Junction City quarterback Cooper Rothenberger led his team on a 65-yard, game-winning touchdown drive Friday. (Courtesy photo)
Junction City quarterback Cooper Rothenberger led his team on a 65-yard, game-winning touchdown drive Friday. (Courtesy photo)

The accelerated development of senior quarterback Conner Rothenberger has helped elevate Junction City into a contender in 4A football.

Rothenberger, who moved from tight end to quarterback this season, showed his growth at the position Friday night in leading the co-No. 8 Tigers to a 20-16 win at No. 6 Cascade in a key Special District 3 game.

Rothenberger drove Junction City 65 yards in the final minutes for the winning touchdown, a 14-yard pass to senior running back Tylen Franks with 9.2 seconds left. Tigers coach Max Wall said Rothenberger “saw a lot of things” in leading the offense Friday.

“When we needed it, he completed a lot of big passes,” Wall said of Rothenberger, who completed 8 of 14 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. “That was really huge for us. He's a smart guy. The line did a great job of protecting him. And then he waited for routes to develop. He didn't panic.”

Rothenberger was patient on the winning touchdown pass to Franks. The Tigers saw how Franks, the secondary receiver, had come open on a previous play.

“We told Coop to let him clear,” Wall said. “He slid out of the pocket to the right and waited for Tylen to come clear and got it in there for the touchdown.”

Junction City (6-1, 4-0) led 6-0 at half on a one-yard touchdown run by Franks. Cascade (5-2, 3-1) pulled ahead 8-6 in the third quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Nolan Abrams and a two-point conversion.

The Tigers went up 14-8 early in the fourth quarter when Rothenberger threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to senior Keivon Riley and a two-point conversion pass to senior Grant Barnes.

Cascade sophomore Bryce Kuenzi scored on a seven-yard run and Abrams tossed a two-point conversion pass to junior Hunter Anundi to give the Cougars a 16-14 lead with 4:12 remaining, setting the stage for Junction City's winning drive.

Wall praised his defense for slowing down the Cougars, who entered averaging 40.7 points per game. Senior linebacker Dalton Vogt came up big on run support and senior defensive back Jack Gambee was instrumental in holding Cascade standout senior receiver Karsten Sande without a catch.

The Tigers, who went a combined 1-14 in 2018 and 2019, have made steady progress in their four seasons under Wall, going 5-1, 5-3 and 6-4 in the previous three years. With one more win, they will have their most victories in a season since going 9-2 in 2004.

Friday's road win over a top-10 team represented a big step forward.

“We were celebrating pretty hard,” Wall said. “The kids were pretty excited to win a game like that. We played in a couple big games last year and we fell on our face.”

Junction City has won two in a row since a 14-8 home loss to Marshfield in which the Tigers committed 208 yards of penalties.

“I think it was an aberration,” Wall said of the loss. “ We had a bad week. We just weren't focused.”

Junction City is tied with No. 4 Marist Catholic (6-1, 4-0) for first place. The Tigers play host to the Spartans in the regular-season finale Oct. 27.

Sherwood shutout streak

With its sixth consecutive shutout Thursday, Sherwood (7-0, 3-0 Pacific Conference) is moving into rare territory.

The No. 3 Bowmen blanked Newberg 58-0, their sixth shutout since opening the season with a 34-21 win at West Salem. Records don't show the last team to post six consecutive shutouts, but the last to get to seven was 2A Heppner in 2007. The last to get to eight was Phoenix, which had nine in a row in 1963.

“I told the kids, 'Enjoy it because you're on one of the best rides that Oregon has ever had for a high school football team,'” Sherwood coach Mark Gribble said. “Regardless of what level you're at, or who your opponents are, this doesn't happen. This is a special thing.”

The Bowmen limited Newberg to 99 total yards and collected five interceptions, including one by senior Max Griffin in the end zone to end the game after the Tigers had reached the red zone.

Junior Andrew Waletich returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown and junior Wyatt Ferguson returned an interception 30 yards to the three-yard line. Seniors Trevor Nibbe and Kaleo Hall also had picks.

“There's just different guys stepping up,” Gribble said. “It's offense is clicking, as well. It's kind of a double-edged sword.”

The Bowmen are taking pride in the shutouts.

“They're aware of the streak, and they have a lot of buy-in on it,” Gribble said. “I think they play harder for each other in certain situations to try to keep that streak alive.”

Much of the responsibility has fallen on the reserves in the second half.

