Sailors chart course for state play-offs

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(Photo by Ned Hickson/Siuslaw News)

Mapleton: 78  Siletz V. 28

The Sailors football team continued to chart a course to the state play-offs last Friday with a decisive win over visiting Siletz Valley. The win secures Mapleton at least a play-off game for a chance to make the state play-offs. Should they win next week (Oct. 20 against Falls City, the Sailors would take the top spot from the Mountain West Special District 3 division to state; a loss to the Mountaineers would still leave Mapleton with a shot at state should they win an additional play-off game against the No. 3 finisher in the Mountain West Special District 2 division.

Last Friday, the Sailors looked like a team on a mission.

“All week we talked about being ready to play and not being complacent,” said Mapleton coach Jeff Greene. “We talked about respecting our opponent and to keep our momentum going.”

Key to that continued momentum was the ability to play well on both sides of the football, which the Sailors had little trouble with.

Offensively, the Sailors had 10 touchdowns, including 5 from junior wide receiver Evan Moso, who rushed 11 times for a total of 247 yards.

Senior quarterback Dominic Wells had 2 touchdowns for the Sailors, along with 163 yards rushing on 11 carries and 55 yards passing.

The Sailors also got touchdowns from senior Spencer Cole on a 65-yard catch; freshman Trysten Wagner, who had 70 yards on 2 rushes; senior Tanner Wilson; and a touchdown pass from freshman JJ Neece, who also nabbed 81 yards rushing on 4 carries.

“We talked about how you can turn a corner in performance and get to the next level,” said Greene. “We also talked about how hard it can be to sustain it — and what we needed to do to make that happen.”

At center, sophomore Dylan Rogers “had a great night, snapping the ball well and providing protection,” said Greene.

Defensively, sophomore Nate Neece sparked Mapleton with 9 tackles and a fumble recovery.

“Nate just keeps getting better and better,” Greene said.

Wells had 8 tackles for the night, along with 4 tackles from Spencer, 3 tackles from Rogers along with 2 interceptions.

“Trysten has a nose for interceptions and reads the offense well,” Greene said of Rogers, who also broke up a pair of pass plays.

Other tackles came from Wilson with 5, and JJ Neece with 6.

“It was a great team win and something we’ll continue to build on,” said Greene.

The Sailors will host a rare afternoon game this Saturday, with Mapleton taking on Horizon Christian in a non-league match-up.

Kick-off is set for 1 p.m.

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