EUGENE — When the wins haven't come in bunches — or at all — you don't get picky.
"We'll take them anyway we can get them," said first-year North Medford football coach Nate Becksted after the Black Tornado reached the victory column, 46-44 over South Eugene, in Southwest Conference action Friday.
"It feels really good, and I'm really happy for the kids," he said. "It was an up-and-down football game. At one point we thought we put it away; at another point, they came charging back and we held on. It was a good win for the kids."
Leading 46-44 following a Zach Tanner 1-yard touchdown run with just over three minutes left, the Axemen drove from their own 37-yard line to the Black Tornado 3 with only seconds remaining.
A delay-of-game penalty moved South Eugene back to the 8 with 2.5 seconds to go, and the Axemen chose to go for it rather than attempt a winning field goal. The run to the left was stopped for no gain.
North's first victory makes it 1-1 in the SWC and 1-3 overall, while the Axemen fell to 0-4 and 0-2.
The Tornado had scored only 14 points and was shut out in its previous two games. But behind quarterback Tanner, who amassed 460 total yards rushing (191) and passing (269), and Darren Cossette, who returned the second-half kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown, North came alive in the third quarter.
It scored 22 unanswered points and led 36-14.
"Darren's kickoff return really lit the fire," said Becksted.
But South Eugene tallied 22 of the next 25 points. The Tornado's lone score was a 32-yard field goal by Tyler Webber and was the difference in the game.
"When you haven't won, the kids are tentative and thinking something bad might happen," said Becksted. "I'm happy we got challenged the way we did so the kids know we can win a close game by battling through tough situations."
The Tornado, heavy into passing, piled up uncharacteristically big rushing numbers. With Evan Hisey adding 98 yards, North ran for 280 on 45 attempts.
"I don't think I've had a team run for almost 300 yards in 10 years," said Becksted. "That's not really what we do."
Tanner, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior, is the team's best weapon, including as a runner.
"Zach has had some games where he's struggled," said Becksted. "It's a new system for him. He's not used to throwing the ball 30 or 40 times a game. We decided our best chance to win was to put the ball in his hands and let him do something with it."
Tanner had two other touchdown runs, of 21 and 3 yards, and found Mario Saldana with a 36-yard scoring strike.
Tanner was 14-for-25 passing with one interception, while Saldana had seven catches for 161 yards.
SHELDON 52, GRANTS PASS 6 — At Grants Pass, Sheldon's Dillon Miller threw three touchdown passes and was 19-for-27 for 266 yards in the SWC contest.
Mitch Carman hauled in two of the TD strikes, and Connor Strahm the other. Strahm had six catches for 131 yards.
Grants Pass (1-3, 0-2 SWC) got a 13-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Rich to Kolton Mahr, but the Irish only allowed 198 yards of offense.
ROSEBURG 27, THURSTON 0 — At Springfield, Roseburg's defense dominated with four takeaways and quarterback Hayden Lent threw two touchdown passes.
The Indians (4-0) made three interceptions and recovered a fumble to assist in the shutout.
Javier Mandera rushed for 138 yards on 18 carries, scoring on a 21-yarder in the first quarter. Ben Goirigolzarri also punched in a touchdown run for the Indians. He totalled 83 yards on the ground on just six carries.
Roseburg 7 0 6 14 — 27
Thurston 0 0 0 0 — 0
R — Mandera 21 run (Pieske kick)
R — Lander 44 pass from Lent (kick failed)
R — Hutchins 1 run (Hutchins pass from Lent)
R — Goirigolzarri 3 run (kick failed)
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 56, HIDDEN VALLEY 20 — At Murphy, Brandon Williams accumulated 372 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns for Class 3A Cascade Christian.
Williams, a 5-foot-8, 150-pound junior running back, rushed for 216 of the Challengers' 326 yards. Williams scored on runs of 64 and 51 yards in the second half. He scored the first TD of the game on a 52-yard reception from quarterback Daniel Scottow and returned a second-quarter kickoff 92 yards for a TD.
Scottow 4 fo 5 passing for 127 yards and three touchdowns.
The Challenger (2-2) defense recorded eight sacks. Tackle David Sellers had three and defensive end Justin Cheney two.
The Mustangs (1-3) were limited to 58 yards rushing. Quarterback Tyler Gulbransen passed for 284 yards and one TD.
Cascade Christian 14 14 14 14 — 56
Hidden Valley 0 14 0 6 — 20
CC — B. Williams 52 pass from Scottow (R. Williams kick)
CC — Scottow 2 run (R. Williams kick)
CC — Sha 34 pass from Scottow (R. Williams kick)
HV — Gulbransen 12 run (Gulbransen kick)
CC — B. Williams 92 kickoff return (R. Williams kick)
HV — Hults 22 pass from Gulbransen (Gulbransen kick)
CC — B. Williams 64 run (Parker kick)
CC — B. Williams 51 run (Parker kick)
HV — Gulbransen 1 run (pass failed)
CC — Morse 20 pass from Scottow (Parker kick)
CC — Hamasu 2 run (Parker kick)
NORTH BEND 43, NORTH VALLEY 36 — At Merlin, quarterback Austin Burke and Nick Todaro hooked up for four touchdown passes for North Valley in a losing effort in the high-scoring nonconference affair.
