Cascade High School Football
Tim Frake of Cascade knew his team had talent; however, he believed it wouldn’t be enough to overcome a reduced roster in its season-opener against Cal State Northridge.
The Cadets would rely heavily on their defense and run game. Senior Walker Van Ness led from the front, creating space for freshman Jeremy Farmer to get through.
Cascade’s offense may not be among the fastest in high school football, but their Cougars do boast some explosive players who can score quickly when given an opportunity. Junior Kaden Muir, named second-team all-league this year and one of Cascade’s second-team all-league selections this year, stands out. He rushed for over 500 yards and ten touchdowns this year and caused havoc in Philomath on Friday at Clemens Field.
Senior Derek Lieurance is another powerful weapon for the Cougars, having earned All-American status at Willamette and connecting with Nate Bergfeld more than 128 times for over 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns this year – taking full advantage of Coach Tim Frake’s Wing-T hybrid system this season.
At halftime, Cascade trailed PHS 14-13 but managed to build an edge in the third quarter by going ahead 29-13 with about eight minutes left in play. A late interception deep into PHS territory, coupled with an unsuccessful extra point, clinched it for Cascade.
Philomath wasn’t done yet, though. Muir made an impactful play early in the fourth period by running 45 yards for a touchdown on a quarterback keeper play; unfortunately, though, Cascade failed to convert a two-point conversion attempt successfully and ultimately gave up its two-point advantage.
Cascade secured their spot in the state semifinals by beating Olympia 9-3 overall in the season. Next week, they will host the winner from today’s Woodinville-Mead matchup and give Cascade its second consecutive win over their archrival.
Cascade High School’s defense has been one of the best in Oregon this season. They’ve only allowed 125 points this year — which is the lowest total among Oregon West Conference schools — while scoring more points themselves than most opponents combined. Bill Poehler, Gary Horowitz, and Pete Martini from The Statesman Journal rank the top high school defenses from the Salem and Mid-Willamette Valley areas each week.
Even after losing four seniors from last season’s team, the Cadets still boast an experienced group of starters on both sides of the ball. Utilizing no-huddle Wing-T offense and base 3-4 defense techniques, they will face tough opposition this Friday night against No. 10-ranked South Putnam Eagles.
Cadets’ defensive backs must be physical and aggressive to slow the Eagles’ speedy pass attack. Senior JT Roshong and sophomore Daemen Mason both possess big physical blocks and can also catch the football. Meanwhile, Cadet’s linebackers SR Brayden Cartmel and Jackson Cornelius have been outstanding against both runs and passes this year, amassing over 40 tackles each and numerous tackles for losses, respectively.
At safety for the Cadets, SR Tyler Culver is an experienced leader. He leads his team in tackles, sacks, and forced fumbles this year; additionally, other members of their secondary have proven effective as well.
Cascade will need the combined efforts of its defenders in order to be effective against South Putnam’s No. 6-ranked running game, featuring two dangerous backs — Jake McCoy (SR) and Tyler Hodges (FR), who each have amassed over 1,000 yards this year.
Cascade boasts an exceptional safety in SR Jacob Potts, who excels as a big-play safety. Potts has outstanding abilities to cover and blitz opponents while being reliable as a punter and kicker. In addition, his punting game remains strong, as does his reliable kicker ability, and the rest of the secondary is comprised of experienced and young players; these factors helped secure wins against top opponents over time. The Cadets have shown excellent improvements throughout this year’s second-half play, assisting secure victories over some top opponents with solid performances that have helped fast wins against some Cadets have played several solid games that helped secure victories over tough opponents – helping secure victories over quality opponents such as Virginia Commonwealth University in Charlotte, for example.
After taking last weekend off from sports activities, teams hit the fields this weekend for district tournament games in softball, baseball, boys’ tennis, and golf. Also this week: memorial services for Philomath High’s Cody Patterson, who died ten years ago due to a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan, as well as many more activities.
Cascade’s Cougars earned their inaugural victory of the season behind an effective combination of running game and defense. Bryce Kuenzi scored both touchdowns on 21-yard runs by senior running back Bryce Kuenzi – one in the first quarter and another near the end of the second quarter, scoring by running 22 yards for his score – as senior quarterback Nolan Abrams connected with junior receiver Karsten Sande on a 59-yard touchdown pass that put Cascade ahead 24-0 at halftime.
Cadets defensive players held firm in the opening half, despite giving up several big plays. Senior defensive end Sam Johnson and junior linebacker Damien Appleby led their front four, with SR Wyatt Nohren and FR Brayden Cartmel assisting at the second level; furthermore, SR Fox Edwards, Duncan White, Josiah Murrain, and Dillon Setty could see playing time up front.
In the third quarter, the Cadets quickly got back on offense with a quick 75-yard drive in seven plays that featured CD Nuno making a critical 19-yard reception on third down to keep it going before Abrams connected with Nuno for another touchdown pass that made the score 41-10.
In the fourth quarter, The Cadets put away the game with a field goal and punt return touchdown from senior defensive end Sam Johnson’s blocked punt return that Cartmel returned for 68 yards to score, and the defense sealed their victory with a sack on fourth down goal. All proceeds from this event went directly to Culver Food Bank; we appreciate everyone who attended! This Friday Night, we will host our annual intrasquad Black vs Blue scrimmage – please join us and bring canned goods to donate – we hope to see you then!
Cascade will honor its seniors this Friday before facing South Putnam Eagles for the first time since 2015. Cascade utilizes a no-huddle, wing-t offense with a 3-4 defense as their core strategy.
The Cadets come into this matchup 4-6 and would love to break back into winning ways before heading into sectional play. In Week 8, they competed against Monrovia in an intense shootout that saw both teams combine for 1,488 total yards of offense, with Monrovia holding 608 of it alone. Coach Connor Simmons provides them with excellent leadership.
JT Roshong and Marcus Hobson have been outstanding tight ends on offense, providing reliable blocking while being effective receivers out of the backfield. Thanks to these two, the Cadets’ offense has been highly effective.
Our offensive line has been led by four juniors who have all performed admirably this season, allowing only 13 sacks while providing openings for running attacks.
Connor Simmons has been one of the best coaches in the area and has done an outstanding job of revitalizing Cascade High School’s program. In both seasons under his guidance, Cascade made it to the playoffs – proof that their programs deserve praise. We congratulate Connor Simmons and his staff for receiving such honors and wish them all of the best going forward! We wish them luck as they embark upon what is sure to be an extraordinary journey ahead.