Player Battling Cancer Makes Return to the Football Field
The Medford football team rallied from an early deficit to beat St. Clair/Mankato Loyola 34-6 on Friday night. That was the second most-important comeback of the evening in Medford. Senior Logan Pleschourt appeared in a game for the first time since being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma two years ago.
Tigers coach Jerome Johannes says Pleschourt went through chemo but the disease recurred last year. Johannes said, "But he got the clearance to play this season. And it was just awesome to get him into the game and being able to part of that victory...that was a pretty special moment."
"We were able to get him out of offense. He's worked extremely hard over the last couple seasons. The guy is one of the bravest kids I've known. He's such a good kid." It was an emotional event for the whole sideline, "They (his teammates) were able to see him get on the field and were cheering him on."
Regarding the game itself, the Spartans scored on a 68-yard pass on their opening play of the game. Johannes attributed that to "first-game jitters," and said, "Right after that our offense and defense settled down a little bit and were able to put together a scoring drive and take the lead 7-6. And from that point our defense just really clamped down. Our starting varsity defense gave up only 32 yards rushing and after that pass only 101 yards passing." Medford surrendered 300 yards rushing the St. Clair/Loyola last season.
The Tigers' running game was humming Friday night. "We had 337 yards rushing against this defensive line from St. Clair that's awfully big and awfully good and we did a great job of being able to do different things in the backfield and get the yards when we needed it."
Johannes was thrilled with the play of the offensive line of Gavin Hermes, Juan Gamez, Zach Wetmore, Brayden Beebe and Brennon Hoffman, "And they did it on the offensive and defensive side of the ball."
Jerone Chavis rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown. Josiah Hedensten added 82 yards and a score. Quarterback Willie VonRuden ran for 85 yards and three touchdowns. He also passed for 107 yards.
Johannes is a regular guest on the KRFO AM 1390 KRFO Coaches Show Saturday mornings. Hear his interview from week one below. The portion that discusses Pleschourt's return to the field starts at the 3:57 mark.
The Tigers go to Lewiston-Altura Friday, September 6.