SCIO — The Scio football team has been hindered by slow starts often this season, and fell victim to that issue once again on Friday.
After falling behind early, the Loggers staged a gutsy comeback but fell just short as they lost 28-20 to Yamhil-Carlton and dropped to 3-3 on the season. Scio trailed by 22 points near the end of the third quarter and uncorked a pair of unanswered touchdowns to put pressure on the Tigers.
But after Caleb Shockey’s 2-yard touchdown run with two minutes to go made it a one-score game, Yamhill-Carlton converted a make-or-break fourth-and-1 situation near midfield to dash any hopes the Loggers had of of forcing overtime.
“I love being in those intense situations,” Shockey said. “But I would rather us be dominating. We just need to ball out in the first half from now on. It just doesn’t seem like we can — we need to fix it up and see what can happen.”
Shockey ran for 71 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns, and Hunter Gray had 68 yards on 13 carries for the Loggers, who possessed the ball for all but 2:07 of the fourth quarter once their ground attack found its rhythm.
“We just showed up in the second half,” Scio head coach Justin Guest said. “We’ve been having some real slow starts and we just played how we should play in the second half tonight. I’m proud of my boys, they always try hard. When it gets down to it, they’re always gonna be in the fight until the end and I’m always proud of that.”
With the loss, the Loggers are 1-1 in league play. Now sitting in third place in 3A Special District 1 East behind Yamhill-Carlton (6-0, 2-0) and Corbett (5-1, 2-0), they will likely need to rely on an at-large bid if they hope to make the postseason.
“We’ve got to win out,” Guest said. “We just have to win out. We’ve kind of dug ourselves a hole and made a tough road. But these guys are willing to do the work to make it.”
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Less than two minutes into the game, Yamhill-Carlton took an 8-0 lead after Jaime Garcia scored on a quarterback keeper to cap off a 60-yard drive.
The Tigers then shut down a promising Scio drive when they forced a turnover on downs with the Loggers inside the red zone. But Scio got a huge boost three plays later when Lance VanHoose strip-sacked Garcia on third-and-long and the Loggers recovered the fumble.
Jacob Mask quickly punched in a touchdown but the Loggers failed on the two-point conversion, making it 8-6.
Yamhill-Carlton took the wind out of the Scio sails from that point, though, and scored two quick touchdowns over a two-minute span to make it 20-6 going into the half. The Tigers tacked on another touchdown near the end of the third, seemingly pushing the game out of reach.
But Shockey broke loose for a 17-yard touchdown with 11:05 to go to make it 20-14, and Scio immediately forced a Tigers’ three-and-out. The Loggers then orchestrated a 19-play drive that included a dazzling 20-yard catch by Jacob Mask on a pass from Kade Mask to set up Shockey’s second touchdown.
Scio got three quick stops on the ensuing Yamhill-Carlton drive and used its two remaining timeouts to preserve the clock. But on 4th-and-1, Garcia burst through the line for a decisive first down and was able to kneel out the clock.
The Loggers will be in action again when they host Madras next Friday at 7 p.m.