Steady improvement for six-man Sailors

2022 Mapleton Sailors - Back row, from left: Coach Tucker Ford, Keevyn Walker, Jesse Motichka, Mason Flansberg, Coach Tyler Krueger. Front row, from left: Tristin Stewart, Dom Stewart, Emily Neece, Asher Geil. Not pictured Jacob Burchell

MHS football team scores first touchdown of season

Sept. 12, 2022 — The Mapleton football team traveled south for their second game of the season, a Special District 2 match-up versus Glendale, a school just south of Roseburg. The Sailors showed marked improvement over game one and put their first points of the season on the scoreboard, but still fell to the Pirates 49-6.

Junior quarter/runningback Keevyn Walker broke free in the third quarter for a 60-yard touchdown run, the first touchdown of this young season for the Sailors. 

The other highlight of the game was the stellar second half defense played by Mapleton. Glendale took a 49-0 lead into the halftime break, meaning the final two quarters would be played with a running clock. Though the second half was quick because the clock did not stop except for scores, time outs or injury, the Sailors took advantage of the time they had by finding new energy in the second half.

The Mapleton roster included seven uniformed players compared to the 15 that their opponent had. This put the visitors at severe disadvantage because they only had one substitute available. Most of the Sailors played almost the entire game. You wouldn’t know it by their play in the second half.

Senior center/defensive lineman Mason Flansberg played exceptionally on defense, repeatedly bringing down Pirate runners trying to break through. Senior running back/defensive back Caleb Lewis also made numerous tackles, using his speed to chase down Glendale players who attempted to run around the end. Walker also made a big impact on the defensive side of the ball to go with his productive offensive night.

In six-man football, the quarterback cannot take a direct snap and run the ball. Whichever player receives the snap from the center must either hand off or throw the ball. Because of this, the Sailors ran a unique offense most of the night where senior running back Tristan Stewart would line up behind center, at the spot where a quarterback typically would in “normal” football, take the snap, then flip or hand it off to Walker. He would then act as a quarterback normally would, looking to pass to one of his receivers or run the ball himself.

Senior running back Robert Martin was the most productive Pirate on the night with five touchdowns and 177 yards on the ground.

Next up for Mapleton is their first home game of the season, another Special District 2 match-up, this one against McKenzie. The Eagles are 0-1 on the season after opening the season with a 32-7 loss to Siletz Valley to open the season.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday but had to be moved to Thursday to accommodate official's schedules. Thursday’s game starts at 7 p.m. at the football