Senior running back Tyler Mead defeated visiting Scappoose in his final home game of the season Friday night. What? Yeah: The Canby Cougars defeated visiting Scappoose in their final home game of the season Friday night. What did I say?
Mead was everywhere for the Cougs in his final game at Cougar Stadium, scoring all six of the home team’s touchdowns, as Canby (3-1) took down Scappoose (2-2) in the 5A special league matchup, 42-27.
“Tyler was a force last night!” Coach Jimmy Joyce said afterward. “He really sparked everything.”
Canby came out a little flat to start the game, finding themselves in a 7-0 hole in the first quarter. But just as Scappoose was marching confidently downfield toward another trip to the end zone, Mead came to life.
He picked Indians quarterback Luke McNabb, then ran the interception 77 yards back for a touchdown in what will likely contend for the top play of the Cougars’ Covid-shortened football season.
After that highlight, “we never looked back,” Joyce said. And indeed, the offense — led by Mead — moved easily after that, running away to a 35-7 lead at halftime.
Mead’s final stat line for the night was an incredible 207 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns — including one for 65 yards that brought the socially distanced stadium of fans and supporters to their feet.
He also caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Mikey Gibson, who went 9 of 16 for 179 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Senior running back Jackson Valdrow also had a big night, with 76 yards on 10 carries for Canby.
Overall, it was an offensive performance night that hearkened back to the days of the legendary coach Erv Garrison, whose swaggering, in-your-face offensive style has been described as “run and run … then run some more.”
“Jackson Valdrow was also huge,” Joyce said. “We thought we were going to have a two-headed monster in the backfield this year and it was present last night for sure. We had a lot of players step up in big ways.”
The coach also highlighted the performances of juniors Theo Netter and Joe Brauckmiller, who came up with big interceptions when Scappoose threatened to regain momentum and make a run. Seniors Rylan Wymer and Kyle Sandner rounded out the defense with stellar performances on that side of the ball.
Senior quarterback Zack Markell filled in when Gibson went down with an injury in the fourth quarter and did an “amazing job managing the game,” Joyce said.
“These seniors most likely played their last game at Cougar Stadium last night, and they really played their hearts out,” Joyce said.
Gibson’s status for the Cougs’ final game — a highly anticipated league showdown with undefeated Wilsonville (4-0) Friday — is now in question. While a final decision will have to await further evaluation, “early indications are very positive,” Joyce said.
Sadly, the Cougs did learn this week that the season is over for spark plug Change Miller, senior wide receiver, kicker and return specialist who powered their offense before going down with an ankle injury in last week’s double-overtime victory over Cascade.
Miller, who has been accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy and its Division I football program, will undergo surgery next week.
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