Cascade Christian's ground attack was great, but its defense may have been even better Friday.
The Challengers forced five turnovers while holding Myrtle Point to just 70 total yards in a 42-6 stampede at Cascade Christian High School.
The victory put the Challengers (5-3, 4-1 Sunset) within one game of landing the league's No. 2 seed. They can do so next Friday with a win over Rogue River.
Tyler Stickler gashed the Bobcats for 124 yards on 14 carries for Cascade Christian, which ran the ball 50 times for 342 yards and four touchdowns.
But the defense was the Challengers' catalyst.
After the Bobcats' James Brown returned a kickoff for a touchdown to cut the Challengers' lead to 21-6 in the third quarter, middle linebacker Josh Kirkland halted Myrtle Point's next drive with a key interception.
Kirkland, who also recovered a fumble, returned the pick 46 yards and set up Stickler's 6-yard touchdown that made the Challengers' lead insurmountable.
"We just had a great defensive effort tonight," said Cascade Christian defensive coordinator Jerry Burchfiel. "Once our defense started stepping up, our offense began to take over. It took a quarter to do so, but once we started clicking, things started to fall into place."
Offensively, the aerial attack netted Cascade Christian its first two scores.
Jake Gettman tossed a 25-yard TD to Tyler Marshall to put the Challengers on the board and Colton Cochran capped the opening quarter with a 4-yard touchdown to Ben Joffer.
Junior running back Austin Wipf turned in what may have been his best performance of the season.
He rushed for 70 yards on just eight carries and had a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to put the Challengers up 21-0.
"He ran with some authority, which we haven't seen out of him that much this year," Burchfiel said. "This was a breakout game for him tonight. I think he earned himself a couple more carries."
Also on the ground for the Challengers, Brandon Grissom had a 34-yard touchdown dash and Cameron Tooker added a 2-yard TD plunge. Connor Kirkpatrick chipped in with 64 yards on 11 carries.
Myrtle Point 0 0 6 0 — 6
Cascade Christian 14 0 21 7 — 42
CC — Gettman 25 pass to Marshall (Davis kick)
CC — Cochran 4 pass to Joffer (Davis kick)
CC — Wipf 4 run (Davis kick)
MP — Brown 86 kickoff return (run failed)
CC — Stickler 6 run (Davis kick)
CC — Grissom 34 run (Davis kick)
CC — Tooker 2 run (Davis kick)
COQUILLE 35, ROGUE RIVER 15 — At Coquille, running back Joe Harris scored four touchdowns, including three times in the second half, to lead Coquille.
Zac Smith scored Coquille's other touchdown.
Coquille opened the game with a safety and, on the subsequent possession, Harris ran from 25 yards out to give the Red Devils an early 9-0 advantage.
Rogue River 0 7 0 8 — 15
Coquille 9 6 13 7 — 35
C — Safety
C — Harris 25 run (Harris kick)
C — Smith 10 run
RR — Reyes 6 pass from Humphries (Walters kick)
C — Harris 18 run
C — Harris 10 run (Harris kick)
C — Harris 6 run (Harris kick)
RR — Burman 20 run (Humphries kick)
NORTH VALLEY 30, PHOENIX 14 — At Phoenix, North Valley trailed 7-3 early but scored 27 straight points at Jack Woodward Stadium.
Phoenix (2-6, 0-3 Skyline) grabbed a 7-3 first-quarter lead when Skyler Reagan hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Chris Kammel.
For North Valley (7-1, 3-1), Anthony Norman paced the ground attack with 99 yards and one touchdown, while senior quarterback Ryan Anderson ran for one TD and passed for another.
The Knights picked up 255 yards rushing and had 353 yards of total offense.
Quarterback Justin Bohn led the Pirates in rushing with 36 yards and one TD on two carries, and was also 3-of-4 passing for 83 yards. Kammel completed 12 passes on 20 attempts for 83 yards.
