By News-Register staff • 

Celtics stun Grizzlies on last-second field goal

McNary put its hopes for a Class 6A Greater Valley Conference victory over McMinnville Friday night on a sophomore kicker who normally participates with the Celtics' junior-varsity squad.

No pressure, A.J. Johnk. 

Johnk booted a ball between the uprights from 31 yards away as time expired against the Grizzlies, delivering a final blow to upset-minded McMinnville, stunning the Wortman Stadium crowd and giving the Celtics a 42-39 victory.

That McMinnville (0-5, 0-5 GVC) kept it close with McNary (3-2, 3-1 GVC) is a testament to the Grizzlies' fortitude in the fourth quarter, facing a 39-23 deficit with 9:57 remaining in the game.

Mac quarterback Wyatt Smith found receiver Jesse Medley on a slant pattern with 7:40 to play. Medley caught the ball at midfield, shook off two Celtics attempting to tackle him and beat the secondary down the field for a 71-yard touchdown. Medley returned the favor on the two-point conversion, a wide receiver toss that the junior threw back to Smith to cut the Grizzlies' deficit to eight.

McNary rode running back Brady Sparks and quarterback Trent Van Cleave -- used in a Wildcat-style formation -- on a 10-play, 67-yard drive, killing five minutes off the clocking and stretching the Grizzlies' defense. Trent Kershaw stuffed Van Cleave for a seven-yard loss on a first-and-goal from the six-yard line; three plays later, Parker Janssen's 26-yard field goal was blocked by a Mac player. 

With one drive to tie the game, Smith again went to Medley, completing 17-yard and 38-yard passes to him as McMinnville traveled to the red zone. A possible five-yard touchdown run by Smith was negated due to a holding penalty, but Smith found Colton Heidt at the goal line for a 10-yard touchdown pass. He handed the ball off to Zach Silver -- back after sitting out three games with a leg injury -- on the two-point conversion attempt and Silver broke through a tackle at the 1-yard line to tie the game.

Kershaw's kickoff traveled out of bounds, giving the Celtics 65 yards of field to traverse in 53 seconds of game time. Sparks took a handoff for 24 yards, and McNary quarterback Drew McHugh found Devon Dunagan for a 24-yard pass on the next play. McMinnville forced a third-and-13 situation from its 28-yard line, but McHugh found wide receiver Tanner Walker for a 14-yard gain, moving the chains.

McHugh spiked the ball on the ensuing first down, with 1 second remaining on the clock. That allowed Celtics coach Isaac Parker to substitute his personnel, and for Johnk to ascend to Friday night glory.

McMinnville plays West Albany on Oct. 9 -- Thursday, not Friday -- at 7 p.m. in Albany.

In other action:

Amity 52, Taft 32

AMITY -- The visiting Taft Tigers were 4-0 coming into tonight’s Class 3A West Valley League showdown with Amity. But the Warriors had a plan they were sticking with.

“We wanted to play Warrior football; that is, in the trenches, be physical, knock them around, make sure every time they could catch a ball, they felt it,” Amity head coach Justin Amaya explained.

The plan worked to perfection as the Warriors cruised to a 52-32 win over the Tigers.

“You could tell, late in the game and early in the game, every time their receivers made one of those crossing routes, they were looking outside their earholes, making sure they weren’t going to get hit,” Amaya said of the Tigers.

Meanwhile, the Warriors rushed for five touchdowns, including three for Isaac Nance and two for D.J. Trunde. Amaya gave credit to the Amity offensive line, which opened up gaps for the Warriors’ running backs to move through. 

“We had holes everywhere. The offensive line did amazing tonight,” Amaya said.

Lance Nelson was 3-6 on passing attempts for 64 yards, including a touchdown to T.R. McShane, whose third-quarter pick-six squashed any remaining momentum the Tigers may have had.

Amity (3-1, 2-0 WVL) will host Horizon Christian on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

Dayton 49, Sheridan 0

DAYTON -- The Pirates recorded their first Class 3A West Valley League win of the season Friday night, knocking off the Spartans at Gubser Field.

"The boys just responded well," Dayton coach Greg White said. "We had a great week of practice. We had a lot of young guys grow up quick."

The Pirates (3-2, 1-2 WVL) host Willamina on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. The Spartans (2-3, 0-3 WVL) are on a bye week; they play Horizon Christian on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in Tualatin.

Horizon Christian 50, Willamina 14

TUALATIN -- The Hawks scored the first 30 points of their Class 3A West Valley League game against the Bulldogs within the first six minutes and kept applying pressure in the victory.

Shane Thomas completed 11 of 18 passes for 117 yards for the Bulldogs (1-4, 0-2 WVL), throwing an eight-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Johnson but also throwing two interceptions. Keegan Davis produced Willamina's second score on a five-yard run; Davis, who left the Bulldogs' Oct. 26 loss to St. Paul with a leg injury, also had 11 tackles.

Willamina plays at Dayton on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.

Stayton 52, Yamhill-Carlton 6

STAYTON -- The Tigers were throughly tames in a Friday night showdown against Class 4A Oregon West Conference foe Stayton, falling  to the Eagles in their second OWC loss of the year.

Yamhill-Carlton (1-4, 0-2 OWC) will host Cascade Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in Yamhill.

Dufur 46, Perrydale 8

DUFUR -- It was a rough trip for the Perrydale Pirates. A long drive out to rural Dufur was even longer on the way back after a 46-8 beating at the hands of the Class 1A Rangers.

“We couldn’t stop them, and we couldn’t get anything going on offense,” Pirates head coach Chris Gubrud said. “They have a lot of speed and they’re very physical up front. They moved the line of scrimmage back on nearly every play and had us on our heels.”

Keenen Bailey ran in Class 2A Perrydale’s only touchdown of the contest, with Caleb McIntosh pushing in the two-point conversion. But when asked if anything went right for Perrydale, Gubrud’s assessment was blunt.

“No,” he said. “Not much went right.”

Perrydale (3-2) will travel to Arlington next Friday for a neutral-site game against the Elgin Huskies at 2 p.m.