Wes Riddell leads Panthers past Taft in blowout victory

LINCOLN CITY - Wes Riddell carried the ball nine times for 262 yards and five touchdowns Thursday night as the Panthers rolled over Taft 61-20 in Oregon West conference football action. Central scored all of its points in the first half - 28 in the first quarter and 33 in the second - which quickened the conclusion of the game with a running clock in the second half. "I was happy we were able to get things going early again," Central coach Shane Hedrick said. "We were able to put points on the board from different attack points so that was encouraging." The offensive line was able to move Taft around pretty easily as the Panthers averaged almost 12 yards a carry as a team. Quarterback Ben Finnegan only completed three passes, but they were all for touchdowns. Tell Cruickshank, Madison Stepp, and Grant Lindley all tallied receiving touchdowns. "Taft was stacking eight and nine guys in the box, it was high-risk, high-reward defense," Hedrick said. "Once we were able to break through that front line there was no one left to tackle our ball carriers." Hedrick has been spending extra time with the offensive line in practice to prepare it for the expected inclimate weather conditions moving toward the end of the season and the playoffs. "You have to be ready to face fronts like that because there might be some nights where it is impossible to throw the ball, but I think we are on the right track," Hedrick said. The Panthers move to 2-1 in the Oregon West and are ranked No. 6 in the OSAA power rankings heading into the homecoming game against Stayton on Friday night. FALLS CITY DEFEATED BY JEWELL: The Mountaineers were 1-0 in Casco League play headed into their matchup with Jewell but fell 62-52 thanks to three unanswered Jewell touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Running back Tristan Yeager tallied six touchdowns, including a 75-yard kickoff return. The Mountaineers jumped out to a 38-26 lead at halftime thanks to Yeager and quarterback Nick Burgett, who had two rushing touchdowns in the first half. The Mounts remained in control of the game until the fourth quarter when Jewell scored three straight touchdowns to rally for the win. Falls City moves to 1-1 in the Casco League with a matchup against Perrydale at home Friday night.


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