On a crisp, cool Friday night at Clemens Field, No. 11 stole the show.
Kevin Boss, the former Philomath High sports standout who went on to an NFL career with the Giants, Raiders and Chiefs, took the podium at halftime with an introduction by his former Warriors coach, C.A. Rath. The school retired his uniform number and Boss — whose best years in the pros were with the Giants, a stretch that included a Super Bowl ring — took in the moment with his family.
But during the game, Stayton’s No. 11 — Logan Classen — had everyone’s attention with 279 yards on nine receptions and four touchdowns on offense and two interceptions on defense in his team’s 47-26 victory.
The homecoming game didn’t turn out the way the team had hoped, but Philomath showed improvements with its offensive capabilities.
“Offensively, that’s what we’re looking for — big-play capability,” PHS coach Tony Matta said, although he added that his team does need to execute better with the run.
This game featured no shortage of big plays from both teams. Senior Dylan Bennett caught had a big night with five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns. His first score came with 8:21 left in the second quarter and pulled Philomath to within 20-13.
“I jabbed in about 5 yards out, he bit on it and I went around it’ll and that left me wide open and I ran into it (the ball),” Bennett said about a 57-yard TD. “It was a classic go route.”
Bennett’s other TD came with 2:25 left in the third quarter on a nifty play that left him all alone for a 55-yard score. At the time, the Warriors had pulled to within one score of the visitors at 34-26.
“I went 5 yards, took a hitch and then I sold that; he tried to come up on it and when I turned around, he slipped and fell and so that one was also wide open,” Bennett said.
Philomath was able to capitalize with Bennett based on Stayton's defensive strategy.
“They obviously watched film because they put No. 11 (Classen) on Logan Hannigan-Downs and we tried to take advantage of what they were giving us, which was Dylan, who was a mismatch on the other side,” Matta said. “We did a good job of finding him.”
Among Bennett’s key catches was a diving grab in the final minute of the second quarter. The play covered 32 yards and gave Philomath a first-and-goal at the 1. A couple of plays later, Colby Roe punched it in from 2 yards out to give the Warriors momentum going in at the half.
“It felt pretty good. I know we were down by 7 but I didn’t want us to cave in if we were up like we were against Siuslaw,” Bennett said. “I thought we had a chance (in the second half) but stuff happens.”
Classen provided most of that stuff with TD pass receptions of 50, 37, 13 and 54 yards.
“We didn’t have an answer for No. 11,” Matta said. “He was the difference maker.”
Philomath’s defense had opportunities but just couldn’t get their mits on quarterback Ben Rash’s passes.
“Defensively, we had four balls go through our hands that should’ve been interceptions,” Matta said. “That really turns the game when they hit us in the hands ... we’ve just got to make those plays. Overall, I feel like we had a great effort, the kids played hard, and if we make a couple plays on those picks here and there, it’s a different ballgame.”
Philomath had a positive start with a touchdown on the third play of the game. On third-and-7, Warriors QB Michael Lundy threw a strike to a wide-open Carson Gerding over the middle for a 60-yard score. Stayton then went three-and-out against Philomath’s defense and the Warriors picked up a couple of first downs on their second possession.
But Classen picked off Lundy to end the drive and then scored his team’s first TD on a 50-yard pass. The Eagles missed the extra point, however, and Philomath still led 7-6.
Stayton scored twice within the first 2 minutes of the second quarter. Rash ran in from 6 yards out on a drive set up by a partially blocked punt late in the first quarter. After a Philomath three-and-out, Stayton then scored again with Classen’s second touchdown for a 20-7 lead.
But Bennett followed with his first touchdown and the two team’s traded scores in the final minute of the half with the Eagles leading at the break, 27-20.
“We’ve been getting a couple of turnovers a game, but we didn’t get one day and that really shows,” Matta said. “When you have a couple of opportunities where if you end the drive and then have a chance to put points on the board yourself, that makes a difference.”