“They're just as invested as the others,” Gribble said. “You watched our sideline at the end of the game, as Newberg's driving, our starters were all down on the 20-yard line screaming in support. It was awesome to see from a team chemistry standpoint.”

Sherwood had 360 yards against Newberg, 231 on the ground. Senior Kasen Covert threw three touchdown passes – including strikes of 46 yards to Hall and 49 yards to Evan Morris – and ran for a 31-yard score.

Junior Treyson Eddleman ran 47 yards for a touchdown for the Bowmen, who have not punted in three conference games.

Bucks bounce Perrydale

No. 4 St. Paul also had five consecutive shutouts entering Thursday before emerging with a 48-12 win over No. 7 Perrydale to take over first place in 1A-8 Special District 3.

Host Perrydale (6-1, 3-1), which came into the game unbeaten, showed that it was ready to challenge the Buckaroos (6-1, 4-0) with two long drives in the first quarter, one stalling at the goal line and the other resulting in a touchdown.

“It was everything we wanted in a game,” St. Paul coach Tony Smith said. “They were more physical than us in the first quarter.”

But the Buckaroos gradually pulled away as their offense scored touchdowns on six of its first seven possessions, opening a 48-12 lead at half. None of the drives lasted longer than five plays.

Senior George Pohlschneider completed 4 of 6 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score. Junior Clay Smith rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns on three carries.

“We have a bunch of speed, and our quarterback is playing at a really high level,” Smith said. “We have three kids that can catch it. We're difficult to defend, so if we get some stops, we can score a bunch of points in a hurry.”

Pohlschneider has made a leap in his second season as the starter.

“Fundamentally, he's gotten way better,” Smith said. “He was dinged up last year, wasn't super healthy during the season. And he's healthy this year. He has all the tools to be a really effective quarterback at our level. He has really good foot speed. His accuracy has been good, his arm strength is good.”

The defense has been dominant. Smith had 20 tackles at linebacker Thursday, his second game this season of at least 20 tackles. Senior linebacker Aiden Britten has returned strong after missing most of last season with a torn ACL. Senior Ralph Pohlschneider, the team's leading receiver, has been outstanding in the secondary.

St. Paul has won six in a row since losing to No. 1 Lost River 40-36 in the opener in a rematch of last year's state championship game, which Lost River won 43-0. Smith said the Buckaroos are a different team than six weeks ago.

“I think we're way better,” he said.

Perrydale suffered its first loss despite the performance of senior Brandon Lux, who had 31 carries for 175 yards and one touchdown. It was the first time the Pirates had been held to fewer than 50 points this season.

Challengers prevail

Reigning 3A champion Cascade Christian extended its winning streak to 20 with a 35-7 win over visiting Lakeview in a battle of unbeaten teams Friday.

Senior Ashton Moody completed 19 of 26 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a score to lift the No. 2 Challengers (7-0, 7-0 Special District 3).

Cascade Christian prevailed over the No. 6 Honkers (6-1, 6-1) despite a 251-241 disadvantage in total yards.

“It was exactly what you wanted,” Cascade Christian coach Jon Gettman told the Rogue Valley Times. “(Lakeview) is just good across the board, up front and with athletes, so they matched us up well with that.

“It was great for our kids. That’s what we need. More games like that are just going to help them grow and get better. It’s a game you look forward to and are excited about.”

The Challengers were able to put up 35 points against a Lakeview team that had held its first six opponents to a combined 34 points. Moody threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to senior Peyton Maurer, 18 yards to senior Kristofer Fralich and 20 yards to sophomore Caleb Scaglione, who also ran for a score. The 6-3 Maurer had 10 catches for 155 yards.

“Peyton had some big catches for us,” Gettman said, “and Ashton did a great job of leading us and making plays. When we needed it, we went to Peyton and he responded.”

Cascade Christian's defense, which has allowed 33 points through seven games, held the Honkers in check other than a 74-yard touchdown run by senior Adrian Stubbs in the second quarter.

Maurer and senior Brendon VanWart had interceptions. VanWart had a team-high eight tackles and junior Cole Breitler had three tackles for loss.

Gervais reins in Hadley

The Gervais defense contained the state's leading rusher to clinch its first winning season in 23 years Thursday.

The host Cougars, ranked co-No. 10 in the OSAAtoday 2A coaches poll, beat No. 9 Willamina 46-19 to improve to 6-1 overall, 3-1 in the Tri-River Conference. They have won six games for the first time since 1991 and will finish with a winning record for the first time since going 5-4 in 2000.