North Valley 17 0 13 0 —30
Phoenix 7 0 0 7 —14
NV — FG Woodruff 23
P — Reagan 30 pass from Kammel (Machado kick)
NV — Anderson 3 run (Woodruff kick)
NV — Norman 10 run (Woodruff kick)
NV — Dechenne 4 run (Woodruff kick)
NV — Austin 50 pass from Anderson (kick failed)
P — Bohn 10 run (Machado kick)
HENLEY 26, ILLINOIS VALLEY 7 — At Klamath Falls, Tyler Newsome had three touchdown runs in Henley's Skyline victory.
Newsome had an 86-yard run for the go-ahead score then added TD runs of two and four yards. He totaled 162 yards on 19 carries.
Henley's Casey Evans answered Illinois Valley's score in the first quarter with a 95-yard kickoff return.
Illinois Valley 7 0 0 0 —7
Henley 7 10 3 6 —26
IV — #44 21 run (#44 kick).
H — Evans 95 kickoff return (Zamora kick).
H — Newsome 86 run (Zamora kick).
H — Newsome 2 run (kick failed).
H — Newsome 4 run (kick failed).
BUTTE FALLS 64, ELKTON 12 — At Butte Falls, senior running back Josh Dyck and junior linebacker Josh McGonagle excelled for Butte Falls (7-1, 7-0 Dist. 2).
The explosive Loggers led 48-6 at halftime and forced five turnovers in the game.
Dyck scored four touchdowns — three rushing — and led the Loggers' running attack with 110 yards on 13 carries. Harley Casillas added 85 yards to the Butte Falls output of 405 yards on the ground. Casillas had two rushing touchdowns and scored one on an interception return.
McGonagle made nine solo tackles and had 13 assists from his inside linebacker position. In addition, McGonagle completed the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown burst.
The Loggers totaled 508 yards in offense. Elkton finished with 253 yards but had zero yards rushing in the first quarter and 80 on the ground at halftime.
Elkton 0 6 0 6 —12
Butte Falls 22 26 8 8 —64
BF — Ellis 35 run (Dyck run)
BF — Casillas 8 run (pass failed)
BF — Dyck 53 pass from Myers (McGonagle pass from Myers)
BF — Casillas 50 run (run failed)
BF — Casillas 43 interception return (run failed)
— Smith 2 run (run failed)
BF — Dyck 4 run (Mallory kick)
BF — Dyck 15 run (Mallory kick)
BF — Dyck 14 run (Myers run)
— Berhardt 10 pass from Smith (run failed)
BF — McGonagle 50 run (McCann run)
DAYS CREEK 60, PROSPECT 12 — At Prospect, senior running back Bronson Owens scored three touchdowns in the first quarter as Days Creek took control early but Prospect had its best passing game of the season.
Days Creek (4-4, 4-3 Dist. 2) rushed for 360 yards and gained 96 more through the air. Owens picked up 218 yards on 14 carries.
The Cougars' Hunter Gallagher completed 14 of 24 passes for 230 yards. Gallagher tossed a 30-yard touchdown to Chris Grieves in the fourth quarter.
Josh Walton put the Cougars (0-8, 0-7 Dist. 2) on the board with a 62-yard kickoff return for a TD in the final period.
The Cougars were led by David Demello, who had eight receptions for 131 yards. Grieves ran the ball eight times for 56 yards and added two catches for 45 yards.
Days Creek 24 14 8 14 — 60
Prospect 0 0 0 14 — 12
DC — Owens 46 run (Walter run)
DC — Owens 48 run (Zimmerman pass from Walters)
DC — Owens 3 run (Walter run)
DC — Walter 12 run (run failed)
DC — Armstrong 17 run (Ott run)
DC — Muir 28 pass from Fuller (Armstrong run)
DC — Grizzle 7 run (Armstrong run)
P — Walton 62 kickoff return (pass failed)
DC — Armstrong 65 run (run failed)
P — Grieves 30 pass from Gallagher (run failed)