(Photo by Ned Hickson/Siuslaw News)
Friday’s match-up with Pleasant Hill wasn’t the win the Vikings were looking for, but it was still a vast improvement over Siuslaw’s season-opening 50-0 loss at the hands of Elmira a week earlier.
“We had a good start, which is something we can build on,” Siuslaw head coach Jamin Pool said Friday night. “We just have to stop beating ourselves and eliminate the mental mistakes. As long as we can do that, we’ll continue to make progress and compete.”
Siuslaw’s offense, which was blanked by the Falcons, showed marked improvement against the Billies, leading 6-0 and 12-6 in the first quarter before narrowly falling behind 13-12 following an 18-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.
Siuslaw was the first to score in the game, with senior runningback Quincy Rusk breaching the end zone on a 2-yard carry after a 10-play, 79-yard series less than four minutes into the quarter.
The conversion attempt failed, leaving the Vikings to kick off to Pleasant Hill, whose Cody Morrell brought the ball back 85 yards to tie the score at 6-6 after a failed PAT.
With 2:23 remaining in the period, senior quarterback Jared Brandt strung together an 8-play drive for 51 yards, capped with a 3-yard carry by Brandt to put Siuslaw up 12-6.
The Billies’ touchdown in the second quarter, on an 18-yard run by Stephen Parmenter and kick from Amanda Whetten, edged Pleasant Hill into a 1-point lead entering the half, 13-12.
In the second half, the Billies struck quickly, scoring three times in the first six minutes — on a 10-yard run, a 25-yard pass reception and an 11-yard carry — for a 33-12 lead.
Siuslaw’s senior wide receiver Trent Reavis gave the Viks a spark offensively with a 10-yard pass reception from Brandt with 2:16 remaining in the third quarter, but the Billies were able to score twice more in the fourth period to secure a 45-18 win.
Friday, Siuslaw will wrap up its preseason on the road at Newport before rolling into far West League play Sept. 22 at North Bend.
Kick off for both games is set for 7 p.m.