Mazama’s football season ended Saturday with a 36-0 loss to 4A’s top team, the undefeated Marshfield Pirates.

The state semifinal at Grants Pass High School was the first time this year that the Vikings, the defending 4A state champs, have been shut out. Mazama’s season was bookended with losses to the Pirates. In week one, the Pirates defeated the Vikings 35-20 in Coos Bay and Saturday’s drubbing has Marshfield through to the state title game next weekend against either No. 7 Marist Catholic or No. 3 Estacada.

A season removed from graduating several seniors after an unofficial state championship win in the spring, Mazama Head Coach Vic Lease said he was proud of what this group of Vikings accomplished.

“Nobody expected us to be here,” Lease said. “We graduated so much, and it’s just a testament to our program and these young men. You’re doing it the Viking way. We’re one of the top programs in the state.”

Mazama’s first two possessions ended in turnovers and the second — a fumble lost at their own 17 — proved to be costly.

The Marshfield offense, headlined by three-star quarterback Dominic Montiel, quickly converted the takeaway into points. The Pirates’ Miguel Velazquez punched in the game’s first score from a yard out just a minute into the second quarter. A leaping two-point conversion run from Montiel made it 8-0 Pirates.

“Against the caliber team that Marshfield is, you make that many mistakes and they make you pay for it,” Lease said. “They clearly did today. Time and time again we shot ourselves in the foot.”

Though the Viks’ offense strugged to get going, it still looked they would reach halftime as a one possession game as the Mazama defense halted a couple of Marshfield drives that had reached the Vikings’ red zone with a stout turnover-on-downs and an endzone interception by Mazama’s Tyson Van Gastel.

But with 36 seconds to go in the first half, Marshfield took over at midfield. A massive gain off a pass from Montiel to senior DJ Daugherty got the Pirates inside the Mazama 1-yard-line. Ezra Waterman ran in the score and Marshfield took a 15-0 lead into halftime.

A backbreaking third quarter put the game and Mazama’s state title hopes out of reach. Midway through the quarter Waterman broke loose for a 28-yard touchdown run to make it 22-0.

Mazama fumbled on the subsequent kickoff to give Marshfield the ball at the Viks’ 11. On third-and-goal, Montiel found Maddux Mateski for a 4-yard passing touchdown. In less than a minute, the Pirates nearly doubled their halftime score to 29-0.

A 10-yard touchdown run from Velazquez a few minutes later officially iced the game and completed the 36-0 final score.

The Pirates offense piled up 418 yards with Montiel racking up 256 through the air. Mazama only managed 153 yards while coughing up five total turnovers.

Mazama started the season 1-2 after playing against some of the state’s best. They reeled off eight straight wins and dominated the Skyline Conference to reach the state semifinal.

“They’ve had a great season, and they shouldn’t hang their heads,” Lease said.

The Vikings will graduate several key contributors on both sides of the ball in their 10-member senior class. Much of this season’s backfield and key members of the line, secondary and linebacker corps will be gone.

“It’s going to be tough to lose our two half backs and (Daniel) Yancey at middle linebacker and (Isaac) Pena and (Nathan) Tramp,” said Lease, who also noted that Savien Burk, the Viks’ top tackler Saturday will also be gone. “Those guys are going to be tough to replace.”

But Mazama is bringing back a 20-person junior class, plus sophomore quarterback Tyson Van Gastel.

“We’re gonna make a big run next year,” Lease said. “I mean, we’re gonna be tough. We will be one of the top teams in the state, if not, the best team in the state. We have so much coming back.”