After losing their first two nonleague games to top-10 ranked teams Elgin (3-0) and Union (2-1), the Lyle/Wishram/Klickitat High Cougars turned things around in Week 3 of Class 1A eight-man football. The No. 17-ranked Cougars opened their six-game Special District 2 West Division schedule with a 46-22 win over No. 23-ranked Ione/Arlington on Sept. 16 at Ione High School.
The road win left the Cougars, guided by Coach Dave Devoe, in a three-way tie for first place early in the SD2 season. The No. 1-ranked Powder Valley High Badgers (1-0 SD2, 3-0) and the No. 5 ranked Enterprise High Outlaws (1-0 SD2, 3-0) are tied with the Cougars.
“We’ve been trying some different things on offense and they just kind of clicked for us,” said Devoe. “We ran our offense with precision, and it was really fun to watch. We played a really good game and we put everything together. The kids are working hard, but they haven’t had a whole lot of success to show for it up to this point.”
Junior running back Riley Smith helped lead the Cougars’ offense with 26 carries for 316 yards and two touchdowns. Cougar senior receiver Chandler Abrams scored two touchdowns, including one rushing and one receiving. Cougar freshman quarterback Jack Thiemann was 3-for-4 passing for 70 yards and he scored a touchdown. The Cougars had 650 yards of offense, including 580 yards rushing.
Lyle, which never trailed and led 46-6 at one point in the Ione game, plays its next SD2 contest Friday at 7 p.m. at Lyle High School against Powder Valley. Powder won 51-12 at home Sept. 16 over the No. 7 ranked Sherman County/Condon High Huskies (0-1 SD2, 2-1).
“They’re (Badgers) are going to be a tough opponent, but you know when everything’s clicking for your team, then good things can happen,” said Devoe.
Sherman County/Condon loses first game
After starting the Class 1A eight-man football season with two straight nonleague wins, Sherman lost its first league game, 51-12, to No. 1-ranked Powder Valley in North Powder. Sherman’s attempt at a bounce-back game is 7 p.m. Thursday vs. the defending SD2 West Division champion Dufur High Rangers (0-1 SD2, 0-3) in Moro.
Rangers lose third straight
Thirteenth-ranked Dufur lost to No. 5-ranked Enterprise High, 42-16, on Sept. 16 at Dufur High School. The Rangers, guided by longtime (37 years) Coach Jack Henderson, are 0-3 for the first time since 1987.
“We played good in the first half, which was by far the best half that we played this year, then we just kind of ran out of gas,” said Henderson. “We did some good things, but we’re just too young and too inexperienced to keep the momentum going. We just have to play more consistent. Landon (Ellis) has improved a lot and he played well and JJ Johnston made some nice catches. Olsen Meanus (punter/defensive end) also played a great game, too.”
Dufur was without junior running back/linebacker Cody Phillips (out sick), yet the Rangers got off to a good start and built an 8-0 lead after the first quarter. Ellis, Dufur’s senior quarterback, threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Marshall McLaughlin and Ellis ran for a two-point conversion, giving the Rangers an 8-0 lead with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
“Having Cody back will help change things for us, because with a big (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) banging guy like him in our backfield running for us on offense, we’ll play better next week,” said Henderson. “We just have to continue to get better every week and play more consistent. We’ll play Sherman Thursday and they’re doing well this year. It’s a local rivalry and we’ll have all our kids back, so it should be a fun game and we’ll see what happens.”
The Outlaws responded with a score in the second quarter for an 8-8 halftime deadlock. Led by junior defensive end Mason Morris (fumble recovery, sack) the Rangers played solid defense in holding the high-scoring Outlaws to one first-half TD. That changed after halftime, when Enterprise took control of the game with 20 points.
Dufur’s other score came at the end of a three-play, 70-yard drive. McLaughlin took a handoff from Ellis and found an opening in the Outlaws’ defensive line and sprinted down the left sideline for a 65-yard touchdown run. Ellis tossed a two-point conversion pass to junior receiver JJ Johnston, making it 34-16 with 3:26 remaining in the game.
Redsides unbeaten in 1A six-man
Following a bye week and playing their first game in two weeks, the No. 5-ranked South Wasco County High Redsides won their second Special District 1 six-man football game, 44-21, over the No. 4 ranked Prairie City/Burnt River High Panthers (1-2) Sept. 16 at Prairie City High School.
The Redsides (2-0) , guided by Coach Mike Wain, trailed 14-6 at the end of the first quarter.
“I think we surprised a lot of other teams with the score, and I think we surprised Prairie City pretty well, too,” said Wain. “Our guys just played with a lot of grit the whole game against a big, physical Prairie City team with four of their six starters weighing over 200 pounds. It seemed like we were running into a bunch of brick walls.”
South Wasco assistant coach Michael Carter made some defensive adjustments at the end of the first quarter and the Redsides limited the Panthers to one touchdown over the final three periods. Redside senior quarterback Ian Ongers had one of the best games of his career.
“Ian was putting the ball right where he needed to and he just did a heck of a good job,” said Wain. “All of our receivers were catching nearly every ball and I think we only had three dropped balls out of 35 passes thrown. Everybody played really, really well and all our guys just did a heck of good job, and they proved what their worth after a good week of practice. They really rose up to the challenge against a good Prairie City team.”
The Redsides will meet the defending six-man state champion Spray/Mitchell/Wheeler Eagles (3-0) on homecoming day Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. at South Wasco County High School in Maupin.