No. 1 Central Catholic 38, No. 5 Clackamas 20
Junior Riley Williams’ touchdown catch on a jump-ball pass on the final play of the first half was the springboard for the Rams, who pulled away from a 7-7 score to defeat the Cavaliers at Hillsboro Stadium and win the Mt. Hood Conference championship.
The 6-foot-7 Williams leapt and caught Cru Newman’s pass at about the Clackamas 4-yard line and flowed into the end zone for a 38-yard completion and the go-ahead touchdown.
The game, broadcast on ESPNU, matched teams that won or shared every Mt. Hood title from 2008 to 2019. In that span, Central Catholic (2013, 2014, 2019) and Clackamas (2017) also won the OSAA Class 6A championship four times.
Williams also used his height to his advantage on the Rams’ first touchdown. On the first snap after a Cavaliers drive ended on downs, Newman lofted the ball down the right sideline on first down from the 25. Williams leapt over a defender, caught the ball at the Rams’ 47 and pulled away from pursuers for a 75-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Rams lead two minutes into the second quarter.
The Cavaliers (9-1, 7-1 Mt. Hood Conference) evened the score with 3:28 before halftime on a four-yard run by Brody Crowley.
Ellis Bynum added to the host Rams’ lead, scoring midway through the third quarter and early in the fourth.
Bynum took a handoff and tested the middle of the line before bouncing to the left and racing down the sideline for a 35-yard score with 5:13 left in the third. Two minutes into the fourth, he and Newman combined for a 25-yard touchdown that made it a three-score game. Newman ducked under what looked as if it was going to be a sack and tossed the ball to Bynum in the right flat. From there, Bynum set up his blocks and darted down the sideline for the touchdown that led to a 28-7 lead.
Newman scrambled for an 18-yard touchdown with 3:43 left to push the Rams (10-0, 8-0) to a 38-7 lead.
The Cavaliers got a touchdown from Blake Baker to KJ Johnson-Gibson on a pass play of about 50 yards with 2:29 left to make it 38-14, and those two connected on another score on a long pass with one second left for the final points.
Photo by Leon Neuschwander