Higginson leads the way for Crater – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Sophomore QB passes for two touchdowns, runs for another to snap 3-game losing skid

Already in a tough spot this season, Crater’s sophomore quarterback Ben Higginson certainly came of age on Friday night — just when his team needed him the most.

Replacing injured starter Shane Wood, Higginson took his balls but started to turn the corner a bit in last week’s loss to Thurston.

Higginson turned the corner time and time again while visiting North Eugene on Friday, picking the perfect time to get in and run while keeping his eyes peeled for a pair of touchdown passes as he led the Comets to an impressive 35-0 win at Dutch Meyer. Field. at the center point.

“Ben grew in the second half of that Thurston game and he carried it over to this week and he showed a lot of balance for a second,” Crater head coach Berk Brown said. “He was getting the right reads and when it wasn’t there he did a phenomenal job of taking what the defense gave him and hustling and making plays with his feet. I’m so proud of this kid, he’s come such a long way in the past two weeks.

And after Crater lost three straight games in the Midwest League, there was no question the result the Comets (2-3, 1-2 MWL) needed that night.

“We needed that one,” Brown said with relief. “We needed that one.”

Higginson made a nice fake play on a fourth-and-3 play from the Highlanders 8-yard line and found Kayden Gardner for the first of two touchdowns with 4:13 left in the first quarter.

Crater doubled his advantage early in the third quarter when Aidan Chenoweth charged into the end zone on a 4-yard run that was opened up by a nice sealing block on the edge from Justin Brehm.

With a nice cushion in hand, after that, Higginson and company did a good job of being patient and producing early tries on offense to keep North Eugene star QB Devon Anderson at bay.

“One thing I don’t think they were ready for was Ben’s athleticism,” Brown said. “We planned the game all week to spread them out one way or another and gave him some options in the passing game, but if it wasn’t there he was so decisive when he saw some green grass and tucked it in and ran. .”

Higginson’s 6-yard TD pass to Gardner made it 21-0 with 3:08 left in the third quarter, then the Comets put North Eugene (1-4, 0-3) with a 65 return fumble yards for a score by Andrew Schatz and a 23-yard scramble run to pay the dirt by Higginson.

“He’s a real footballer and he loves it so much,” Brown said of the young QB. “He takes time during his lunch periods and meets with me and asks me all the right questions right now, like when is the defense doing this, where should I look and things like that. He is really becoming a kid who understands football.

Chenoweth provided some nice safety cover as he racked up 114 rushing yards with his lone TD.

“Aidan ran the ball really well tonight,” Brown said. “We probably made a mistake at the start of the year by not giving him enough ball, so we came in this week and tweaked our running game a bit to accommodate his strengths.”

Another change came when Brown handed offensive play calling duties to Crater’s longtime assistant coach David Douglas after the head coach simply had too much on his plate.

“So far I’ve spent a lot of time on both sides of the ball,” Brown said, “and this week I decided to go back to my roots and let our attacking staff call the plays because I trust them to do the job They developed a good game plan and allowed me to focus on some details on the defensive side of the ball where I was able to share some small nuances that our kids did a great job of recognize between the white lines without me behind them.

North Eugene0000—0


C — Gardner 8 pass from B. Higginson (kick from Bramucci)

C – Chenoweth Run 4 (Bramucci Kick)

C — Gardner 6 pass from B. Higginson (kick from Bramucci)

C — Schatz 65 fumble return (Bramucci kick)

C – B. Higginson 23 run (Bramucci kick)

Do you have a story idea? Contact sportswriter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, [email protected] or via Twitter @Kris_Henry

Photo by Denise Baratta. Crater’s Ben Higginson (6) blasts past North Eugene defenders for a big yardage gain just before being dropped short of the goal line early in the third quarter.

Photo by Denise Baratta. Scott Price (13) intercepts a ball in the in-goal intended for North Eugene Highlander Cooper Olney just before the end of the second quarter.

Photo by Denise Baratta. Ben Higginson passes over North Eugene defenders.

Photo by Denise Baratta. Kayden Gardner scores the first touchdown for Crater in the first quarter Friday against North Eugene.

Photo by Denise Baratta. Ben Higginson (6) of Crater attempts to hook a pass intended for Kelin Knutson (10) of North Eugene.

Photo by Denise Baratta. Kayden Gardner scores the first touchdown for Crater in the first quarter Friday against North Eugene.

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