Todaro, a senior wide receiver, caught nine passes for 166 yards to pace the Knights' aerial attack. The junior Burke completed 21 of 39 passes for 287 yards. Burke also picked up 57 yards rushing and scored once on the ground.
The Knights (2-2) grabbed a 14-7 lead after one quarter, but the Bulldogs (4-0) took control in the second period and led 28-20 at halftime.
North Bend quarterback Logan Lucero tossed four touchdowns and passed for 249 yards. Hamilton Mateski caught touchdown passes of 33 and 8 yards from Lucero and scored on a 6-yard first-quarter run.
North Valley totaled 449 yards in offense, while North Bend had 317.
North Bend 7 21 8 7 — 43
North Valley 14 6 0 15 — 36
NV — Todaro 16 pass from Burke (Roberts kick)
NB — H.Mateski 6 run (Hobson kick)
NV — Todaro 16 pass from Burke (Roberts kick)
NB — Harris 35 pass from Lucero (Hobson kick)
NB — H. Mateski 33 pass from Lucero (Hobson kick)
NV — Burke 2 run (kick failed)
NB — H. Mateski 8 pass from Lucero (Hobson kick)
NB — Mitchell 20 pass from Lucero (pass good)
NV — Todaro 78 pass from Burke (run good)
NB — Johnson 10 run (Hobson kick)
NV — Todaro 17 pass from Burke (pass good)
ROGUE RIVER 34, RIDDLE 16 — At Riddle, sophomore quarterback Sebastian Escobar passed for three touchdowns and ran for one as Rogue River came back in the second half for the nonconference victory.
The Chieftains (2-2) trailed 16-14 at halftime.
Escobar completed only three passes but all three went for touchdowns to 6-foot-4 receiver Seth Gretz. The pair combined for a 34-yarder in the opening quarter, then hooked up for scores of 16 and 15 yards in the second half.
The Chieftain defense recovered two fumbles and intercepted two passes. Rogue River also recovered an onside kick.
Senior strong safety Dylan Gomez made seven tackles and had one interception, and junior middle linebacker Andrew Smith, who scored on a 3-yard run in the third, led the Chiefs with eight tackles.
ILLINOIS VALLEY 25, GLIDE 19, OT — At Glide, freshman C.J. Manning threw the game-winning touchdown to Tyler Robbins to vault Illinois Valley past Glide in overtime.
Manning's big night was completed with a 30-yard TD strike to Robbins to win the game, erasing Glide's regulation comeback. Manning threw three touchdown passes and added a 43-yard touchdown scamper in the opening quarter to give IV a 13-0 edge.
Manning was 11-for-21 for 302 yards. Robbins hauled in five passes for 103 yards and two scores. Fred Hults had four catches for 73 yards. Mack Epple added a touchdown catch.
Gabe Miller had 51 yards on 12 carries for the Cougars (2-2). Manning had 48 yards on two attempts.
Illinois Valley 13 6 0 0 6 — 25
Glide 7 0 6 6 0 — 19
IV — Epple 17 pass from Manning (Mavity kick)
IV — Manning 43 run (kick failed)
G — 6 pass (kick good)
IV — Robbins 18 pass from Manning (kick failed)
G — 1 run
G — 12 pass (kick failed)
IV — Robbins 30 pass from Manning
POWERS 52, BUTTE FALLS 12 — At Butte Falls, senior running back Cameron Perreault tore up the Butte Falls defense by scoring seven touchdowns.
Perreault rushed six times for 181 yards and four TDs and caught 3 passes for 75 yards and three touchdowns.
James Ramirez's 66-yard TD run cut the Butte Falls deficit to 14-6 at the end of the first quarter, but the Cruisers (1-2, 1-0 Dist. 2) erupted with 26 points in the second period.
All the Butte Falls offense came on 204 rushing yards. Cameron Marley paced the Loggers (1-2, 0-1 Dist. 2) with 92 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown.
Powers 14 26 12 0 — 52
Butte Falls 6 0 0 6 — 12
P — Perreault 4 pass from Martinez (run failed)
P — Perreault 4 run (Perreault run)
BF — Ramirez 66 run (run failed)
P — Perreault 75 run (Rizueno run)
P — Sotela 60 interception return (run failed)
P — Perreault 70 run (run failed)
P — Perreault 35 pass from Martinez (run failed)
P — Perreault 36 pass from Martinez (run failed)
P — Perreault 23 run (run failed)
BF — Marley 34 run (pass failed)