High School Football season has finally arrived in Oregon and that alone brings excitement. The fans watch with a sense of eagerness to find out how good their team is going to be this season. For two Beaverton schools, their fans have a lot to be excited about right out of the gate and if Friday (Aug. 30) night is any indication, it's going to be a fun season for the Beaverton Beavers and the Valley Catholic Valiants.
For the Beavers they played their first game on their new Field Turf surface that was installed over the summer and it was the first time they have played against the Century Jaguars (Hillsboro), since the two teams were members of the 6A Metro League. Century has since dropped down to the 5A classification and the Northwest Oregon Conference.
The game showed why these teams belong in two entirely different leagues. The Beavers wasted little time in jumping on top of the Jags. Beaverton's sophomore quarter back Sam Noyer pitched the ball to Bryce Barker who heaved the ball down field into the awaiting arms of junior, Stephen Marcille, who raced 22 yards to pay dirt on the 54-yard pass play that gave the Beavers a 7-0 lead with less than seven and half minutes to play in the opening quarter.
Beaverton increased the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter when Noyer found Senior, Grant Johnson in the end zone with 9:45 before halftime. Century managed its only touchdown late in that quarter on some controversy. Senior quarterback, Marcos Hernandez found his man in the end zone, but Beaverton was flagged with a Pass-interference penalty much to the chagrin of the Beaver faithful. After an official discussion, the ruling is, penalty declined, Touchdown, Century. The Jaguars attempted a two point conversion, but failed to make good.
Beaverton added another touchdown moments later, with just nine seconds before halftime to go up 21-6 and they cruised to an opening night victory of 35-6.
Across town, at the small private school campus of Valley Catholic, the Valiants gave their fans a show, but even before the game started as members of the administration personally thanked Rich and Rachel Baek for their family's generous donation to fund the installation this past summer of lights at the football field.
Before this season, Valley Catholic had to play their home football games on Saturday afternoons. But thanks to the Baek family and their donation, the Valiants are able to join the rest of the state and play football as it should be, Friday Night Lights style.
The Valiants were locked in a tight contest with their guest from Salem, the Blanchet Catholic Cavaliers. Valley Catholic trailed 21-13 at halftime, but were quick to get even as the second half got underway.
The Valiants scored on their first possession when senior quarterback, Carter Buuck hooked up with fellow senior, Clay Kemper on a 62 yard scoring strike to get with two. They knotted the score when senior running back Liam Walsh took the hand-off and rumbled into the end zone for the two point conversion.
The score remained tied the rest of the way, forcing the game into a Kansas plan overtime. The way it works, both teams get four chances to make a first down or score starting at their opponents 25 yard line.
Blanchet Catholic won the coin toss and elected to defer their decision to the Valiants, who elected to get the ball first.
Two plays in, Buuck scampered around the left side down to the 4 yard line, to set up the next play, which was a easy pass to junior Kazuma Lane, catching the rock just across the goal line to put the Valiants ahead 28-21, with Buuck's point after Touchdown.
Then it was Blanchet's turn, and on a 4th and Goal, they just got it across for the touchdown. Rather than tie it with a kick, the Cavaliers went for the win, with a two point Conversion and the Valiants would have none of it. They snuffed it away quicker than you can say Friday night. The Valiants celebrated with their fans, known as the Blue Crew. Amid the celebrating, Buuck talked about how exciting it was to play on this historic night in Valley Catholic Athletics.
"To have a game like that on your opening night, under the lights it's a feeling you can't even imagine", he said adding the comments he shared with his teammates in the last huddle, "(I told them) this is the stuff legends are made of and this is what we dream of growing up".
The Valiants will store up this excitement and bring it out next Friday night when they host Colton. Meanwhile, the Beaverton Beavers will also be home next week when they welcome the Reynolds Raiders to Portland's Westside.
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