Gervais held Willamina junior running back Jacob Hadley, who entered with a state-leading 1,475 rushing yards, to 83 yards on 20 carries. Hadley rushed for two touchdowns.

“Our defense did a great job today,” Cougars senior quarterback Eremay Avgi said. “(Our) coaches have been pushing them every day, stopping anything. We held him down, one of the best running backs in 2A right now.”

Avgi passed for five touchdowns, connecting with senior Daniel Kuznetsov from 27, 15 and 70 yards and with senior Gotti Ramon from 16 and 15 yards. The Cougars set up their passing game with an effective ground attack as sophomore Johnny Mariano rushed for 127 yards on 21 carries.

“I love airing it out,” Avgi said. “You run the ball, open up the pass, and it goes back and forth. … I love seeing when we're equally throwing the ball as much we're running it. … Just taking what they give.”

Gervais opened a 32-7 lead in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs (5-2, 3-2) drew within 32-19 early in the third quarter on a short touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Orrin Reid. Avgi and the Cougars answered with two touchdown passes to pull away.

Gervais, which has lost only to No. 4 Regis, had not won more than three games in a season since going 4-5 in 2011. The Cougars have made gradual progress under fourth-year coach JJ Navarette, who went 2-2, 0-9 and 3-6 in his first three seasons.

--Jeremy McDonald contributed to this report

Highlights from other games in Week 7:


Wells dusted Lincoln 50-13, rushing for 334 yards behind Wyatt Andler (17 carries, 109 yards, three touchdowns) and Emmett Togni (13 carries, 123 yards, one touchdown). … Sandy won its fourth in a row after an 0-3 start, throttling Reynolds 47-6. Gabe Tammad returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown and had a scoring catch. Caleb Rinard returned a fumble 29 yards for a score. … Sheldon beat North Medford 24-3 to stay tied for first place in Special District 1 with South Salem. Colby Parosa threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Marley Bonin and ran for a 10-yard score. Quincy Peterson had a 33-yard touchdown run. The Black Tornado played without star tight end/defensive lineman AJ Pugliano (sprained knee). … South Medford rushed for 310 yards – throwing only one pass – in a 33-14 win over Grants Pass. Bridger Foss rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries and Kameron Rague returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score. …

Tualatin's AJ Noland passed for two touchdowns and had the clinching interception in the fourth quarter in a 14-0 win over Lake Oswego. … Jesuit downed Sunset 26-21 as Trey Cleeland ran for two touchdowns and passed for a score. Lonnie Burt rushed for 152 yards on 27 carries. … Nelson scored a school-record point total in defeating David Douglas 64-0. Andre Miller scored touchdowns receiving and on a punt return and Eddy Keomany ran for two scores. … Central Catholic stayed unbeaten by holding Barlow to 107 yards in a 55-7 win. Cru Newman completed 7 of 10 passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns and Killian Sombe rushed for 116 yards and one score on five carries. … Westview handled Aloha 41-0 in a match-up of winless teams. The Wildcats rushed for 418 yards, led by Heath Thompson (19 carries, 235 yards, three touchdowns) and Irason Kekaualua (10 carries, 170 yards, three touchdowns). …

Liberty outgained Century 402-121 in a 40-8 victory. Tytan Rekow rushed for a team-high 82 yards and one touchdown and passed for a score. …Jefferson's Cannon Sternberger kicked a 22-yard field goal as time expired to beat Franklin 53-51. It spoiled a big game by Franklin's Will Reid, who completed 39 of 58 passes for 400 yards and five touchdowns, three to Cash Landau (seven catches, 112 yards). … South Salem opened a 51-0 halftime lead on its way to beating Roseburg 63-7. Athan Palmateer completed 15 of 20 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores. Esteban Mendez had six catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns. … Lakeridge turned back Oregon City 27-7 as Gabe Motschenbacher completed 26 of 38 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns and Ansu Sanoe rushed for 105 yards and one score on 20 carries. Zyon Floyd had 10 catches for 143 yards. ... West Salem cruised past McNary 55-14. Kaden Martirano completed 11 of 15 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns and Ian Herber ran for two scores.


