It’s a rare night when a quarterback throws for 358 yards on 33 of 51 and still comes up short.
That’s the way it went for the McNary High School varsity football team in their 44-20 homecoming loss to West Salem High School.
“We came out knowing they were one of the best teams around, but our receivers were finding the right routes and it was a matter of hitting them quick and letting them take it from there,” said Celtic quarterback Kyle Ismay.
McNary held the Titans, the No. 3 team in the state, to a field goal on their opening drive. On their return route, Ismay connected with Garren Robinett who shovel passed to running back Tim McDowell, but McDowell never quite got control of the ball and fumbled ending in a West Salem recovery. The Titans scored on a single play to jump ahead 10-0.
McNary was nearly in the Titan red zone when a tipped passed from Ismay ended up in Titan hands. Ismay recovered and got the tackle. The quarter ended with the Titans on their 44-yard line.
West Salem completed the drive with a touchdown at 10:13 in the second quarter. McNary got another shot in the arm after a touchdown pass from Ismay to James Lowells that closed the gap to 17-6.
“Our hot routes were working real well,” Lowells said. “Kyle was throwing the ball real well, our defense struggled and we had some of our plays get busted up. That’s pretty much what killed us.”
The Celts forced a Titan turnover on downs and Ismay completed a pass to Justin Gardner on the return drive to cinch up the score to 17-12.
“We had the ball a lot and a lot of chances to score,” said Kyle Knight, a senior. “Our defense did pretty well in the first half, but then we came out in the second half and didn’t clean up the things we talked about cleaning up at half time.”
West Salem scored 27 unanswered points before McNary scored on a two-yard pass to McDowell with 5:38 left in the game to seal the deal at 44-20.
Overall, McNary Head Coach Rick Ward was impressed with the effort.
“I thought our kids played well and hard and we did some good things,” Ward said. “We took a big step forward and that shows some good growth.”
Robinett, Lowells and Gardner all ended up with more than 70 yards receiving on the night and Ward was equally impressed by the efforts of Alex Willeford and Jared Van Cleave leading the push at the line.
“When you put those kids in man coverage against that quarterback with the talent to put the ball right where he wants it, that’s a tall order,” Ward said. “Both of our lines were outsized by West Salem and we protected well for the most part.”
Given the overall quality of the opponent many on the team were pleased with the showing.
“We’re working hard and getting better every day,” said Zac Fegles, a sophomore. “We’re going to make a turnaround and a playoff push.”
It came down to the final minutes, but the McNary High School boys varsity soccer team battled the West Salem Titans to a draw.
Hugo Gonzalez scored the Celtics only goal of the game on a penalty kick in the 75th minute. The Titans responded with one of their own in the 78th minute and knotted the game at 1-1.
“We did a pretty good job versus West, we pressured them and we controlled the tempo,” said Miguel Camarena, head coach. “We need to compete the whole 80 minutes to have a shutout and guarantee wins.”
In all, the Celts had eight shots on goal to the Titans’ five.
“We were passing the ball pretty well, we had some good shots, but they had a pretty good goalie and he kept blocking them,” said Oscar Ramirez, a McNary defender.
Gonzalez said the team is ready to turn the page on the first half of the season and a conference record of 1-2-1. He’s also tired of hearing the talk about the Celtic struggles.
“We’ve got a good team. In the second half of the season, we’re going to come out harder and and show people that by putting the ball in the net,” Gonzalez said.
Success might lay just around the corner if the team continues to compete like it did with the Titans, said sweeper Reece Braatz.
“We did pretty well all over the field, we just had a breakdown in the defense in the last little bit of the game,” Braatz said. “We’ve also got to remember to communicate instead of yelling at someone when they mess up. If we keep up the energy, we’re going to get the wins.”
Little by little, the team is improving, said Camarena. and there isn’t much standing in the way of a playoff berth.
“Defensively we are getting better, the midfield is creating now more opportunities for our forwards, and at front we still need to finish our opportunities, but we are going in the right direction,” he said.
Asked whether the team is capable of making it to playoffs, Ramirez’s answer reflected much of the team’s experiences thus far.
“I think … I know we can do it, if we just try,” he said.
The boys host South Salem High School at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19. They travel to meet Sprague High School at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21.
These verbal gaffes were bipartisan, as both Republican Scott Bruun and Democrat Jason Freilinger mistakenly addressed the Keizer Chamber of Commerce luncheon as Salem’s chamber on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
Bruun is challenging Rep. Kurt Schrader, a first-term Democrat in Congress, while Freilinger is running against Marion County Commissioner Patti Milne.
