If there were a stat in football for yards ran behind the line of scrimmage, Seton Catholic running back Taj Muhammad might have set the school record on this hazy Saturday afternoon.
Thankfully for the Cougars, Muhammad eventually found his way across the line of scrimmage enough to gain 203 yards rushing, including two touchdowns, in helping Seton Catholic fend off Nestucca (Ore.) 39-25 for their first win on the school’s new turf field.
“If you try to one-arm tackle him, he’s gonna break it,” said senior running back Johnathan Stell of Muhammad’s ability to slip away from tackles. “He keeps his feet going till the end.”
While Muhammad led Seton Catholic in rushing yards, Stell and quarterback Ty Deloney also helped the offensive unit as a whole keep it’s own feet moving to the tune of 25 total first downs and 515 team rushing yards.
When Muhammad needed a breather following one of his three runs of 30-or-more yards, the senior Stell would keep the chains moving with downhill runs, while the opportunistic Deloney had little problem scrambling to his left or right for impactful runs and throws beyond the reach of Nestucca’s defense.
“This is his love, his passion, what he wants to do,” Seton head coach Will Ephraim said of his sophomore quarterback’s composure and ability to lead. “He’s going to be a great athlete, student and citizen.”
As for the defensive side, the Cougars used their speed to frustrate Nestucca at the line of scrimmage throughout a first quarter.
“We’re still struggling with keeping that push,” coach Ephraim said about the effort overall on the defensive side. “We’re working on staying with that fire. We take breaks.”
Defensive captain Delano Morgan led the Cougars with two sacks, including one in the fourth quarter along with a late hurry to help seal the victory.
Seton Catholic 39, Nestucca 25
Nestucca 0 12 7 6–25
Seton Catholic 19 7 6 7–39
SC – Ty Deloney 12 run (Seth Moore kick)
SC – Matthew Kent 4 catch from Deloney (kick failed)
SC – Taj Muhammad 6 run (kick failed)
N – Cole Strober 8 run (kick failed)
N – Gabe Garcia 27 pass from Strober (run failed)
SC – Johnathan Stell 12 run (Moore kick)
Kent 26 pass from Deloney (kick failed)
Mitchell Richwine 58 run (Dawson Marsh kick)
SC – Muhammad 10 pass from Stell (Moore kick)
N – Richwine 50 run (pass failed)
RUSHING – Seton, Muhammad 12-203, Deloney 13-154, Stell 15-154, Delano Morgan 1-4, Mike Silveira 1-4
PASSING – Seton, Deloney 7-14-1-116, Stell 2-3-1-23
RECEIVING – Seton, Matthew Kent 5-47, Silveira 2-69, Luke Pitzer 1-14, Muhammad 1-10