Outlaws football at the top of the heap in league play
Last updated 10/10/2023 at 11:18am
The Outlaws traveled to Creswell on Friday night and hammered out a decisive 41-6 victory against the Bulldogs.
Creswell received the opening kickoff and Calvin Parker recovered an early fumble to set the Outlaws up for a great start. The Bulldogs’ defense held strong and Sisters wasn’t able to convert their fourth-down attempt deep in Creswell’s territory.
Sisters forced the Bulldogs to punt and got back to work. Justin deSmet scored from seven yards out, Reid Woodson’s PAT was good, and Sisters took a 7-0 lead.
The Outlaws once again forced the Bulldogs to punt, and after a solid drive, deSmet scored again from 14 yards out and pushed the score to 13-0.
On the next Creswell possession, Kolbi Cotner read their play perfectly, picked off a Bulldog screen pass, and scampered into the end zone. After a successful PAT from Woodson the Outlaws found themselves on top 20-0.
Teams exchanged a few possessions and then Creswell scored on a busted play.
Sisters put together another great drive and marched down the field. Tony Gonzalez capped off the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run with 1:15 left in the first half. The two-point conversion attempt was good and Sisters held a commanding 28-6 lead at the half.
The Outlaws’ rushing attack was stellar in the first half, recording 200 yards.
Sisters received the opening kickoff of the second half and went right back to work. They drove down the field and Ethan Eby scored on a 20-yard TD run. Another Woodson PAT put the score at 35-6 with 9:19 left in the third period.
Eby scored Sisters’ final TD of the night on an 11-yard TD run with approximately five minutes left on the clock, and the game ended in a 41-6 Outlaw victory.
Sisters finished with 326 yards rushing and passed for 63 yards. DeSmet carried the ball 11 times for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Eby had seven carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns, and Gonzalez had nine carries for 29 yards and a touchdown.
Quarterback Hunter Bronson was five for nine for 63 yards, which included several key third-down conversions, which kept the drive alive. Kale Gardner had three catches for 33 yards and Landon Scott had two catches for 30 yards.
The Outlaws’ defense held Creswell to six points, 104 total yards rushing, and 72 yards passing.
Coach Gary Thorson told The Nugget that the Outlaws’ offensive line had their best game of the year, which he stated is encouraging as they head down the stretch.
“The starting five (Jayden Vogt, Dolan Pool, Kalvin Parker, Antonio Guzman, and Garrett Sager) blocked well from start to finish and we cut back missed assignments this week, which was a much- needed step.”
Thorson also noted that the defense played well for the second week in a row. Creswell had a major advantage on the Outlaws size-wise up front, but the Outlaws made up for that with effort and execution.
“Defensively, it was a great team effort on that side of the ball,” said Thorson. “We gave up a cheap one on a busted play, but other than that we were pretty solid. Kalvin Parker had his best game at defensive end (seven tackles and a fumble recovery) and is starting to develop into an outstanding defensive player. Cotner always seems to be in the right place and had a great pick and return for a TD that really sparked us. DeSmet at free safety and all three linebackers (Sager, Gonzalez, and Eby) played well and made big plays for us.”
A week earlier the Outlaws put up a valiant effort on the road against No. 1 ranked Kennedy in a non-league contest but came up short 6-13.
Eby had a great game for the Outlaws at his linebacker position and according to Coach Gary Thorson is improving every week. Dolon Pool made some great plays and also played on the defensive line for the first time this year. Thorson noted that Pool’s quickness and tenacity will probably land him more playing time in that spot moving forward. Justin deSmet also played well from his free safety position.
“Our defense has turned the corner and they’re starting to play with confidence and it’s fun to watch,” said Thorson. “There’s no question that from a defensive side we played well enough to win, but on the offensive side we played very poor at times and didn’t convert on some key third-down attempts.”
The Outlaws were held to 171 yards of total offense on the night. DeSmet was the leading rusher with 42 yards on 15 carries. Hunter Bronson was five-for-nine on the night for 51 yards. The backs ran hard against a pretty good defense, but Thorson stated that the Outlaws continue to make too many mistakes on the offensive line, which is hurting them right now.
Thorson said, “We had some breakdowns in our pass protection that hampered us and overall had a rough night throwing the ball.
Thorson told The Nugget that playing Kennedy on the road was a good experience for the team.
“I firmly believe in the saying that you learn more from your losses than your successes, and I think we learned a lot tonight, and that is going to make us a stronger team down the road,” Thorson said.
The Outlaws will play at Pleasant Hill on Friday, October 13, for their fourth straight game on the road. Thorson told The Nugget that the Outlaws have been a bit banged up but hope to have a few players back for the game against the Billies.