Silverton stayed unbeaten with a 50-14 rout of McKay. The Royal Scots led 14-6 in the middle of the first quarter, getting two touchdown passes from Kyrin Fuimaono, before the Foxes responded to lead 36-14 at half. Brody Sullivan returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score and had two touchdown runs. Sawyer Teeney passed for three scores. … South Albany rallied from a 14-0, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Dallas 15-14. Down 14-8, South Albany got a 70-yard touchdown pass from Gaje Nicholson to Sawyer Hallberg with 1:59 left, and Tristyn Lopez booted the go-ahead extra point. Isaiah Stewart clinched the win with an interception. Dallas' Isaiah Mosley rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. …Wilsonville made quick work of Southridge, 61-7. Kallen Gutridge completed 8 of 14 passes for 158 yards and five touchdowns, three to Nick Crowley, and Aidan Jenkins rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries. The Wildcats had eight sacks, three by Riddick Molatore. ...

West Albany turned back Crescent Valley behind Lukas Hews, who completed 13 of 16 passes for 131 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 87 yards on 12 carries. Jarron Huebner had five catches for 111 yards and three scores. …. Eagle Point ran over Crater 39-21 with 5-11, 230-pound Hugo Perezchica, who rushed for 173 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. … Connor Dye rushed for 215 yards and five touchdowns for Springfield, which blanked Willamette 54-0. The Millers had three interceptions. … Caldera edged Bend 9-7, getting a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Morris to Brady White to open a 9-0 lead in the third quarter. … Mountain View notched its fourth shutout of the season by thumping Ridgeview 40-0. Connor Crum completed 11 of 16 passes for 163 yards and four scores, three to Jack Foley, and Angel Valenzuela had 13 carries for 125 yards and one touchdown. Mountain View had a 363-105 edge in yards. …Summit got three touchdown passes from Jimmy Hughes in beating Redmond 31-21.


Pendleton trounced Ontario 47-7 as Trey Boston ran for two touchdowns and Colson Primus passed for two scores. Thaiden Cannin caught five passes for 106 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, and ran for a score. … Ashland led 46-0 at half in defeating Sweet Home 52-6. Colin Lawrence returned a fumble for a score and had an interception. Jojo Harrower threw three touchdown passes, two to Jacob Ortega. … Henley dominated Marshfield 63-18 as Logan Whitlock rushed for five touchdowns, all in the first half, giving him 31 scores for the season. Luke Bennett caught two touchdown passes from Joe Janney and Bryson Montag returned an interception for a score. … Crook County dispatched La Grande 21-0 as Jacob McKinnon passed and ran for touchdowns and Tyis Yustat had two interceptions. ...

La Salle Prep posted its third consecutive shutout, and fourth of the season, to beat Molalla 10-0. Paul Skoro broke a scoreless tie in the third quarter with a 30-yard run. Vance Sheffield added a 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. … Tillamook dispatched Astoria 54-13 as Griffyn Boomer scored touchdowns rushing and receiving and on punt and interception returns. Tanner Hoskins rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and completed 10 of 18 passes for 119 yards and two scores. … Max Nowlin passed for 232 yards and one touchdown and ran for two scores to lead Scappoose past St. Helens 47-14. Leland Boswell ran for three touchdowns and Eli Harrah caught six passes for 106 yards and one score. ... Mazama led Klamath Union 40-0 early in the second quarter and won 57-7, its 10th consecutive victory in the Canal Bowl rivalry. Quarterback Tyson Van Gastel had five carries for 136 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half.


Boston Hodges rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and had a clinching interception for Dayton in a 22-7 win over Santiam Christian. Zach Smith rushed for 182 yards on 24 carries for the Pirates, who took command after the Eagles scored on their first possession to lead 7-0. … St. Mary's stopped a two-point conversion attempt to hold on and beat Brookings-Harbor 28-26. Indiana Olson rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns and Joel Kiene passed for two scores. … Dane Flora threw touchdown passes of 23 and 40 yards to Trent Westrom and ran for two scores to propel Sutherlin past Phoenix 41-20. … Ethan Eby ran for two touchdowns and Jace Owens returned an interception for a score as Sisters defeated Pleasant Hill 48-8. Justin DeSmet had nine carries for 143 yards and one touchdown. ...

North Valley topped Douglas 39-13 as Bryson Teal rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and Roy McGregor threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score. … Quinton Buckland passed for 237 yards and four touchdowns as Elmira doubled up La Pine 56-28. … Vale limited Umatilla to 29 yards in a 59-0 win. Colten Stepleton completed 8 of 9 passes for 188 yards and five touchdowns, all in the first half, as the Vikings led 59-0. Brooks Haueter had two interception-return touchdowns. …South Umpqua held off Coquille 10-0, getting a 78-yard touchdown pass from Elijah Earls to Kacey Benefiel in the first quarter and a 36-yard field goal by Cooper Howard in the second quarter.


