No. 1 North Medford defeats No. 2 Jesuit

No. 1 ranked North Medford traveled all the way to Southwest Portland on Friday night to take on No. 2 Jesuit (Portland) to kickoff the 2003 high school season. When the final whistle sounded, it would be hard imagining a more exciting game being played this year. The Black Tornado of North Medford defeated the Crusaders of Jesuit, 30-29.

Despite four fumbles and an interception Medford found itself down 21-14 at halftime. The Tornado went into the locker room and took account of what they wanted to accomplish in the game and came out energized and playing well. The game was an even match in the third quarter, but if there was ever a reason to watch high school football, the fourth quarter of the game was it. With just 2:41 left to go in the game North finally scored and stayed with the old football adage, go for the two (points after attempt) on the road and were successful to take the lead 21-20.

However, things were just heating up. First a light bank went out, leaving the northeast section of the stadium in the dark. Just as it looked things couldn't get anymore glum for Jesuit, Zach Tarver, 6-5, 198 (verbally committed to Oregon State) caught his second touchdown pass for the evening and put the Crusaders ahead 29-22 after a 2-point conversion.

North took the ensuing kickoff with 1:42 left on the clock and 71 seconds later, Tornado quarterback Beau Hoyland leaped into the end zone, then matched himself by running in the 2-point conversion to give the final score.

Hoyland ended up the night 14-22 passing and 157 yards and one touchdown. Hoyland also rushed for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Defensive tackle David Faaeteete played an important role in the win over Jesuit with strong defensive play and the 6-3, 273 pound senior that has made a verbal commitment to Oregon and even had a kickoff return.

John Beck, the third year head coach of North Medford indicated after the game that while it was a great experience travelling to Portland to play a great opponent, winning was not necessarily the most important thing. The game was a pre-conference match-up and both teams are still in the learning mode.

"It's great to go against a team that is so good," said Beck. "Then it's fun."

The game was not only fun for the teams, but also for the sold out house of spectators as well.

Medford travels to Mountain View next week while Jesuit plays Sunset.

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