Eugene — Thurston entered Autzen Stadium on Saturday morning with a mission, a mission to win back to back state championships. Although they hung around for a bit, Silverton eventually fell apart and Thurston is only a single step away from a chance to make their mission a reality after rolling the Foxes on Saturday in Eugene.
Following a slow start for both squads, Wesley Kommer got the scoring started with a rushing touchdown and Thurston opened the scoring 7-0 with 8:57 left in the first quarter. Silverton had an immediate response as Jordan McCarty found Nathan Kuenzi along the right sideline and Keunzi finished it off with the touchdown, tying the match up at seven with 5:38 in the first quarter. Thurston didn’t waste any time responding to the Foxes score as Cade Crist nailed Jacob Newell in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown, and the Colts retook the lead 14-7 on Silverton.
Following the Thurston score, Silverton faced a 4th and 9 when the Foxes threw an interception to Caleb Scott, who setup the Colts in great field position with the interception, but it ultimately ended in a punt. After a Silverton punt, Kommer swerved his way through traffic and found the end zone for the second time in the game, extending the Thurston lead to 21-7 with 6:56 left in the half. On the next Silverton possession, McCarty tossed up a pass to a covered Nick Sidler, who came down with a great catch for the Foxes touchdown, cutting the lead to 21-14 but Thurston drilled a field goal at the end of the half to make it 24-14 Thurston at the half.
Opening the second half with the ball, Silverton had an opportunity for momentum but the Foxes threw an interception on the first play of the drive, setting up Kommer’s third touchdown rush of the game and Thurston blew the game open to 30-14 with nine minutes left in the third. Kommer would make it a four of a kind with another rushing touchdown with 6:42 left in the quarter, making it 37-14 Thurston and the Colts would roll home to a 44-14 victory and a crack at a second straight state championship next week against Crater.
Following their blowout win over the Foxes, Santino Stranieri and Wesley Kommer talked about the win and their outlook for next week’s state championship game…..
Stranieri on the second half defensive adjustments, “We ended up going with a safety over the top, they were hitting the corners and the outside receivers so we put a safety there to help them out, and we prepared for their quarterback to keep him in the pocket and not let him scramble.”
Kommer on the offensive success in the second half, “There weren’t too many adjustments, but offensive wise we changed up our blocking to make it easier for me and everyone else to make the reads and blocks. Defensively we knew they weren’t running much and both their touchdowns came off their passing, so we made a change in the secondary to help with the coverage and those were the main adjustments.”