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Host Rex Putnam High School proved too much for a still injury-weakened Canby football team Friday, as the Kingsmen defeated the Cougars 34-19 at home to improve to 8-0 and remain the only undefeated team in the state at 5A.
“They are definitely a team to look out for in November,” head coach Jimmy Joyce said of the Kingsmen. “They’ve got some great playmakers on the perimeter and probably the biggest offensive line in the state.”
The Cougs, meanwhile, dropped to 5-3 (2-2 Northwest Oregon Conference) but clinched the second seed in their division, with a chance at a guaranteed playoff berth with a Week 9 win next week.
“Obviously, the loss was disappointing, but I’m happy with how our players battled,” Joyce said. “We have a lot of guys playing beat up and are just flat-out warriors.”
Joyce heaped particular praise on junior Andy Soles and senior Braden Snoderly, who play both sides of the ball as well as special teams.
“I don’t think they have come off the field all season,” Joyce said. “They have been anchors in the lineup.”
The big news on the offensive side of the ball was the return of star running back Tyler Konold, who was leading the state in rushing yards before rolling his ankle on the opening kickoff of the Cougars’ Week 3 win over Beaverton and has been largely unavailable since.
He showed little rust in his return to full action in Milwaukie Friday night, carrying the rock 14 times for 169 yards and a touchdown.
“Having Tyler back is huge,” Joyce said. “We didn’t know how limited he would be, but he was a warrior.”
Joyce also pointed to the performance of junior Parker Ackerman, who is also recovering from two ankle sprains and has been a jack of all trades for the Cougs this season, starting games at running back, quarterback and wide receiver. He had nine carries for 61 yards and another touchdown Friday.
Canby’s final regular season game will be a pivotal home tilt with Hillsboro (4-4, 2-3 NWOC), which earned the matchup after defeating Southridge 41-21 Saturday. The winner of Friday’s game will get a guaranteed trip to the postseason, while the loser will have to wait and hope the computerized rankings are in their favor.
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