Grays Harbor Bearcats corral Oregon Renegades, 24-21

EUGENE, Ore. — With a strong wind at their back in the fourth quarter, the Grays Harbor Bearcats capitalized to nab a key first-ever road victory over a bitter rival.

Jeff Gates’ touchdown run and Jadon Carossino’s field goal in the final stanza gave the Bearcats a 24-21 win over the Southern Oregon Renegades in a Pacific Football League contest Saturday at Willamette High School in Eugene.

Enjoying a significant advantage in time of possession, the Bearcats (3-1, 4-1) never trailed yesterday. The Medford-based Renegades scored late in the third quarter to tie it at 14.

Gates, however, tallied on a 1-yard plunge with about 10 minutes remaining. Tam Hines, filling in for the injured Eric Dixon at one of the receiver slots, had two key catches during that drive.

Carossino, who had seen a makeable field-goal attempt swept away by the wind in the first half, had no difficulty with a tailwind in the final period. He booted a 25-yard field goal midway through the final period that eventually proved the margin of victory.

A long pass set up a Renegade touchdown with about five minutes remaining. Southern Oregon, however, lost the ball on downs on its last full possession and the Bearcats ran out all but the final 30 seconds of the clock.

“They tied it up one time, but I never felt we lost control,” Grays Harbor coach Todd Hoiness said.

Gates’ 20-yard scoring run, set up by a Chris Kirk 22-yard burst, and Carossino’s PAT represented the only scoring of the first half.

Grays Harbor quarterback David Evans scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak in the third period.

Gates rushed for more than 100 yards, while Joe Winther had more than 100 yards in receptions. Evans passed for more than 200 yards.

The Bearcats forced four turnovers. Hoiness cited the defensive play of Joel Brown (who had an interception and fumble recovery) and cornerback Robby Lisle.

“The O-line is doing a great job up front and we’re continuing to get better,” Hoiness added.

The Bearcats will end a three-game road trip next Saturday when they visit the Snohomish County Vikings.