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Perrydale’s Justin Cruickshank ran for four touchdowns and threw for another in the Pirates’ 76-20 throttling of Jordan Valley Friday.
November 14, 2012
PERRYDALE 76, JORDAN VALLEY 20
PERRYDALE -- As a Jordan Valley defender carried Justin Cruickshank out of bounds during Friday's Class 1A first round playoff contest, it was hard not to cringe as the senior quarterback's helmet banged off the track surrounding the football field.
What was not surprising was what happened next.
The Perrydale senior quickly bounced up, shook off any pain, and went under center for the next play.
"One of the things about Justin is he's a quarterback that doesn't just lead by being the quarterback and the captain," senior teammate Mick Hawes said. "He leads by example, so he's really good at making plays out of nothing and getting the team fired up -- like, getting drilled and popping up and being excited."
Cruickshank, embodying what Perrydale eight-man football is all about, was just one of the many tough guys that helped lead the Pirates to a 76-20 blowout over visiting Jordan Valley.
Cruickshank, left, stands outside the huddle during Friday’s game. The senior was voted a first-team QB and linebacker by league coaches.
Perrydale (7-2), the No. 4-seed, moves on to the quarterfinal round, where it will travel to play No. 1-seed Imbler (8-0) of Special District 4 in a noon Saturday matchup.
At 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, Cruickshank, who also plays linebacker, is not the most imposing player on the field. Luckily for the Pirates, his size doesn't measure his level of determination.
"I think Justin might be our toughest kid on the team," Perrydale coach Dan Dugan said of Cruickshank, who was responsible for five touchdowns -- four rushing and a TD pass to Josh Hiebenthal -- in Friday's game.
"That's saying a lot for a kid that's a quarterback. He's definitely been our leader this year and that's good when it's your quarterback because it fits well with the position, but on defense, for a quarterback to also be an inside backer ... he just has that toughness."
That's a trait Cruickshank has almost had to have this season, after Perrydale offensive coordinator Luke Lindell realized his potential to run the ball under center - something Cruickshank has done often this year with success.
Against Jordan Valley (8-2), Cruickshank scored the game's first two touchdowns on runs of 13 and 24 yards. After Hiebenthal ran for a 1-yard score, Cruickshank tossed an 18-yard screen pass to the senior running back as time expired in the first quarter to give the Pirates a 28-0 lead.
Perrydale’s Cody Halverson rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns in Friday’s win over Jordan Valley.
Jordan Valley broke into the scoring column in the second quarter behind Ty Warn's 80-yard run and added another TD with 8:33 before the half when Warn scored on a 23-yard run. The Mustangs added one more touchdown in the third quarter, when Tyrel Lucas ran the ball 80 yards on a kickoff return.
Cruickshank finished with 110 yards rushing on seven carries.
"Against St. Paul when we ran six or seven plays in a row when I ran the ball, I was astonished," Cruickshank said. "But I think I've kind of proved myself a little more to where I've been able to run the ball and I've been able to pick up some of the load off Josh (Hiebenthal)."
Friday, Hiebenthal scored four touchdowns of his own -- on runs of 1, 46 and 9 yards, respectively, along with the 18-yard scoring reception from Cruickshank. He finished with 181 yards on 16 carries on the night.
Cruickshank isn't the only Perrydale player that's taken some hard knocks.
Hawes has played through his own pain battling knee issues and Halverson, who rushed for two scores and 153 yards Friday, doesn't mind trying to drag an entire pile of defenders with him when he's carrying the ball.
"I've made it my goal to make sure it takes more than one person to take me down and I've tried to enforce that," Halverson said.
Perrydale’s Mick Hawes, right, defends an incoming pass against Jordan Valley’s Blaine Moran in Friday’s 70-26 playoff victory.
For the Pirates, that kind of toughness just seems to come with the territory of being part of the program.
"It's Perrydale football," Hawes said.
"We all know what we have to do to keep the tradition going and we've been to the playoffs, I think coaches said, like (11 years) in a row. None of us want that to end, so we get bumps and bruises, we get banged up a bit, and we want to keep playing because we don't want to be that one guy that has to leave the game.
"We want to keep going and we're proud of the fact that we're all Perrydale Pirates and we get to go out here and play as a team."
Class 1A Quarterfinals
Perrydale (7-2) at Imbler (8-0)
When: Saturday, noon.
Admission: $6 adults, $4 students.
What's at stake: If Perrydale wins, it will play the winner of Sherman and defending 1A champ Camas Valley in the semifinals, scheduled Nov. 24.
Preview: Imbler, the No. 1 seed on its side of the bracket and champion of Special District 4, is coming off a 60-24 win over Triangle Lake. The Panthers reached the quarterfinals a year ago before falling to Triad, 42-14. Quarterback Kyle Johnson has 1,026 passing yards this season and running back Joe Griffin leads the team on the ground with 1,381 yards. The two teams share one common opponent in Triangle Lake, which the No. 4-seed Pirates defeated 82-42 on Sept. 14.