Prairie goes for third straight win against Hudson’s Bay

Falcons defeated Evergreen in Class 3A Greater St. Helens League opener last week

Prairie Falcons (2-3, 1-0 3A GSHL)

Week 1: Heritage 28, Prairie 14

Week 2: Hockinson 42, Prairie 6

Week 3: Black Hills 25, Prairie 22

Week 4: Prairie 21, Battle Ground 20

Week 5: Prairie 28, Evergreen 23

Next: vs. Hudson’s Bay, 7 p.m. Friday at District Stadium

The Prairie Falcons played nearly flawless on offense in a second-half rally to open their 3A GSHL schedule with a victory.

Falcons take control:

The Prairie Falcons put on a clinic on offense in the second half against Evergreen that included one long drive dominated by the pass, one long drive led by the ground attack, and one one-play drive that was a short pass that turned into a long touchdown.

Trailing at the half, the Falcons opened the third quarter with an eight-play drive. Quarterback Jayson Maddux went 6 for 7 for 54 yards on the possession, capping it with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jake Bobst to take a 14-13 lead.

Evergreen would regain the lead on a field goal, but the Falcons were back on top after the next play from scrimmage.

Maddux found Izaiah Ward on a short pass, and Ward did the rest. He broke three tackles, outran another would-be tackler, then juked a fifth defender on his way to a 76-yard touchdown reception.

After an 0-3 start to the season, Prairie has rebounded with wins over Battle Ground and Evergreen in the last two weeks. Next up for the Falcons is a Class 3A Greater St. Helens League matchup with Hudson’s Bay Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz
After an 0-3 start to the season, Prairie has rebounded with wins over Battle Ground and Evergreen in the last two weeks. Next up for the Falcons is a Class 3A Greater St. Helens League matchup with Hudson’s Bay Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Can’t go a week without mentioning a great play from Prairie defensive standout Carson Slagle. He stuffed an Evergreen runner, then just took the ball out of his arms for a fumble recovery. That gave a hot offense another opportunity.

Prairie went 60 yards on 11 plays, but this time with eight rushing attempts. Maddux scored on a 10-yard run for some breathing room at 28-16.

Later, the Falcons picked up a first down while trying to kill some clock. Maddux completed two more passes.

In all, Maddux went 10 for 13 for 144 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, plus he had a rushing touchdown.

The best throw and catch:

While it did not lead to any points, the best pass and catch of the day came in the first half when Maddux connected with Nolan Mickenham.

The beauty here was in the execution, the timing.

Mickenham drove upfield at the snap, and Maddux threw the ball when Mickenham was crossing Prairie’s 34-yard line. The ball soared high, then dropped out of the sky into Mickenham’s arms at the Evergreen 41-yard line.

Yes, Mickenham ran 25 yards while the ball was in the air and caught up to the ball for a big gain.

Coach Speak:

What did Kevin Baker learn about his team in Week 5? “This is the second game in a row that we overcame a halftime deficit to pull out a win. The kids have gained confidence in their ability to make adjustments and make plays down the stretch. They expect to win.”

MVP on offense: Jayson Maddux. (See above.) “He led the team to a victory this week,” Baker said.

MVP on defense: Safety AJ Dixson. “AJ had his first start as a DB for us this year,’’ Baker said. “He did a great job of playing both the run and pass. He was instrumental in our run support and stepped up to the challenge.  He led the team in tackles, being involved in 10 tackles.”  

Thoughts on Week 6 vs. Hudson’s Bay: “Hudson’s Bay has a good team with a lot of talent,’’ Baker said. “They have both size and speed. The strength of their team is their line. We will need to overcome the threat their line poses on both offense and defense. If we hope to be in position to contend for the conference title, we will need to find a way to win this week.”

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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