Clark County scoops up a win over Portland, 26-12
With the score tied and their offense bogged down, the Clark County Vipers got a huge lift from their defense, which scored the go-ahead points that carried the team past the Portland Raiders, 26-12, Saturday in a Pacific Football League preseason game at Battle Ground High School.
Defensive tackle Marques Cross scooped up a fumble at the Portland 3 and ran for a touchdown that put the Vipers up 19-12 late in the third quarter.
Clark County added another score in the fourth quarter and improved to 2-0 on the season before a supportive crowd of nearly 300 fans.
"We go into every game with the goal of scoring," said Cross, who also recovered another fumble in the fourth quarter. "At halftime, we talked about scoring, about scooping and scoring. When there's a fumble, we don't just fall on it, we try to scoop and score. This is two straight weeks it's worked."
The Vipers scored a defensive touchdown and also recorded a safety in a 50-0 win over the Washington Cavaliers a week earlier.
Clark County gets a week off before playing the Southern Oregon Renegades in the first game of the 2011 Border War, April 16, at Battle Ground.
"We got a pretty good test and found out a lot of things we need to work on," Vipers coach Reggie White said. "That's what we wanted from this game. To be tested and still win."
Portland, which went winless last season, got a pair of touchdown runs from Tirrell Thompson and a solid performance from rookie quarterback Zack Taylor in the loss. The Raiders are off until April 23, when they play at High Desert in the opening week of the PFL season.
"This was a good start for us," said Portland linebacker Antonio Sparrow, who had one of three interceptions for the Raiders. "We held them to 12 points for most of the game, and they've got a pretty strong offense. That says a lot about how well we can stop teams."
Clark County quarterback Kyle English threw three touchdowns and also had three interceptions in his second start since moving from receiver. English completed 24 of 44 passes for 258 yards.
Taylor completed five of his first six passes for 81 yards while leading the Raiders to a pair of run-dominated scoring drives. The Vipers responded with a stiffer run defense and he finished 10 of 18 for 91 yards with one interception - on the team's final drive.
CLARK COUNTY 26, PORTLAND RAIDERS 12
Portland 6 6 0 0 - 12
Clark County 6 6 7 7 - 26
CC -Kai Moe 3 pass from Kyle English (run failed)
P - Tirrell Thompson 12 run (pass failed)
CC - Brad Ames 11 pass from English (kick failed)
P - Thompson 1 run (run failed)
CC - Marquess Cross 3 fumble return (Romeen Abdollmohammidi kick)
CC - Deshawn McKenzie 32 pass from English (Abdollmohammidi kick)