Photo: Scorebook Live
So simple to describe. So lethal in its execution.
That was Thurston’s game plan Friday night for its Class 5A state semifinal matchup with Wilsonville at McNary High School in Keizer.
The Colts blitzed on just about every down, betting that their pass rushers would get to quarterback Chase Hix before the Wildcats senior could throw.
They didn’t always succeed, but they did often enough to keep Hix and his teammates from sustaining a rhythm. The result was a 34-14 Thurston victory that gives the two-time defending champions a chance to make some history.
Only two teams in the state’s top two classifications have won three consecutive titles – Marshfield in Class A from 1954-56 and Scappoose in Class 3A from 2000-02. The Colts (10-0) will get their shot Saturday against Silverton (11-1).
“Missing our junior year because of COVID, we felt like we could go to state again and again and again,” said senior Colts end Jacob Newell. “I just think that we should have four rings, all of us guys. We were ready to go tonight. We were hungry, and we were (angry) that we were underrated in the polls. We were just here to prove ourselves.”
On this night, Newell caught two passes for 42 yards, but more important, he helped harass Hix all night, with his strip-sack and fumble recovery early in the fourth quarter leading to a field goal.
It was one of six turnovers the Colts forced.