Prairie welcomes challenge against league-leading Mountain View

Falcons will have to play the rest of the season without injured quarterback Jayson Maddux

Prairie Falcons (2-5, 1-2 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
Week 6: Hudson’s Bay 16, Prairie 13
Week 7: Kelso 49, Prairie 6

Next: vs. Mountain View, 7 p.m. Friday at District Stadium in Battle Ground

Prairie lost its starting quarterback early in the game and struggled on offense the rest of the night in Kelso. Now Falcons look to regroup against first-place Mountain View.

Prairie quarterback Jayson Maddux suffered a broken collarbone in last week’s loss to Kelso and will miss the rest of the season. Photo by Mike Schultz
Prairie quarterback Jayson Maddux suffered a broken collarbone in last week’s loss to Kelso and will miss the rest of the season. Photo by Mike Schultz

Moving along and then … doom:

The Falcons got the ball first and they were heading in the right direction.

Quarterback Jayson Maddux scrambled for a gain of 18 yards on third-and-14 for one first down. He spotted a receiver open for another third-down conversion.

Then everything changed for the Falcons.

Maddux got taken down by a Kelso defender, and Maddux did not immediately get up.

Diagnosis: Broken collarbone.

(In fact, Maddux announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he has surgery scheduled for Wednesday.)

Season over for the starting quarterback.

The next play, Kelso intercepted a pass, would go on to score and never trailed.

This is not to claim that Prairie would have won had Maddux not been injured. After all, Kelso won a lot to a little.

But my guess is Prairie would have been able to put up a tougher fight. Not only did the Falcons lose an athlete, it also was a mental letdown, losing the leader on offense.

Get well Jayson. See you next season on the field.

Couple early highlights:

Aaron Brumley had a key series on defense for the Falcons.

Kelso snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head, and the QB hustled to get to it on time. But the QB also tried to turn and run. Brumley was having none of it. He tackled the quarterback for a loss of about 16 yards.

On the next play, Brumley and Ken Miller teamed up to bring the ball carrier down for no gain.

Kelso would punt on this drive.

Later in the first half, Anthony Estrada stayed home in his assignment and was in the right place at the right time for an interception. He returned it 35 yards of Prairie’s only points of the game.

What does Week 8 and 9 mean to Prairie?

The Falcons take on first-place Mountain View in Week 8 and last-place Fort Vancouver in Week 9. If the Falcons go 1-1 in those games, they will finish 2-3 in league and hope to finish in a three-way tie for third place with Evergreen and Hudson’s Bay. If this sounds familiar, it is exactly what happened a year ago. If that happens, there would be a three-way tiebreaker for the third playoff spot.

Of course, the Falcons would love to surprise the 3A GSHL world this week by beating Mountain View with their back-up quarterback.

If that does not happen, expect Prairie to win in Week 9 and see about the rest of the results involving Bay and Evergreen games the next two weeks.

Coach Speak:

What did Kevin Baker think of his team’s performance in Week 7? “We struggled offensively and defensively. Our quarterback, Jayson Maddux, was injured in our first offensive series, and we struggled to overcome his loss. Overall, it was perhaps our worst performance of the season, some of which can be attributed to Kelso’s efforts and some can be attributed to our lack of focus and inconsistent effort on both sides of the ball.”

MVPs: Although we had several who fought hard and played their positions well, we couldn’t come up with anyone on either offense or defense who performed well enough to be considered the most valuable player.

Thoughts on Week 8 vs. Mountain View: “This week we play our toughest opponent to date,’’ Baker said. “Mountain View is a good team, with good players and quality coaches. We are going to have to do a much better job this week, on both sides of the ball, if we hope to have a chance of staying in the game. They have good speed, and their line is fundamentally sound and executes well. We look forward to the opportunity to prove ourselves against the leading team in the conference.”

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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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