Santiam Christian comes up short in state title game

Santiam Christian comes up short in state title game


Santiam Christian comes up short in state title game


Santiam Christian coach Matt Bain talks to his Eagle players after the game

Santiam Christian coach Matt Bain talks to his Eagle players after the game

HERMISTON – After advancing to the 3A OSAA state championship game for the first time in four years, the the Santiam Christian High football team hoped for similar results from 2011 when the Eagles won the title.

The No. 2 ranked West Valley League champion Eagles (11-2), guided by coach Matt Bain, had an opportunity to win another title while deadlocked 14-14 in the second quarter versus the No. 4 ranked Vale Vikings (11-1).

Last year’s champion Vikings, who were undefeated in Class 3A, did not allow that to happen with a 27-20 win over the Eagles on Saturday at Hermiston High School.

“It’s always tough when you lose in the finals and it’s especially a tough for the seniors, who worked really hard in their last game,” Bain said. “I’m really proud of all the guys because we battled through a lot of adversity with a lot of guys playing who were hurt. They were able to overcome that though and I’m really proud of what all these kids were able to do this year.”

The Eagles came into the contest with the second-ranked defense, while allowing an average of 11.33 points per game. The Vikings presented the Eagles with a challenge though as they averaged 45.81 points per game.

The momentum quickly changed in Vale’s favor though as the Eagles had a turnover with a fumble on their first possession near midfield. The Vikings then responded as sophomore Zac Jacobs (36 carries, 284 yards rushing, three TD’s) scored on a 41 yard touchdown run to help lift Vale in front 7-0 with 8:49 left in the first quarter.

“We lost because we couldn’t stop number 12 (Jacobs),” Bain said. “He broke some big runs to help them and they are a very good team and they just played better than us today. I’m proud of the guys for giving it everything they’ve got and we just fell short.”

SC answered with a 14-play, 72-yard drive, highlighted by a 14-yard run by senior running back Jaremy Neufeldt (15 carries, 60 yds. rushing) to the Vale 5-yard line. SC junior quarterback Hunter Bain capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Parker Sutzman (three catches, 25 yds. receiving).

The Eagles fumbled on the point after touchdown though, making it 7-6 with 1:58 remaining in the opening quarter.

Vale then scored early in the second quarter to go ahead 14-6 with 10:11 left until halftime. The resilient Eagles responded on their fourth possession to knot it up. The Eagles then had a quick scoring drive of just 47 seconds.

A three-play, 65-yard drive, highlighted by a 47-yard pass from senior quarterback Daniel Hendrix (six-for-13, 135 yds. passing) to senior receiver Riley Roberts (two catches, 94 yds.) provided a spark to the Eagle offense.

The drive was capped by a Hendrix 14-yard TD pass to senior receiver Brady Patterson (two catches, 27 yds.). A 2-point conversion run by Neufeldt knotted it 14-14 with 9:18 left in the second quarter.

Vale responded with a scoring drive on its ensuing possession to take a 20-14 halftime lead. The Vikings then added another TD in the third to build a 27-14 advantage. Vale’s defense was solid throughout the second half as it shutout the Eagles in the third and for the first 5:35 of the fourth.

The Eagles came back, trimming the margin to 27-20 with 6:25 remaining in the game on a Hendrix pass to Roberts for a TD. The Eagles then forced the Vikings to punt on their next possession as SC had one more chance with a possible game-tying scoring drive.

The Vikings were up for the challenge though and they stopped a fourth-and-six play by the Eagles at the Viking 44-yard line with 3:51 left in the game. The Vikings then took over on downs and ran out the clock on their final possession to hold on for the victory.

Despite the disappointing loss, being in the championship game was an impressive way for the 17 Eagle seniors to conclude their career.

The finals appearance was the fourth for the Eagles, who advanced to the championship game in 2006 and 2010. This season marked the 12th consecutive year SC advanced to the state playoffs.

Vale 27, Santiam Christian 20







Santiam Christian







Vale— Zac Jacobs 41 run (Jernsletten kick good) 8:49.

Santiam Christian— Hunter Bain 5 pass to Parker Stutzman (2 pt. failed) 1:58.


Vale— Cade Perry 55 pass to Zac Jacobs (Jernsletten kick good) 10:11.

Santiam Christian— Daniel Hendrix 14 pass to Brady Patterson (Neufeldt rush) 9:18.

Vale— Zac Jacobs 28 run (Jernsletten kick blocked) 5:32.


Vale— Zac Jacobs 69 Run (Jernsletten kick good) 10:22.


Santiam Christian— Daniel Hendrix 47 pass to Riley Roberts (Hendrix kick faile) 6:25.


Santiam Christian

First downs






















Rushing— Vale: Zac Jacobs 36-280; Santiam Christian: Jeremy Neufeldt 15-51.

Passing— Vale: Cade Perry 5-16-96 1 TD 1 INT; Santiam Christian: Daniel Hendrix 6-14-135 2 TD 0 INT.

Receiving— Vale: Cody Towers 2-24; Santiam Christian: Joshua Swigart-Risinger 4-30.


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