By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
After a blowout loss to Sprague, McNary head coach Jeff Auvinen is simply looking for improvement as the Celtics (2-1) travel to McKay (1-2) on Friday, Sept. 22.
“We need to get back to getting better,” Auvinen said. “We did not get better last week. We got better every previous week from our first week of practice to Blue Day to our jamboree to our first game to our second game. Last week we took two steps back.”
Auvinen wants his players to learn from the 62-6 loss to Sprague but also forget about it.
“This week we’re going to try to take a step forward again and erase that from our mind if we can and move on because we can’t do anything about it now,” he said. “Learn from it but flush it.”
McNary’s playoff goals haven’t changed.
“These guys have lofty goals regarding the playoffs but if we’re going to play like that against a playoff team (Sprague), those goals will not be reached,” Auvinen said. “I think they realized that.”
McKay is coming off its first win of the season—35-14 at Forest Grove. The Scots opened with 20-point losses to West Salem and McMinnville.
“They will play hard,” Auvinen said of McKay. “They played West hard. They played McMinnville hard. They played Forest Grove hard. They’re well coached. They’re going to get after it and play well.”
The Scots gave McNary a scare last season as the Celtics were able to hold on for a 46-41 victory on homecoming.
McKay has a new quarterback as Noah Tavera, who passed for 350 yards and three touchdowns in the game, graduated.
“Their quarterback doesn’t have the mobility,” Auvinen said. “That’s what gave us fits last year. He’s not as athletic and not as accurate as the kid last year.”
The Scots also scored 14 points on defense, twice returning interceptions for touchdowns.
“We played hard but made a lot of mistakes,” Auvinen said of last season’s game.
Auvinen expects another tough game.
“This is a team that’s very comparable to us,” he said. “If you’re looking at playoffs or no playoffs, this is a game that you need to win if at all possible. We’re going to go over there and try out their new turf and hopefully have a little more fun this week than we did last week.”