The unbeaten Grizzlies stave off a late rally and reach the semifinals
Nov. 15, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
PORTLAND - A second-half defensive struggle nearly cost the Ashland Grizzlies their season Friday night when Roosevelt reached their 2 with under four minutes remaining. But, Southern Oregon's top Class 5A team pulled out three solid defensive plays and kept the Roughriders out of the end zone, preserving a 13-7 win.
Ashland got a pair of touchdown runs in the first half from quarterback Danial White and improved to 11-0, and reached the semifinal round for the first time since 1998. The win was the 40th playoff victory for the school's program, which has won three state titles.
Next up, the Grizzlies will play top-ranked Sherwood, which beat Crescent Valley 68-7 in its quarterfinal Friday.
Roosevelt, seeking only the third playoff win in school history, had its season end at 9-2.
Ashland put together two lengthy drives for touchdowns to build a 13-0 lead in the first half, and seemed to have the game under control when the Roughriders came from the lockerroom at halftime with junior quarterback Kimane Domena missing his pads. Domena suffered a separated left shoulder late in the first half.
In Domena's place, Roosevelt started senior receiver James Schell-Buchanan, who was unable to get the team moving with just runs. Then, they switched to 5-foot-9 sophomore Daniel Stauffer, who did his best impersonation of Johnny Manziel while driving the team to the 2 after the team's defense had forced a punt deep from Ashland territory. Stauffer started the drive on the Ashland 37, and produced three first downs, including a run on 4th and 9 to get to the Ashland 8.
After another run got the team to the 2, Roosevelt was hit with a motion penalthy and moved back to the 7. A short run and short pass left the Roughriders with 4th and goal from the 4. Stauffer again tried to turn a broken play into a historic win, but the Ashland defense pounced on him to get the ball back for its offense, which ran out the clock.