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Day: September 25, 2017

With big second half, Celtics run past McKay

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—McNary senior Hakam Nagra could not remain silent as the Celtics went into halftime trailing at McKay.

“When I saw the potential that we had, we weren’t living up to it, it just lit something in me,” Nagra told the Keizertimes after the game. “I just let it all out, everything I had to say. I had to motivate my team. I had to get them going. I saw that they were a little flat. This football team, I’ve never had better chemistry with. We’re all a bunch of brothers. We go to each other for everything. If somebody is down, we pick them back up. That chemistry I just didn’t see on the field. That’s what ignited me.”

The speech was just what McNary needed as it came from behind to defeat the Scots 21-7 on Friday, Sept. 22.

Jose Solorio was one of the player’s that took Nagra’s words to heart.

Down 7-0 to open the second half, Solorio and quarterback Erik Barker connected for a 41-yard touchdown on third-and-long to tie the game with 10:24 remaining in the third quarter.

“We just played to our competition level,” Solorio said. “It took a half to wake us up.”

Junior Walling started the scoring drive with runs of 23 and 34 yards.

“We had to do exactly what Sprague did to us, be mean, mad, show McKay that we’re not soft and we can compete with the teams all around,” Walling said.

McKay answered with a long drive but on the 10th play ended with a fumble that McNary junior Jacob Jackson recovered at the Celtic 4-yard line.

McNary then drove back into McKay territory but Kyle McCallister dropped a pass on fourth down.

The Scots looked to strike quickly on a reverse pass but a wide open streaking receiver dropped the ball.

Jackson then intercepted a McKay pass to give the ball back to the Celtics, who went 65 yards on 10 plays to take a 14-7 lead with 10:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. Walling capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Barker added a 1-yard touchdown run with 37 seconds left to play to seal the victory.

Struggling in the passing game, McNary had to do most of its damage on the ground without its leading rusher as senior Lucas Garvey left in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and didn’t return.

Walling took the load of the work, finishing with 171 yards on 29 carries. Senior Freddy Jimna added 31 yards on eight attempts. Robert Benson, who had mostly played junior varsity this season, picked up 37 yards on nine carries as the Celtics finished with 281 yards on the ground.

“You take one of your best players on both sides of the ball and take him out of the picture,” McNary head coach Jeff Auvinen said of losing Lucas Garvey. “We had three other running backs go in there and play like they were possessed and really got every inch they could. I was pleased with all three running backs. It’s something we had to do. We weren’t executing throwing the football so we went mostly run with a little bit of play-action. The kids did real well with that.”

Devyn Schurr, a junior varsity cornerback, took Garvey’s place on defense.

Penalties, eight for 70 yards, killed the Celtics in the first half.

McKay scored its only touchdown on a short field. Starting from the McNary 35-yard line, the Scots were aided by two defensive offsides penalties. On offense, the Celtics were constantly facing second and third-and-longs.

Barker threw two interceptions in the first half, including one in the end zone, trying to get the ball to McCallister.

“We’re playing with a lot of guts and a lot of heart but we’re not playing with our mind much,” Auvinen said of the first half. “I thought we battled. We just made a ton of mistakes throughout the game. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot, penalties and missed assignments, especially on offense.”

Solorio had two interceptions, one in each half, as McNary was plus-3 in turnover margin.

Keizer Station Hop Jacks will open next spring

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Keizerites will have a new option for burgers and brew come spring 2018.

Hop Jacks, a Washington-based chain specializing in American comfort food, is currently building one of its newest locations on the corner of Ulali Drive North and Keizer Station Boulevard.

“We selected Keizer because of its general proximity to I-5 and the mix of businesses in the center,” said founder Mark Eggen. “We have signed a lease in the Sherwood neighborhood, and are actively pursuing several opportunities throughout the Portland and Willamette Valley areas.”

The Keizer location will be the business’s second in Oregon, the other opened in Happy Valley in 2016. The Hop Jacks menu includes a wide range of sandwiches, burgers, salads, tacos and three types of mac and cheese.

“Signature items include hand-formed 100-percent Angus beef burgers, icy fruit drinks served in a glass made of ice and beer served from taps of ice and poured at 34 degrees,” Eggen said.

The restaurant also serves breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition to adding new variety to the mix of options in Keizer Station, Hop Jacks also places an emphasis on being members of the communities where they open.

“We are a huge believer in supporting local needs. We do local fundraising nights, donate 50 cents from each kids meal sold to our Kids Feeding Kids program and donate 25 cents from every Hop Jack’s beer sold to our Good Neighbor Fund,” Eggen said.

The Good Neighbor Fund dedicates a portion of its receipts to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Relay for Life and The Avery Huffman Foundation, but Eggen said the restaurant looks for local charities as well.

The business currently has about 700 employees between Oregon and Washington with three other locations set to open in Washington before the Keizer Station location comes online.

For more information about the restaurant and the full menu, visit hopjacks.net.