Call it a belated birthday present for Charlie Weeks.
The Stayton High senior caught three touchdown passes in the first half Friday as the No. 7 Eagles rolled to a 54-0 home win against Newport.
On Tuesday, Weeks celebrated his 18th birthday after the Eagles (4-0) routed Madras 54-0 Sept. 18. In that win, Stayton relied more on its powerful running game than its passing game as quarterback Kyle Schwarm attempted just six passes in the victory, making a reception difficult to come by for receivers.
“I had one catch last week, but it got called back,”Weeks said.
Against Newport (0-4), though, Weeks didn’t have that issue. He hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass on Stayton’s opening drive and then later caught a 68-yard touchdown pass to put the Eagles up 14-0 with more than seven minutes to play in the opening quarter.
After a rushing touchdown by teammate Bryan King, Schwarm lofted a long pass down the left sideline where Weeks caught the ball and sprinted past the Newport defender for a 79-yard touchdown reception.
“We really wanted to start out with our pass game this week and we wanted to find ways to get Charlie involved,” first-year Stayton coach Andy Campbell said. “He’s a special player for us and we knew we had to get him involved. He showed that we have weapons at all of our spots.”
Schwarm, who finished 9-for-10 passing for 322 yards and four touchdown passes, said Weeks is a critical piece of Stayton’s offense.
“He’s probably the most athletic one in all of our skill groups,” he said. “Our No. 1 receiver, Everett St. Clair, had all the defenders kind of condense on him this game, so we came out and took advantage of that with Charlie.”
King added a 1-yard touchdown run later in the first half before Schwarm’s 36-yard touchdown pass to St. Clair gave the Eagles a 42-0 halftime lead. King added a 20-yard touchdown rush in the second half before Seth Dailey’s 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter capped the win for the Eagles.
With Stayton using a daunting rushing game last week against Madras and suffocating passing attack against Newport where both games ended up in 54-0 routs, it’s easy to see the Eagles are a balanced team.
“We’re trying to get to the point where we’ll take what people give us,” Campbell said. “We showed that last week with how much we ran the ball and then this week, we showed that we can pass the ball. We’re getting prepared and ramping up to go as far in the playoffs as we what we want to do. That’s our goal.”
Before the Eagles can talk about the postseason, though, they are focused on the week ahead as the season goes by and don’t want to get mired down in looking too far into the future.
“As a team, we have goals to go deep into the playoffs, but we don’t really talk about it like that because we look at it like we’re trying to go 1-0 every week,” Weeks said. “We don’t even say we’re 4-0 because we’re just concentrating on going 1-0 every week. We go game-by-game, so it’s hard to talk about what’s in the future because we really haven’t brought that up.”
What’s in the immediate future for the Eagles, however, is an Oct. 2 game at Yamhill-Carlton. A win would put the Eagles at 5-0 and give Stayton the same number of wins this year than the Eagles saw the past three seasons combined. Stayton won three games last year and one game each in both 2013 and 2012.
“I think it’s great,” Weeks said of Stayton’s team this season. “We’ve got a really solid program this year and a good group of seniors. Our younger guys are coming in, like they did tonight where they’re maintaining and even building on the lead, and playing well. It’s exciting.”