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Masoli, Craft renew duel.

Byline: Rob Moseley The Register-Guard

Saturday night's game between Jeremiah Masoli's Oregon Ducks and Kevin Craft's UCLA Bruins was the second in the last year in which the two quarterbacks faced each other, though at dramatically different levels of football.

On Dec. 8 of last year, Masoli led City College of San Francisco to a 31-28 win over Craft's Mount San Antonio College squad in the California state junior college championship game.

Masoli was named the game's most valuable player, completing 19-of-33 passes for 252 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, with 12 carries for another 23 yards.

Craft rallied the Mounties back from a 17-0 deficit to lead 21-17 in the third quarter.

The Rams retook the lead on a rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and just when Craft had Mount SAC poised to crawl back in front, he threw his third interception of the game deep in CCSF territory. Craft finished the game 25-of-45 passing for 298 yards with two touchdowns.

After the interception, Masoli drove the Rams to their final touchdown, completing a scoring pass to make it 31-21 with 7:42 left in the game.

Craft answered back less than three minutes later, but CCSF took the ensuing kickoff and ran out the clock to win its first state title since 2003.

Linebacker Tyrell Irvin played for Mount SAC in the game and intercepted Masoli, now his teammate with the Ducks.

CCSF's first touchdown that day was a 31-yard interception return by Devin Mays, who signed a letter of intent with the Ducks out of high school in 2006 but didn't achieve academic eligibility.

Injuries keep Paysinger, Tupou from starting for UO

Oregon opened Saturday's game without its left tackle and its leading tackler in the starting lineup.

Both Fenuki Tupou (knee) and Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) were sidelined because of injuries suffered a week earlier at USC. Max Unger shifted from center to left tackle in place of Tupou, with Jeff Kendall starting in Unger's center position. Eddie Pleasant started at weak-side linebacker in place of Paysinger.

Tupou did not suit up. Paysinger entered the game in the second quarter.

The Ducks also made a change at right tackle, where sophomore Bo Thran was the starter Saturday.

C.E. Kaiser and Jake Hucko had manned the position through the first six games.

Former Duck Balderston receives Leo Harris Award

Former Oregon men's basketball player Keith Balderston was honored Saturday with the university's Leo Harris Award for having "excelled in achievement and community service since leaving the university a minimum of 20 years ago," according to UO news release.

Balderston was a three-year starter at forward who helped the Ducks to the National Invitation Tournament as a senior in 1988. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds over his career, with a shooting percentage of 53.1 and a free-throw shooting percentage of 76.4.

A three-time academic all-America pick, Balderston graduated cum laude with a degree in biology. He earned a medical degree from OHSU and has gone on to specialize in managing high-risk pregnancies. Balderston currently works as director of perinatology in the Center for Genetics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Reed moves into tie for third on UO career sack list

Nick Reed's second sack of the game, coming in the fourth quarter Saturday, gave him 24.5 in his career and moved him into a tie with Devan Long for third place among Oregon's all-time career leaders.

Ernest Jones is first with 29 and Saul Patu is second with 26.5. Sacks have been an official statistic since 1980.

Reed has a sack in each of Oregon's past six games.

Odds at the end

The Oregon men's cross country team, which won the 2007 NCAA title, was honored between the first and second quarters. ... NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana attended the game along with his son Nick, who is being recruited by Oregon, and watched pregame warmups from the UO sideline. Nick Montana is a highly regarded junior quarterback at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif. Oaks Christian is the alma mater of UO linebacker Casey Matthews and cornerback Anthony Gildon, as well as Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen. ... UO receiver Jeff Maehl wore the No. 29 jersey of former Oregon safety Todd Doxey.
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Title Annotation:Football Oregon; The quarterbacks squared off for the California state junior college championship
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 12, 2008
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