The South Medford Panthers had all the right answers in a 34-6 Southwest Conference victory over the Roseburg High football team on Friday night at Finlay Field.
“Very rarely have we ever told them let’s flush it,” Roseburg coach Dave Heuberger said after the Indians’ biggest loss of the season. “I told (South Medford) coach (Bill) Singler that’s one of the best jobs calling offense I think I’ve ever seen. So, you’ve got to tip your hat.”
South Medford (5-1, 1-0 SWC) found the endzone on five of its nine drives against Roseburg, including its first three offensive possessions. Senior quarterback Toren Tuttle threw for three touchdowns and senior running back Zach Miller added two scores on the ground.
Roseburg’s defense struggled to stop the Panthers. South Medford never punted and the Indians didn’t have a stop until they forced the first of two South Medford fumbles early in the fourth quarter.
“They executed,” Heuberger said about the Panthers. “I don’t even want to know what their third-down percentages were.”
Roseburg (2-4, 0-2 SWC) scored its only touchdown on its first drive of the game. Carson Thompson capped off an 11-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 6-6.
The Tribe had a couple of promising drives later in the game, but came up inches short of converting on fourth down as the drives stalled.
Early in the second quarter, Roseburg moved the ball to the South Medford’s 26-yard line and faced a fourth-and-2, but a run by Thompson came up short by a football length.
Trailing 27-6 in the third quarter, Roseburg once again came up just short. Alaric Kaul caught a swing pass in the flat, bounced off a tackler and spun forward near the line to gain, but was 6 inches short.
“I don’t know how many plays we ran tonight, but that’s been a thing the last couple of weeks where we just haven’t gotten enough plays to get some things going,” Heuberger said. “We like where our run game is at, but I’d like it to step up a little bit more on those third and short and fourth and short.”
Roseburg relied on the shoulders of Thompson and Doran Gillespie out of the backfield. The Indians didn’t have an official pass attempt until the final two minutes of the first half.
Thompson finished with 53 yards on 11 carries. Gillespie led the rushing attack with 95 yards on 16 carries.
Tuttle led South Medford with 216 yards on 18-of-26 passing. Senior Mason DeVries led South’s rushing attack with 95 yards on 18 carries, most of which came in the second half. DeVries, who has seen very little action this year due to a knee injury, also had two fumbles in the fourth quarter.
South Medford now owns an eight-game winning streak against Roseburg. The Indians have dropped four straight games after opening the season 2-0.
Up next for Roseburg is a conference game at Spiegelberg Stadium against North Medford (5-1, 1-1 SWC). The Black Tornado defeated Grants Pass 34-27 at home on Friday.
South Medford 13 7 7 7 — 34
Roseburg 6 0 0 0 — 6
S — Miller 7 run (kick failed)
R — Thompson 5 run (pass failed)
S — Cota 25 pass from Tuttle (Allen kick)
S — Boster 9 pass from Tuttle (Allen kick)
S — Miller 6 run (Allen kick)
S — Boster 27 pass from Tuttle (Allen kick)