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Challenger Moody Does His Duty – Medford News, Weather, Sports & Breaking News

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Junior quarterback steps in to help No. 2 Cascade Christian

it was not supposed to be like this. Not now, not soon.

About a week before the Challengers’ season opener, Ashton Moody suddenly stepped into the spotlight when No. 2 Cascade Christian lost the returning senior quarterback to an elbow injury.

“When I saw him fall, no one knew it was going to happen, and obviously no one wanted it.” It’s my turn, I have to stand up and be the leader.”

Despite only being a running back turned quarterback just before last season, Moody is doing well in Reid’s absence and plans to fight for not only the Far West League crown but also the 3A states. No dents were allowed in the Cascade Christian team’s armor… neither the championship.

In his national team debut two weeks ago, Moody completed 5 of 9 passes for 126 yards, had one interception and two touchdowns in Douglas’ opening 53-6 loss.

The 5-foot, 11-inch, 165-pound junior took another step forward in last week’s 54-6 win over Sutherlin, completing 13 of 16 passes for 220 yards and three scores, as well as a 9-yard TD run. Achieved.

The Challengers’ next game is at Brookings Harbor (0-2) on Friday.

“Ashton has been doing a really good job,” said Challengers head coach John Getman.

“He did a really great job improving from Game 1 to Game 2,” Moody’s coach added. “We are not holding back from attacking or saying we can’t do this or that with this kid. He’s got control and he’s running the offense week after week, so we’re going to keep doing that.”

Reid was a second-team All-FWL quarterback last year after posting 15 TDs for 1,585 passing yards and five interceptions. He also shared his lead on the team with 10 Rush TDs.

Moody and Gettman said Reid will return to throwing lightly with a juvenile-sized soccer ball this week to see how his elbow responds.

According to Gettman, the expected timetable for Reed’s return is a few more weeks, but there are no guarantees.

Moody took the lead during that time, but when it comes to maintaining Cascade’s high aspirations, he’s not alone.

“With a good and experienced crew, the loss of Keith could affect not just one child, but many,” Gettmann said.

“Having a line he has up front definitely helps. It helps a ton,” the coach added of the veteran crew led by seniors Liam Benade and Matthew Moses. With experienced groups all over the place, there’s no pressure on Ashton to play every play.He’s got a lot of different kids who can have the ball and play.He’s wide receiver screen. Being able to flip out to the Brody sample and being off for a touchdown makes a huge difference in not having to make all the plays.”

Moody couldn’t agree more with all the support he receives on and off the field.

“It actually helped a lot,” he said. “They all encouraged me a lot. When I’m in his senior year, I want to be like them because they all hyped me up and thought I was in this position.” Because I’m really happy to be here.”

The quarterback position didn’t always come naturally to Moody, who moved from running back to back center at the behest of assistant coach Mike Shahn.

The Challengers recognized Reed’s need in the QB once he graduated, and given Moody’s baseball background as an outfielder and pitcher, Shahn suggested giving Gettman a chance. Last year on the junior varsity team was a fire test for Moody.

“Last year I was kind of guessing,” admitted the 16-year-old QB. A quarterback who didn’t have confidence in the first game and felt he didn’t play very well, but this last game he felt he played quite well and is starting to understand how to play. more.”

The difference is day and night, especially how Moody attacked his opponents.

“He had to read the press and learn a lot about what kind of defense is,” said Gettman. “He started with nothing and had to go from there, but he’s a good athlete and plays when things fall apart, so he’s a good attribute to have in a quarterback. .”

“Even last year’s JV,” Coach added. He has a pocket feel and a sense of what he needs to do. “

Much of that athleticism comes from a natural background in baseball, when Moody was a first-team All-MWL outfielder after hitting . 329 with 13 RBIs and 23 runs scored this spring. The lefty also set his 5-1 pitching record with one save. His best moments this season came more from passing than running.

“Throwing the ball is what I love to do,” Moody said. “Completing a pass makes me feel good. Everything about it feels really good.”

So far, his season highlights haven’t been in any TD pass. That was when his drop back was smooth against Sutherlin last week and Peyton his Maurer put in a long reception past the defenders.

“That video is so beautiful,” said Moody. “Peyton just gets up, turns around and catches and it makes me feel so good just watching. Just watched the video and loved the way he stepped back and threw and his catch was perfect.”

Moody hopes to create more of those memories before returning to the QB role as a lead.

While some may see the eventual passing of the baton to Reed as bittersweet, Moody said he welcomed the opportunity as it would mean returning to his role as outside linebacker.

“I’m happy with the game I play and hopefully I play well,” Moody said. “When Keith comes back, I hope he can go back to being an outside linebacker on defense and attack people.

Gettman added: By losing Keith, we really do lose a good starting linebacker, so we certainly feel that loss.

Sports Editor Chris Henry can be reached at 541-776-4488, khenry@rosebudmedia.com or via Twitter @Kris_Henry

Andy Atkinson/Mail Tribune Cascade Christian’s Ashton Moody stepped in as the second-ranked Challengers quarterback to start the 2022 season.

Andy Atkinson/Mail TribuneCascade Christian’s Ashton Moody throws a pass during practice Wednesday in Medford.

Andy Atkinson/Mail TribuneCascade Christian’s Ashton Moody throws a pass during practice Wednesday in Medford.

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