Riverside trailed 22-6 at half before rallying to defeat Grant Union 44-22. Jesus Montes got the comeback started in the third quarter by blocking a punt and returning it 40 yards for a touchdown. Riley Lantis rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns in the win. … Oakland held Bandon/Pacific to 128 yards in a 28-7 win. Gabe Williamson rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries and Brayden Webb returned a kickoff for a score. … Hunter Vaughn ran for 106 yards and scored touchdowns rushing, receiving and on a 75-yard kickoff return for Illinois Valley, which dropped North Douglas/Yoncalla 61-40. Daniel Polk ran for three touchdowns and had a scoring catch. … Jayden Williams ran for two touchdowns in Glide's 19-0 win over Reedsport. ...

Hayden McMahon accounted for 186 of Heppner's 335 rushing yards in a 42-28 win over Stanfield. Caden George returned a fumble for a touchdown and had 16 tackles for the Mustangs, who played without starting quarterback Landon Mitchell (broken collarbone last week). Stanfield's Connor Logan (151 receiving yards) caught two touchdown passes from Pablo Galindo. … Easton Berry passed for three touchdowns to lead Weston-McEwen past Irrigon 46-20. Irrigon's Mason Harrison rushed for 147 yards and two scores. … Price Martinez 124 yards and three touchdowns for Clatskanie, which led 27-0 at half and defeated Nestucca 33-14. … Kollin Schumacher completed 14 of 27 passes for 204 yards and four touchdowns, three to Noah Koenig (five catches, 126 yards), as Regis brushed off Blanchet Catholic 46-7. …


Lost River's Connor Dunlea scored touchdowns five different ways in the first half as his team built a 45-0 lead and went on to down Chiloquin 45-14. Dunlea scored on a 59-yard punt return and eight-yard interception return and had touchdowns passing, receiving and rushing. Emmett O'Brien also had an interception-return touchdown. Chiloquin freshman Lalan Wilder rushed for 119 yards and one score on 10 carries. …Enterprise dominated Powder Valley 66-24 as Tyler Knapp completed 10 of 14 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns, two to Trey Stewart (four catches, 132 yards). Ashtyn Irwin had 11 carries for 192 yards and two touchdowns and returned an interception for a score. Zack Roberts and Nate Cameron had kickoff-return touchdowns. ... Imbler defeated Adrian 46-22 as Henry Treat ran for three touchdowns and Trevor Treat ran and passed for scores.


South Wasco County let a 30-13 halftime lead slip away -- trailing 38-30 late in the third quarter -- before recovering to top previously unbeaten Prairie City/Burnt River 46-38. With the score 38-38, South Wasco County forced a fumble at its own 20-yard line with 55 seconds left, leading to a go-ahead 40-yard touchdown pass from Storm McCoy to Joey Holloway. McCoy completed 16 of 30 passes for 413 yards and six touchdowns, overcoming three interceptions and eight sacks. Holloway had nine catches for 237 yards and three scores. ... Elkton's Anthony Alimenti completed 20 of 29 passes for 263 yards and five touchdowns, two to Matthew Rausch, to lead his team past North Lake 40-20. … Wyatt Geiger completed 8 of 12 passes for 144 yards and four touchdowns in Days Creek's 34-12 win over Glendale. Keegan Stufflebeam had five catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns. …

Echo's Dom Curiel passed for five touchdowns and more than 200 yards to help his team defeat Spray/Mitchell/Wheeler 55-35. … Powers overwhelmed Riddle 64-18 as Braden Bushnell completed 10 of 15 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns and Jayce Shorb rushed for 228 yards and five touchdowns on 10 carries. Patrick Mahmoud (four catches, 131 yards, two touchdowns) and Charlie Shorb (four catches, 101 yards, one touchdown) had big receiving games. ... Tanner Hibbs returned interceptions 62 and 51 yards for touchdowns and had a fumble recovery to help Alsea defeat Crow 61-13. Gavan Hinchberger rushed for three touchdowns, returned a kickoff for a score and had an interception. Ethan Cantrell caught a touchdown pass and had two sacks and two forced fumbles. ... Chris Sickles rushed for 244 yards and three touchdowns and had nine tackles for loss to lead Falls City past Eddyville 19-13. Aaron Burgess added five tackles for loss.