Corvallis High School senior quarterback Seamus Hennessy attacked Dallas from every angle on Friday night in a 40-26 victory over the Dragons at Spartan Stadium.
He ran for one touchdown, threw for another and caught a decisive 63-yard scoring pass from tailback Roy Williams for a third score as the Spartans continued to rebound from a four-game September losing streak with their second consecutive Mid-Willamette Conference triumph.
Hennessy was 5 for 6 for 71 yards on CHS’s opening possession, which he finished off with a four-yard TD run. The Spartans never trailed from that point on, led 21-7 at halftime and salted the game away with a key defensive stand and a clinching TD in the final six minutes.
“We knew the spread would pick them apart, everyone was executing, the line was blocking well and everyone was catching the ball,” Hennessy said. “They were quick passes, I had time to get my rhythm down, and they were easy throws.”
Hennessy was 18 of 37 for 193 yards. Williams gained 133 yards on 19 carries and Kelly Kingsmill had six receptions for 86 yards, a 75-yard kickoff return and an interception.
CHS held the Dragons (2-5, 0-4) to just one pass completion, on their final possession.
Dallas closed to within 27-20 late in the third quarter but CHS responded with the play of the night. Williams lined up in the wildcat formation and found Hennessy open down the middle for a 63-yard catch-and-run TD that restored CHS’s two-possession lead, 34-20, with 2:07 left.
“That felt pretty good,” Hennessy said. “I definitely wanted to score so I was running as fast as I could. I don’t think I’ve ever caught a TD pass.”
Williams also threw a 36-yard TD pass to Max Johnson in the second quarter on a similar play.
“It’s just a little trickery. I think he’s coming for my spot,” Hennessy said of Williams, laughing. “They were sinking in on the run all night so we tricked them with a little pass.”
Dallas closed to within 34-26 with 8:18 remaining and held on defense. However, a great punt and a first-down penalty pinned Dallas back on its 6-yard line and the Spartans forced a three-and-out.
They got the ball at the Dallas 35 with 4:45 remaining. Williams then ran six plays in a row and powered over from two yards out with 1:47 remaining for an insurmountable 40-26 lead.
“We knew we needed to go into our four-minute offense, take time off the clock,” Hennessy said. “We just took time off the clock, and our offense worked.”
CHS recovered a fourth-down fumble to stop Dallas' final drive. Nick Vanvleet added an interception to stop Dallas at the CHS 32 late in the first half, helping CHS win the turnover battle 3-0.
Corvallis lost four games in a row in September to drop to 1-4. However, the Spartans rallied from a 30-20 deficit to prevail 40-37 at Silverton on Oct.6 and could still sneak into the playoffs with a win at Central in their MWC finale on Oct. 27.
“Everyone is more pumped up before games, and executing well,” Hennessy said. “The line is doing well, people are catching the ball and defense is doing well.”
Corvallis (2-4, 2-3 MWC) steps away from Mid-Willamette Conference action and hosts Glencoe on Oct. 20 in its next game before visiting Central in the regular-season finale.
“We’re just worried about the Spartans,” CHS coach Chris McGowan said. “We’re pretending we’re playing ourselves every night, trying to limit our mistakes and keep it going.
“I think we’re playing a little better with some pressure on us."