtle Point players during Friday's rout.

"Basically, we wanted to avoid turnovers," said Myrtle Point coach Brad Henshaw. "We knew what they were capable of and we had hoped our offense would do some things to stay in there. We didn't and it kind of snowballed on us."

Heidegger, an inside linebacker, set the tone on the game's third play when he picked off an Evan Rice offering and returned it to the Myrtle Point 11-yard line. Heidegger then blasted through for a touchdown on the Challengers' first play from scrimmage with still 10:52 showing on the clock.

Less than two minutes later, Cochran capped a five-play, 49-yard drive with a 2-yard TD pass to Ben Joffer, and the rout was on.

"I think we knew what to expect and the coaches had us ready," said Joffer, a sophomore, who finished with three grabs for a team-best 110 yards.

Heidegger made it 22-0 with two minutes left in the opening quarter when he grabbed a 6-yard scoring strike from Cochran, then freshman corner Tyler Stickler immediately put the Challengers back in business with a diving interception seconds later.

Four plays after the turnover, sophomore Cameron Tooker tacked on another score in the waning seconds of the first quarter with a 31-yard TD jaunt through the heart of the Bobcats' defense.

Alex Cummings plunged in from 6 yards out at the 7:34 mark of the first half and Joffer added a sparkling touchdown catch that went for 72 yards two minutes later.

On the long TD reception, Cochran passed to the flat to Joffer, who turned upfield, got a big block from Duchien and then scurried down the opposing sideline untouched for the score.

"That was a big block," said Joffer. "That's the second time this year he's done that for me. I owe him."

Duchien, along with Stickler, Heidegger and sophomore linebacker Brandon Grissom, helped key the all-out defensive attack that left Myrtle Point dazed after the first half.

"Everyone played together tonight," said Stickler. "It's good to get a win against a team like (Myrtle Point). It feels like we're starting to come together as a family for the playoffs."

A running clock was enforced in the second half because of the 45-point mercy rule, but the points kept coming for the Challengers.

Josh Kirkland busted up the middle for a 50-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter, then added another TD from 22 yards midway through the final frame to complete the scoring.

Cascade Christian closes the regular season next Saturday with a home game against longtime rival St. Mary's.

The Challengers will then host the third seed from the Lewis & Clark League on either Nov. 9 or 10.

"All we know is that we get a home game to start," said Boice. "But right now, we don't want to look past a vastly improved St. Mary's team.

"After that, then we can start thinking about the playoffs."

Myrtle Point 0 0 0 0 —0

Cascade Christian 30 26 0 13 —69

CC — Heidegger 11 run (Heidegger run)

CC — Joffer 2 pass from Cochran (Stickler run)

CC — Heidegger 6 pass from Cochran (pass failed)

CC — Tooker 31 run (Cummings run)

CC — Cummings 12 run (kick failed)

CC — Joffer 72 pass from Cochran (kick failed)

CC — Cochran 1 run (Kinney kick)

CC — Heidegger 66 run (Kinney kick)

CC — Kirkland 50 run (kick failed)

CC — Kirkland 22 run (Kinney kick)

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483, or e-mail

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