The wake-up call came in the second quarter and at halftime.
Lebanon High made some adjustments and got back to running the ball against Corvallis the way it had in the first half.
The Warriors rushed for more than 250 yards in the final two quarters Friday night to pull away from Corvallis for a 62-28 win in the Mid-Willamette Conference football opener for both teams at Heath Stadium.
Lebanon’s Brock Barrett rushed 12 times for 168 yards after halftime and 18 for 207 for the game. He had help, with Keith Brown going 154 yards on 14 tries and Landon Kisling adding 66 on eight attempts. Barrett and Brown each had three touchdowns and Kisling one.
“We’ve always been a second-half team and our coaches do a really good job of coaching us up on what we did wrong,” Barrett said. “We learned really quickly off of that.”
Whatever was said or fixed in what Warriors coach Ty Tomlin said was a loud halftime locker room worked. Lebanon’s defense pitched a second-half shutout with 28 unanswered points.
Corvallis came back from a 34-7 deficit early in the second quarter to score three straight touchdowns and close within 34-28 at the break.
Izaak Worsch, the Spartans’ workhorse running back, scored on a 26-yard touchdown scamper. Corvallis got a quick defensive stop and came back again with another drive, covering 65 yards with Brady Hankins hauling in a 12-yard scoring pass from Carter Steeves, a quarterback making his first varsity start.
The Spartans’ defense got a three-and-out, and the offense responded with another score, on a 15-yard pass from Steeves to Ethan Hester with 15 seconds left in the half.
“Saw some bright spots,” Corvallis coach Chris McGowan said of his team’s performance. “There’s a ton of things we can work on and get better at. We can do even more, and that’s a good defense, too.”
The Spartans moved the ball in the second half but couldn’t complete a drive. Corvallis saw offensive drives end at their own 49 and Lebanon’s 26, 14 and 3.
Barrett scored on a 6-yard touchdown run to finish off the Warriors’ first possession of the third quarter following a defensive stop.
A Corvallis drive stalled and Brown scored from 37 yards out to make it a three-score game.
The Warriors went 86 yards in six plays early in the fourth quarter, capped by Barrett finding the end zone from 50 yards out. On the Spartans’ ensuing possession, Worsch was stopped for a 2-yard loss on a fourth-down play that began at the Lebanon 1.
Barrett then finished the game with a 20-yard touchdown run with 37 seconds remaining.
Tomlin said his team’s offensive struggles throughout most of the second quarter were on the linemen.
“We challenged those guys up and front and said we own the third and fourth quarters,” the coach said. “It’s something we’ve always been real proud about. Our linemen did a good job and our running backs ran real hard. A combination of those two things really helped us out.”
Lebanon quarterback Cole Weber, also making his first varsity start at quarterback, was 9 for 16 for 197 yards. Dane Sipos had two catches for 91 yards, including an 83-yarder for a score in the first half.
“They’re a hand full. We knew that going in,” McGowan said. “At times we played well and got some stops against a pretty tough offense to slow down.”
Worsch carried the ball 31 times — including 17 in the second half — for 123 yards.
Steeves was 14 for 30 for 175 yards with a first-half interception by Sipos that set up a short field for Lebanon. Hankins had three catches for 83 yards and a touchdown and Hester seven for 72 with two scores.
Lebanon built its big first-half lead behind touchdowns by Kisling (1-yard run), Sipos (8-yard catch), Brown (1-yard run), Sipos’ 83-yard grab and a Brown 45-yard run.
Brown stayed down for a short time near the Corvallis sideline after an awkward slide following a 12-yard run early in the second quarter. He ran off the field with a slight limp and didn't return. Tomlin said Brown was "fine."
Next week, Lebanon goes to Dallas and Corvallis hosts North Salem.