For the Roseburg High football team, this one hurts — a lot.
The Indians appeared on their way to victory on homecoming night, taking an 18-point lead in the third quarter.
But North Medford had other ideas.
The Black Tornado stormed back to tie the game late in regulation, then scored the winning touchdown in overtime to stun Roseburg, 30-27, Friday in Southwest Conference action at Finlay Field.
Tyler Evans caught three touchdown passes for North Medford (2-4, 2-2 SWC), including a 21-yarder on a fourth-and-6 in overtime to win it.
Roseburg (2-4, 1-3) started with the ball first in OT, and took the lead on a 30-yard field goal by Stephen Lake — his second three-pointer of the contest.
“We’re definitely really disappointed,” said Roseburg quarterback/safety Collin Warmouth, who had a pair of touchdown runs and one scoring pass. “That’s one we really wanted, and probably could’ve gotten. I thought we played really good, but some penalties all over the field hurt us pretty bad, especially on offense.”
“It’s just a heartbreaker,” echoed wide receiver/cornerback Garrett Russell. “Really crushing. North Medford, they’re a good team. We had chances to score, and they made some big plays on third and fourth down and those are what get you.
“The penalties were insane. You really shoot yourself in the foot when you do that.”
The Indians opened the third quarter with a 70-yard drive that consumed nearly seven minutes off the clock. They didn’t get a touchdown, but Lake’s 30-yard field goal gave them a 24-6 advantage with 5:03 left.
North Medford changed the momentum on the next play, as Vincente Borja returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score to cut the deficit to 12.
Roseburg later marched from its 36 yard-line to the North Medford 6, but Lake’s 23-yard field goal attempt fell short.
The Tornado scored on its next possession, with Evans catching an 8-yard TD pass from Josh Robbins with 7:20 remaining in the fourth period. The pass failed on the two-point conversion, leaving it 24-18.
North Medford’s final possession of the fourth quarter began with 1:59 left.
The Tornado picked up a first down on a fourth-and-10 as Elias Spence caught a 23-yard pass to the Roseburg 9. But North was penalized five yards for a false start and lost six more yards when Roseburg linebacker Terrell Jacks sacked Robbins.
North was faced with a fourth-and-goal from the 20. Russell was called for pass interference on Spence in the end zone — a controversial call to the Roseburg faithful — keeping the drive alive.
“The ref made the call. There’s nothing I can do about it,” Russell said. “I just come out and try to play hard defense, and if that’s what he thought it was, that’s what he thought it was.”
On the next play, Robbins found Isaac Manual open for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 23.5 seconds remaining to tie it at 24. The Tornado could’ve won it by making the PAT kick, but a poor snap didn’t give Jett Carpenter the opportunity and he was tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
“I’m proud of how our kids competed,” said Roseburg coach Dave Heuberger. “I’m proud they put themselves in position to be involved in a game like that against North Medford. They’re not an easy win. We’re battling to put our kids in a position to play in games like this and we’ll continue to control the things we can control.”
The Indians used a no-huddle offense for the first time. Roseburg had 165 yards total offense in the first half, with Doran Gillespie and Warmouth combining for 90 yards rushing. Warmouth had scoring runs of 32 and 6 yards, and Brandon Jeffers caught a 3-yard TD pass as the Tribe went ahead 21-6.
“(The no huddle) is speeding everything up, while confusing the defense a little bit and not letting them get set,” Warmouth said. “It worked pretty good for us.”
“We controlled the ball, and our hope was to try and wear them down a little bit,” Heuberger said. “Obviously we didn’t do that quite enough.”
Warmouth was Roseburg's top rusher with 86 yards on 17 carries. Gillespie, a sophomore, finished with 78 yards on 27 rushes.
Warmouth was 18 of 23 passing for 135 yards. Russell made eight catches for 81 yards.
Manuel led North Medford with 141 yards rushing on 20 attempts, 82 yards coming in the first half.
The Indians lost middle linebacker Zack Mandera to an ankle injury in the third quarter.
Roseburg will host South Medford (5-1, 3-0) next Friday.
N. Medford 0 6 6 12 6 — 30
Roseburg 7 14 3 0 3 — 27
R — Warmouth 32 run (Lake kick)
R — Jeffers 3 pass from Warmouth (Lake kick)
NM — Evans 55 pass from Robbins (kick failed)
R — Warmouth 6 run (Lake kick)
R — Lake 30 field goal
NM — Borja 98 kickoff return (kick failed)
NM — Evans 8 pass from Robbins (pass failed)
NM — Manuel 10 pass from Robbins (run failed)
R — Lake 30 field goal
NM — Evans 21 pass from Robbins