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PREP FOOTBALL: Josh Hiebenthal scores five touchdowns in Perrydale's rout of Siletz Valley

PERRYDALE -- If the amount of improvement shown by Perrydale Friday night is a sign of things to come, the Pirates might just be in for another highly successful football season.

Perrydale’s Josh Hiebenthal scored five touchdowns in Friday’s 54-12 win over Siletz Valley. The Pirates host Triangle Lake this Friday.

Photo by Kirk Mays for the Itemizer-Observer

Perrydale’s Josh Hiebenthal scored five touchdowns in Friday’s 54-12 win over Siletz Valley. The Pirates host Triangle Lake this Friday.

September 12, 2012

NEXT GAME

Triangle Lake (1-0) at Perrydale (1-1)

Preview: Triangle Lake defeated Arlington 44-22 last week, and the Lakers have a first-year head coach in Steve Blackshear. Perrydale won this matchup a year ago, 48-8, at Triangle Lake.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

PERRYDALE -- If the amount of improvement shown by Perrydale Friday night is a sign of things to come, the Pirates might just be in for another highly successful football season.

Perrydale used one of those fast starts it has become known for, scoring five first-quarter touchdowns that shell-shocked Siletz Valley, and never looked back en route to a 54-12 victory over the visiting Warriors.

One week after a 38-6 setback at the hands of defending state champion Camas Valley, the Pirates showed that a week of hard work does pay off.

The biggest area of improvement noted?

"The line blocking," said senior running back Josh Hiebenthal. "There was a definite improvement from last week to this week."

Added Justin Cruickshank, Perrydale's senior quarterback: "Our linemen did a great job blocking and sustaining blocks. The main thing was to sustain blocks."

Hiebenthal, who finished with five touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards on just five carries, was among the biggest benefactors.

He scored on a 30-yard sweep down the right sideline on the third play of the game to stake the Pirates to a lead they never relinquished.

Then, capitalizing on two special team errors by Siletz Valley, Perrydale recovered back-to-back kickoffs after the Warriors failed to field the ball. Both times, the Pirates scored on the very next play, first with Cody Halverson changing direction to avoid a would-be tackler en route to a 26-yard touchdown run, then Hiebenthal scampering 27 yards for a touchdown.

Add on three successful 2-point conversion runs - two from Cruickshank -- and Perrydale led 24-0 less than two minutes into the game.

"We needed to be sure we bounced back after that last game, and we played well," Perrydale coach Dan Dugan said. "I thought our kids responded really well in practice this week. We cleaned up our mental mistakes, we were able to move the ball well and we sustained our blocks better.

"In the last decade, and especially in the last two years, we've always had that fast start to our games - and that was definitely what we were looking to do."

Halverson added 80 yards on six carries and Cruickshank rushed for 48 yards on just three carries.

And it wasn't just the offense and special teams making big plays in the first half. The Perrydale defense, taking advantage of a shaky start by a Siletz Valley squad that struggled with snaps and up-front blocking early in the game, held the Warriors to 2 yards of total offense in the opening quarter.

"I thought our defense played well when they had opportunities to play," Dugan said. "Our defense held them to just two yards of offense during the opening quarter. We understood what they were trying to do on offense and our players executed their assignments pretty well with the starting unit. We were pretty happy with their effort this game."

After two weeks -- the Pirates lost to a Camas Valley team that many are predicting may repeat as 1A state champs and defeated a Siletz Valley squad that won its opener 80-20 -- Perrydale appears headed in the right direction. But there is much work ahead if the Pirates are to have the kind of season they hope for.

"We have to play with more consistency," said Cruickshank. "We have to fine tune. I think we have everything down. We just need to be more consistent and that's what we need to work on in practice."

Added Dugan: "We're a top-15 team right now, but we're not a top-5 team. That's always our goal -- being a top-5 team. If you can do that, you give yourself a chance to be at home early in the playoffs and possibly play for a ring at the end."