EUGENE — It hasn’t taken long for Demontre Thomas II to make an impact in Eugene — and the Ashland High football team saw that up close and personal Friday night.
Thomas II led a first-half blitz that saw him put up over 300 yards of total offense in the opening two quarters, as Churchill scored early and often in a 59-7 win over Ashland in the Midwestern League opener for both schools.
Ashland (2-2 overall, 0-1 MWL), which played without starting running back DaMario Watson, was outgained by Churchill (3-1, 1-0) 475-183 on the night.
Thomas II, the Lancers’ senior quarterback transfer from Allen, Texas, threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns and scored on a pair of short touchdown runs — all of which coming before halftime as Churchill took a 42-7 lead into the break. Two of Thomas II’s first-half TD passes went to wideout Marshaun Tucker, who finished with four receptions for 163 yards.
Ashland scored its lone touchdown of the game late in the first quarter, cutting Churchill’s lead to 21-7 on a 59-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rieger Sayre to wideout Eriq Rodriguez.
Sayre finished 7-for-19 for 90 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Filling in for Watson, senior running back Isaac Evans carried the ball 17 times for 68 yards.
Ashland will have a much shorter road trip as it plays the second half of its back-to-back weeks away from home to open up league play, facing Eagle Point (3-1, 0-1) — which lost 43-27 to South Eugene in its MWL opener — next Friday night.
Churchill 59, Ashland 7
C — Tucker Jr. 57-yard pass from Thomas II (Johnston kick)
C — Quade 15-yard run (Johnston kick)
C — Thomas II 5-yard run (Johnson kick)
A — Rodriguez 59-yard pass from Sayre (Rinefort kick)
C — Tucker Jr. 80-yard pass from Thomas II (Johnston kick)
C — Thomas II 6-yard run (Johnston kick)
C — Quade 18-yard pass from Thomas II (Johnston kick)
C — Wallace 30-yard interception return (Johnston kick)
C — Johnston 38-yard field goal
C — Vendley 49-yard run (Johnston kick)
Ashland — Ellis 1-2; Gander 4-2; Evans 17-68; Stone 1(-4); Rodriguez 1-1; Sayre 2-0; Gilliland 2-14.
Churchill — Thomas II 6-33; Vendley 1-49; Quade 9-61; Blackburn 1-0; Carson 1-14; Yanez 5-19; Bedgood 3-12.
Ashland — Sayre 7-19-1 90; Ellis 1-3-0 10; Rinefort 0-2-0 0.
Churchill — Thomas II 13-22-0 256; Blackburn 1-1-0 31.
Ashland — Ekwall 1-15; Warren 1-25; Stone 1-10 ; Rodriguez 2-62; Sayre 2-(-22); Jackson 1-10.
Churchill — Tucker Jr. 4-163; Fields 4-55; Osborn 1-9; Quade 4-54; Goracke 1-6.
Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.