Neither team could get anything going offensively early in the third quarter with four straight possessions ending with punts. Stayton broke through with Classen’s fourth touchdown at the 3:33 mark of the third to go up by two scores.
Bennett’s second long TD followed on the ensuing drive but the Eagles again had an answer with another touchdown. This one had a little extra sting to it because the Warriors had Stayton in a fourth-and-goal situation at the 4-yard line. The Eagles converted, however, with Nick Frith barreling into the end zone on a physical run.
The Warriors needed an immediate response but fumbled the ball away on the first play of the next possession. Stayton and Philomath traded punts and the Eagles put the game away on a short run by James Bridge.
Classen got his second pick on Philomath’s final possession.
On the stat sheet, Lundy completed 9 of 24 passes for 278 yards. In addition to Bennett’s receiving numbers, Gerding finished with two catches for 75 yards and Matt Workman had a pair of catches for 28 yards. Roe rushed for 59 yards on 17 carries.
Philomath (1-4 overall, 0-2 Oregon West) heads Thursday to Sweet Home.
Stayton 47, Philomath 26
Friday at Philomath
STAYTON (3-2, 1-1) 6 21 7 13 — 47
PHILOMATH (1-4, 0-2) 7 13 6 0 — 26
PHS: Carson Gerding 60 pass from Michael Lundy (Logan Hannigan-Downs kick), 10:24
SHS: Logan Classen 50 pass from Ben Rash (kick failed), 3:20
SHS: Rash 6 run (kick failed), 11:55
SHS: Classen 37 pass from Rash (Classen pass from Rash), 10:00
PHS: Dylan Bennett 57 pass from Lundy (kick failed), 8:21
SHS: Classen 13 pass from Rash (Nick Frith kick), 0:37
PHS: Colby Roe 2 run (Hannigan-Downs kick), 0:13
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SHS: Classen 54 pass from Rash (Frith kick), 3:33
PHS: Bennett 55 pass from Lundy (kick failed), 2:25
SHS: Frith 4 run (kick blocked), 10:23
SHS: James Bridge 1 run (Frith kick), 1:52
First Downs 16 11
3rd down efficiency 3-11 4-9
4th down efficiency 3-3 0-0
Total Yards 447 340
Passing 344 278
Comp-Att-Int 14-23-0 9-24-2
Yards per pass 15.0 11.6
Rushing 103 62
Rushing attempts 38 26
Yards per rush 2.7 2.4
All-Purpose Yards 182 128
Punt returns 2-21 1-9
Kickoff returns 5-85 6-119
Interceptions returns 2-76 0-0
Penalties 11-80 2-20
Offensive 6-45 1-5
Defensive 2-15 1-15
Special teams 3-20 0-0
Turnovers 0 3
Fumbles-lost 2-0 3-1
Interceptions thrown 0 2
Sacked-yards lost 3-36 0-0
Punts 5-46.6 6-30.2
Possession 27:55 20:05
First half 11:59 12:01
Second half 15:56 8:04
RUSHING — Stayton, Ben Rash 30-79, Joshua Belliard 2-13, James Bridge 4-6, Nick Frith 1-4, Logan Classen 1-1. Philomath, Colby Roe 17-59, Dylan Bennett 4-2, Michael Lundy 5-1.
PASSING — Stayton, Ben Rash 14-24-0-344. Philomath, Michael Lundy 9-24-2-278.
RECEIVING — Stayton, Logan Classen 9-279, Jared Mitchell 3-51, Brock Hubert 1-8, Joshua Belliard 1-6. Philomath, Dylan Bennett 5-175, Carson Gerding 2-75, Matt Workman 2-28.
Newport 44, Philomath 28
Sept. 30 at Toledo
Team notes: The JV team’s record heading into this week was 2-1. ...The JV Warriors lost to Newport, 44-28, in a game played at Toledo because of the track resurfacing project at Clemens Field. ... Philomath was scheduled to play Stayton on Monday after the newspaper’s press time. ... The team will next face Sweet Home at home at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14.