The Hermiston football team qualified for its first-ever state football championship game Saturday night when it defeated Marist Catholic 30-13 in the 5A semifinals at Hillsboro Stadium.
The Bulldogs (11-1) will play Silverton (12-0) — a 31-14 semifinal winner over Springfield — in the state title game at 1 p.m. next Saturday back at Hillsboro Stadium.
After a scoreless first quarter, Hermiston drew first blood when running back Samuel Colbray dived in from the 1 for a 7-0 lead with 8:28 left in the first half.
Almost five minutes later, Luis Medina kicked a 30-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead. And with just 14 seconds remaining until halftime, Colbray scored on another 1-yard TD run to give the Bulldogs a 17-0 halftime lead.
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Hermiston made it 24-0 with 10:43 left in the third quarter when quarterback Chase Knutz hit Carson Morter with a 62-yard touchdown pass.
Six minutes later, Medina added a 35-yard field goal for a 27-0 lead.
Altogether, Hermiston scored on five consecutive offensive possessions.
Medina would also have another 35-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, sandwiched in between two Marist touchdowns.
The Bulldogs took advantage of five Marist turnovers — two fumbles and three interceptions — and turned them into 10 points.
Cory Adams had two interceptions for Hermiston, while Morter added another.
The Bulldogs put up some big individual numbers. Colbray rushed for 158 yards, while Knutz passed for 202 yards. Morter finished the game with six catches for 155 yards.
Defensively, Medina led Hermiston with eight tackles, five of them for losses and 2.5 sacks. He also forced a fumble. Altogether, the Bulldogs sacked Marist quarterback Quinn Cota six times.
H — Samuel Corbray 1 run (Luis Medina kick)
H — FG 30 Medina
H — Colbray 1 run (Medina kick)
H — Carson Morter 62 pass from Chase Knutz (Medina kick)
H — FG 35 Medina
MC — Justin Enseki-Frank 39 run (Quinn Cota kick)
H — FG 35 Medina
MC — Dustn Jones-Phillips 14 pass from Cota (run failed)
RUSHING — MC, Seth Thoreson 8-130, Cota 19-54, Enseki-Frank 4-49, Austin Tyner 1-minus 5. Her, Colbray 34-158, Cory Adams 5-20, Team 1-minus 1, Medina 1-minus 8.
PASSING — MC, Cota 7-16-3-109. Her, Knutz 16-26-1-202.
RECEIVING — MC, Tyner 3-41, Jones-Phillips 2-34, Trevor Vill 2-34. Her, Morter 6-155, Ethan Snow 2-18, Cole Smith 1-9, Adams 4-8, Tony Green 2-6, Keegan Crafton 1-6.
FIRST DOWNS — MC 13, H 13. FUMBLES-LOST — MC 3-2, H 1-1. PENALTIES-YARDS — MC 7-39, H 5-38.