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The No. 5 Canby Cougars football team took down ninth-ranked Scappoose on the road this week in the much-anticipated clash of Northwest Oregon Conference West titans. Coming into Friday night’s showdown, the Indians were the only NWOC team that had managed to put more points on the board (249) than the high-octane Cougar attack (232).
After galloping out to a 27-0 halftime lead, the Cougs managed to weather the home team’s furious second-half rally to bring home the 33-21 victory. Canby improved to 6-1 overall and maintained its perfect 5-0 league record.
“Really happy for our kids,” head coach Jimmy Joyce told The Canby Current Friday night. “Scappoose is a good team, and our kids battled. Jumping out 27-0 was great, but we really want to clean some stuff as we prepare for the stretch run and playoffs.”
Joyce felt the way the Cougs, who are off to their best start in decades, handled the would-be rally showed the growth the program has experienced in its renaissance since a winless 2018 campaign.
“We handled the momentum swings in the third quarter and calmed down and closed them out when we had to,” the coach said.
In a showdown between two of the NWOC’s top quarterbacks in Canby’s Mikey Gibson and Scappoose senior Lukas McNabb, it was an old school night for Canby, as the Cougs found the bulk of their success in a relentless rushing game — cashing in on the legs of their two-headed backfield monster of senior Bryce Oliver and super sophomore Tyler Konold.
Oliver, the workhorse, mopped up the bulk of the carries while Konold again keyed the dynamic Cougar attack, piling up more than 225 rushing yards and three touchdowns, according to unofficial statistics Friday night.
Oliver and Gibson also punched in touchdowns in red-zone situations to round out the scoring for the Cougs. All of Canby’s scoring came on the ground — surprising considering Gibson led 5A in passing touchdowns going into Friday night’s game. Gibson finished 10/16 for 121 yards with one interception.
“I think our defense came up big in key situations,” Joyce said. “Also, Mikey played a great and managed the game really well. And Tyler Konold is a stud as always. It was a really old school feel all night: grass and dim lights.”
Both Gibson and McNabb were in the league’s top five in passing yards and touchdowns heading into Friday night’s matchup. McNabb was also second in the NWOC in rushing yards — behind Canby’s Konold.
Canby will stay on the road next week against Forest Grove (3-4, 1-4 NWOC) before wrapping up the regular season at home against the undefeated, first-ranked Wilsonville Wildcats (7-0, 5-0 NWOC).
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