MT. ANGEL Quarterback Dallas Reich rushed for a touchdown and threw for another Saturday as Weston-McEwen beat Kennedy 20-6 to advance to the OSAA Class 2A state semifinals.
"The kids have worked hard all year, and this is exciting for our program and community," Weston-McEwen coach Kenzie Hansell said. "We could have had every excuse in the world to not play well, but the kids came through. That shows the leadership on this team."
Reich put Weston-McEwen on the scoreboard in the first quarter with a 77-yard touchdown run to give the TigerScots a 6-0 lead.
"That was an outstanding play," Hansell said. "Dallas would be the first one to tell you that it takes everybody blocking to make that happen. Everybody did their job, and he made a great play."
Elliot Salter scored on a 4-yard touchdown run in the final seconds of the second quarter, and after a two-point conversion, Weston-McEwen led 14-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Reich connected with Jared Bond on a 12-yard touchdown pass to give the TigerScots a 20-0 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Kennedy's Greg Farris scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 20-6.
Weston-McEwen next will face two-time defending state champion Scio in the semifinals. The time and location has not yet been determined.
With the loss, Kennedy finishes the season 6-5.
"You can't make mistakes this late in the season," Kennedy coach Randy Traeger said. "Teams are too good, so every mistake can hurt you."
Kennedy finished second in the Tri-River Conference this season, behind Scio.
"Our guys always battle to the end, and we did that today," Traeger said. "We are a young team, and the younger guys have a lot of dedication to football. They love the game, and you like to see that."
The Trojans opened the playoffs with a 35-12 win against Heppner on Nov. 12.
"What a surprise for us this year," Traeger said. "We were rebuilding, and early in the year, we thought we would be lucky to have a winning season.
"But to have it gel during the season, like it did, and get two playoff games was a great surprise," Traeger said. "That's a testament to the program, the system, the coaches and the support from the community."