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PREP FOOTBALL: Roosevelt has big size advantage on Ashland

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Roosevelt's Billy Nelson looks for running room in last week's 38-35 Class 5A playoff victory over Marist, as Roughriders quarterback Kimane Domena (right) watches the play unfold.Tonight's Ashland-at-Roosevelt football game features two Class 5A quarterfinalists with accomplished quarterbacks and high-powered offenses.

The differences include Roosevelt's size up front and Ashland's reliance on quickness.

Roosevelt (9-1) and Ashland (10-0) will kick off at 7 p.m., with both teams using spread offenses.

The Riders, however, have a plethora of linemen, most of them 275 pounds or more, to block for QB Kimane Domena and running backs such as the explosive, open-field threat Billy Nelson. Roosevelt also can go jumbo in the backfield, putting one or two of its biggest players behind Domena to block or pound the ball inside.

If Ashland over-commits to stop the run, Domena can throw to fleet targets. The 6-2 junior has hit 63 percent this season for 1,561 yards and 14 touchdowns, while running for 1,058 yards and 15 TDs.

One of Domena's favorite targets is senior James Schell-Buchanan, who has caught 39 balls for 887 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Nelson and senior Damalia Spires (95 carries for 758 yards and 8 TDs) make it a triple-threat and more for the Roosevelt run game.

The Roosevelt front line includes PIL 5A co-players of the year Semise Kofe (6-2, 290) and Sione Taumoe'Anga (6-2, 305).

Ashland also has had a balanced attack, averaging 189 yards per game on the ground and 176 in the air, with senior QB Danial White locating multiple receivers and with four backs totaling 198 yards or more this season.

Ashland has to make the long trip because it is ranked one spot lower than Roosevelt in the Oregon School Activities Association system.

Ashland, No. 5, is averaging 42.4 points per game and allowing 14.4.

Roosevelt, No. 4, has scored 40.4 points per game while giving up 23.1.