All four were in attendance and offered up their views.
Bruun touted his roots as a fifth-generation Oregonian, and noted his experiences in recent years with cancer, diabetes and arthritis.
“It teaches you much life could never teach you in any other way,” including resolve and humility, Bruun said.
Bruun then went on to hit Congress for what he called “a house of cards that may very well crumble … and it’s not going to be just you and I picking up the pieces. It’s going to be our parents and grandparents.”
He said Congress had failed to “do anything appropriate” to correct the economy, noting a recent report of 95,000 net jobs lost nationwide and even more who are “job-locked” due to the economy.
“They put their job ahead of jobs for Oregonians and jobs for Americans,” Bruun said.
Schrader noted his prior work as a veterinarian and farmer, saying he has “had to meet a payroll for 31 years.
“As a person that’s been through some tough times, it gives me a unique opportunity to understand some of the things that are going on,” Schrader said.
His pitch? Things aren’t great. But “we’re sure better off than we were two years ago … losing 700,000 jobs a month when we came in the door.”
He said voters could choose to “focus on the negative” or acknowledge positive growth in gross domestic product and gains in the stock market. Schrader also touted his office’s role in bringing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific coast operations center to Newport, which is in Schrader’s wide-ranging 5th District.
“We forced our leadership to adopt mandatory PAYGO,” Schrader said, referring to rules requiring new spending to be offset by new revenues or spending cuts.
“Leadership didn’t like it,” Schrader said. “I’m not exactly that Nancy Pelosi clone you’re going to see on TV all the time.”
Regarding health care legislation passed last year, Schrader called it “a huge step forward from where we were” and noted a Congressional Budget Office report stating it would save $143 billion over the next 10 years.
Bruun pledged to be a co-sponsor of a bill repealing said changes should he be elected to Congress.
“I think it’s a very, very bad piece of legislation,” Bruun said, adding the current Congress has pulled “more and more power away from us … and centralized more and more of that in Washington D.C.
“What doesn’t work is the cost,” Bruun added. “… Instead of addressing that, this health care bill actually pumps it with steroids.”
Bruun countered with his own financial figures, saying the bill would add $2 trillion to the cost of health care once most of the provisions go into effect in 2014 to 2024.
Regarding reinstating the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, Bruun said the expiring tax cuts were going to hurt.
“It’’s going to hurt everyone down regardless of their income level … because Congress didn’t stay and do the job they were supposed to do,” Bruun said.
Schrader said he supported going ahead with tax cuts for the middle class, but didn’t support them for earners making more than $250,000 a year.
“You can’t be all, ‘the deficit’s out of control,’ and vote for $4 trillion of added deficit,” Schrader said. “We can’t afford to give them a tax break right now.”
On attack ads, both said they weren’t watching much TV these days. Schrader decried the outcome of the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case that struck down rules prohibiting corporations from spending money outside of traditional campaign contributions to campaign for or against a candidate. He said he would support a constitutional amendment that could result in less money being spent on the election process.
Bruun said the amendment Schrader proposes would reduce free speech and First Amendment rights, calling it “incumbency protection.”
As the two candidates left, it was time for Milne and Freilinger to take center stage.
Milne, a Woodburn Republican seeking her fourth term on the Marion County Commission, described her experiences co-chairing a task force fighting gang problems in Woodburn, her time on the Woodburn School Board, in the Oregon legislature and ultimately at the county.
She said she particularly feels property rights were important, and noted her role in establishing a rainy day fund along with contingencies and reserves.
Freilinger, a Silverton-area Democrat who works in management for T-Mobile, noted his experience working large companies and said “keeping our cities and small towns livable, and preserving our agricultural heritage” were among his priorities.
He said he wouldn’t support tax or fee increases in the current economy and he wants more county commission meetings held at night “so working people can actually go to the meetings.”
On Keizer’s urban growth boundary, Freilinger said he would support it “to the west.”
“You have Salem to the south, Salem to the east … (and) the best farmland in America to the north of here,” Freilinger said. “I do believe there’s room for in-growth within Keizer, and to the west of Keizer. I would support expansion as needed in order to make that happen.”
Milne used the question to decry Oregon’s strict land use laws in general.
“Some people might like (them),” she said. “Some people find it very anti-economic development. Some people find it anti-the ability for people to use their property, to make their property productive and to create some wealth.”