December 6, 1996 in Sports

Odessa Ready For Matchup With Crescent

By The Spokesman-Review

Tigers have to contend with high-powered Loggers in finale The 10 Washington high school teams still playing football had the option of practicing in the Tacoma Dome Thursday.

B-8 finalist Crescent chose not to take advantage of the offer.

That prompted Odessa’s Myron Kramer, who coaches the other B-8 finalist, to quip: “As bad as they’re beating people, they don’t need to practice.”

Crescent, from Joyce, brings scary numbers into today’s 4 p.m. Gridiron Classic II matchup at the Dome.

Crescent (12-0) has scored 610 points this year, an average of 50.8 per game at first glance. On second glance, one Loggers win was a forfeit and 10 others ended early because of the 45-point mercy rule.

By specifications, last week’s Crescent-Touchet semifinal had to last four quarters. Touchet, a B-8 finalist the previous two years, probably would have appreciated a break. Crescent won 72-14 over a team Odessa beat 8-6 earlier this year.

“Our kids … are not afraid,” Kramer said of the first meeting in history between the traditional B-8 powers. “We want to get on the field and see what we can do.”

The Loggers are 33-2 the past three seasons. Both losses came in semifinals against Pateros. Crescent’s 14 seniors have aimed for this chance for four years. The school is noted for its 0-4 record in state finals.

“We’re getting tired of those second-place trophies,” said 29-year Loggers coach Gary Kautz. “We need one of those big ones.”

Seniors have guided the Loggers’ way: Otto Mock, running back, 1,320 yards and 30 TDs on 94 carries; Rick Halberg, RB, 983 yards and 10 TDs; Ryan Sage, quarterback, 74 of 125 for 1,204 yards and 18 TDS; Jake Bauers, receiver, 35 receptions for 722 yards and Jakoba Square, R, 24 catches for 576 yards and 12 TDs.

Odessa’s offensive leaders are seniors who watched as freshmen when the ‘93 team won the Tigers’ second state title. Their numbers: Randy Carlson, QB, 103 for 192, 1,536 yards and 21 TDs; Lance Meise, RB, 1,099 yards and nine TDS; Sean Moon, R, 30 catches for 534 yards and nine TDs; and Troy Grall, R, 19 catches for 272 yards in less than six games. The leading tacklers are juniors: LB Joel Hardung (136) and guard Jared Praetorius (110).

“We’re definitely going to try to take care of the ball on offense,” Kramer said. “That, in turn, might slow them down a little bit.”

, DataTimes

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