By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
WEST LINN—Playing on the road against maybe the best team in the state, McNary (0-2) showed it could bounce back.
The next step is learning how to finish.
The Celtics got within one touchdown of West Linn with 8:51 remaining. But the Lions closed the game with 21 straight points to run away with a 55-27 victory.
“It’s a step forward. We battled. We were right there,” McNary head coach Jeff Auvinen said after the game. “We just kind of shut down at the end but throughout the game I think we took a step forward. We played harder. We played more aggressively. There’s still a ton of things to fix. Instead of ending on a bad note, we need to finish and compete down the stretch. We need to grab on and hold and do whatever we can, battle and kick until the final horn.”
After losing their home opener by 28 points, the Celtics looked like they were in for another long night as West Linn quarterback Ethan Long threw two quick touchdown passes to give the Lions a 13-0 lead with 7:36 remaining in the first quarter. But McNary responded as Erik Barker connected with Noah Bach for a 4-yard touchdown pass to get the Celtics within 13-7 late in the first.
McNary again appeared to be out of it as West Linn stretched its lead to 27-7. But Barker found Jacob Jackson for a 13-yard touchdown just before halftime and then connected with Devyn Schurr for a 12-yard score to get the Celtics within 27-21 with 2:57 remaining in the third quarter.
After Long threw another touchdown pass, Ryan Bamford converted a fake punt with a 29-yard strike to Schurr. Barker then hit Junior Walling on a wheel route down the McNary sideline for a 13-yard touchdown to get the Celtics within 34-27 with 8:51 to go.
But the McNary defense couldn’t stop Long and a fumble on their next possession ended any chance of a Celtic comeback.
Long, who has committed to Arizona State, finished the game with 416 yards and six touchdowns.
“There were times when we had pretty good coverage and he (Long) had a little window to put it in and he put it right in there,” Auvinen said. “That was frustrating. We had a couple of big coverage break downs, which really hurt us.”
Barker passed for 222 yards, four touchdowns to four different receivers and one interception, trying to make a play with McNary down 48-27 with 2:36 remaining.
“Erik made some very nice plays,” Auvinen said. “He made some plays out of nothing, which is the first time I’ve seen that. He’s definitely improved his running skills. The offense played really well. I thought the line looked really good. I thought our running back ran well.”
Walling rushed for 85 yards to lead the Celtics on the ground.
McNary plays at Tualatin (2-0) on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. The Timberwolves are coming off a 36-28 win over Oregon City.
“It will definitely toughen us up these good teams we’re playing,” Auvinen said.
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Consultants working with Keizer’s city staff on possible growth scenarios fleshed out some of the possibilities during a work session Monday, Aug. 27.
Numerous members of the city council, planning commission, parks advisory board and traffic safety committee were in attendance as discussion centered around growth in Keizer’s business corridors, River Road North and Cherry Avenue Northeast.
Working off a draft report that included three options – staying the course, implementing efficiency measures and upzoning – Glen Bolen of OTAK, Inc. and Kate Rogers of Angelo Planning Group expanded on the included scenarios and answered questions from attendees.
Staying the course means Keizer’s business areas will continue to look much like they have to this point: small-ish wood structures of one or two stories.
While the city would not change much aesthetically, staying on that path has other potential consequences, Bolen said. For example, Keizer’s job-to-household ratio of .5-to-1 would not shift much, which has repercussions on how current residents and their families will grow in the future.
“We looked at rates for growth in this scenario, and it tracks, but the population is aging and children have gone to other places. Keizer is not getting the recapture rate of other areas,” Bolen said.
Creating more jobs through fostering additional office-type employment and manufacturing would put the city on a path more appealing to young adults that cannot find opportunities locally, he added. Standing in the way that of course is a lack of available land to develop or redevelop.
The second option discussed is known as efficiency measures, which would mean changing the requirements on certain types of zoning that currently exist, but not rezoning outright. Potential changes include: increasing density options and reducing the minimum lot size, parking, landscaping, and lot coverage requirements.
The third option, upzoning, would mean changing some existing zones outright. Bolen showed one example in the area between Shady Lane Northeast and Candlewood Drive Northeast on Cherry Avenue, the space is currently zoned for industrial uses, but a mixed use designation could add more residential capacity and possibly revive the space with entertainment and shopping options.
“Trading off might mean something you don’t want to see, but right now the option isn’t even on the table,” Bolen said.
Aside from market headwinds like rental rates and existing regulatory constraints, Rogers said there are geographic elements inhibiting growth.
“The proximity to residential areas creates a greater need for buffering,” she said.
Coaxing specific types of growth would require implementing some tools that Keizer has only begun dabbling in.
“Parking behind or beside buildings, ground floor windows and architectural detailing are the types of tools that create the spaces people want to be. It requires buildings to be oriented to the street and entrances oriented to the sidewalk with allowances for plazas and gathering places,” she said.
Bolen added that the new building in the Schoolhouse Square – minus the omnipresent window-cling advertising – is an example of that type of development