TRI CITY — Andrew Christensen caught two touchdown passes and returned a punt for a score as South Umpqua kicked off the Class 3A football state playoffs with a 35-6 win over Yamhill-Carlton at Kent Wigle Stadium.

The Lancers (9-1), who entered the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the tournament, will host 2019 Class 3A runner-up Santiam Christian in the quarterfinals. The Eagles (5-4) advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 victory over Dayton Friday night.

“Survive and advance,” South Umpqua coach Steve Stebbins said after the Lancers’ first postseason win since a 28-0 home win over Baker in the first round of the 2016 Class 4A state playoffs. “No matter how you get it done, just survive and advance.”

Christensen hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jace Johnson midway through the first quarter to stake the Lancers to a 7-0 lead, a score that held until halftime.

South Umpqua upped its lead to 14-0 in the third quarter on a 4-yard shovel pass from Jace Johnson to Kade Johnson in the third quarter, but the Tigers countered with a 14-yard TD pass from Brodin Tuning to Carson Carden.

That was the last time Yamhill-Carlton would sniff the end zone.

South Umpqua scored the game’s next 21 points, including a 14-yard TD pass from Jace Johnson to Christensen with 1:30 to play in the third quarter.

On the last play of the third quarter, the Lancers’ Brendan Gosselin intercepted a Tuning pass and returned it 46 yards to the Yamhill-Carlton 1-yard line. On the first play of the fourth quarter, South Umpqua’s Caj Simmons took a direct snap and plowed into the end zone to push the Lancers’ lead to 28-6.

Three minutes later, Christensen capped the scoring by returning a punt 46 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.

“We knew our kids needed to play inspired and clean and they played pretty inspired and mostly clean,” YC head coach Brad McKechnie said. “We’re still trying to create the culture of recovering from giving up the big play. These guys just need to learn how to overcome some of those things.”

Christensen finished with six receptions for 116 yards, while Isaac Real hauled in five passes for 86 yards. Jace Johnson completed 15 of 25 passes for 210 yards.

Juri Moros was 5-for-5 on point-after kicks for the Lancers.

Y.-Carlton 0 0 6 0 — 6

S. Umpqua 7 0 14 14 35

First Quarter

SU — Christensen 21 pass from J. Johnson (Moros kick)

Third Quarter

SU — K. Johnson 4 pass from J. Johnson (Moros kick)

YC — Carden 14 pass from Tuning (pass failed)

SU — Christensen 14 pass from J. Johnson (Moros kick)

Fourth Quarter

SU — Simmons 1 run (Moros kick)

SU — Christensen 47 punt return (Moros kick)

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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