McNary High School’s freshman football team remained undefeated in the Central Valley Conference last Wednesday with a dominating 49-25 win over Sprague High School.
The youngest Celtics are now alone in first place with a 3-0 conference record and are 6-1 overall with two games left to play.
Sprague scored first in the opening frame after a McNary turnover to take a 6-0 lead. Later in the first period, Brady Sparks ran 37 yards for his first of five touchdowns to tie the score at 6-6.
After the Celt defense held the Olys, Sparks ran 52 yards for a touchdown.
When quarterback Trent VanCleave threw a two-point conversion pass to Matt Aguilar McNary led 14-6.
VanCleave opened the second quarter scoring with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Malcom. Sparks ran for the two-point conversion and a 22-6 lead.
Sprague scored late in the half to cut the lead to 22-12, but the Celts drove the length of the field with Sparks running 21 yards to make the score 28-12 at the half.
On the opening drive of the second half, VanCleave threw 46 yards to Sparks for a touchdown. With the addition of a two-point conversion on a quarterback keeper, McNary led 36-12.
The Olys scored next to close the lead to 36-19, but the Celts answered back with scoring drive capped by Sparks 63-yard touchdown run. When Malcom kicked the point-after, the lead was 43-19.
Late in the third quarter Anthony Nguyen ran 4 yards for McNary’s final score and a 49-19 lead. Sprague added a fourth quarter touchdown for the final margin.
Sparks led McNary with 249 yards rushing on 19 attempts, 46 yards receiving, five touchdowns, a two-point conversion, 17 kickoff return yards and eight tackles on defense.
Offensive Coordinator Jeff Auvinen praised the offensive line for a great blocking performance.
“Anytime you have 564 yards of offense somebody has to be blocking up front,” Auvinen said.
Nguyen added 95 yards rushing. VanCleave completed 10 of 12 for 189 yards.
“Jared [VanCleave] has done a good job coaching the offensive line” Auvinen said.
VanCleave started Jacob Vannice and Kyle Bonn at tackles, Tristan Martineau and Isaiah Holt at guards and Jacob Sperle at center. Jon Phelps, D.J. Paqueno and Dylan Putnam also saw considerable action on the offensive line.
Aguilar caught four throws for 57 yards, with Nick Ogden and Matt Koopman adding two each.
Kyle Aicher and Gage Mance led the defense coached by Frank Gauntz with nine tackles each.
Safety Tanner Gordon added eight tackles, La Croix Hill had seven, Koopman six, Jerry Rivera five and Jesse Gomez four for the Celtics.
“La Croix has been consistent all year at tight end and I was very pleased with Gomez’s play off the bench,” said Todd Scott, defensive line coach and a former Celtic. “Having coach Larry Smith has helped a lot this year. The kids like him, and we respect him.”