After opening the football season with a disappointing shut out to start their 2021 campaign, The Dalles Riverhawks (0-2, 0-1 IMC) looked to right the ship and open conference play with a win. The Redmond Panthers (1-1, 1-0 IMC) had other ideas though, as they cruised to a 76-12 victory Friday in The Dalles.
Right from the opening series the Panthers executed their gameplan to perfection as they drove down the field in just over a minute for the game’s first points. Panther junior running back Kyle Littlejohn carried the ball three times on the drive, amassing 65 yards, capped off with a 25-yard run to the endzone.
The Riverhawks’ first series looked promising as they moved the ball nicely to around midfield. Senior quarterback Jaxon Pullen completed his first pass attempt and also scrambled for an 11-yard run to a get a first down. But his fourth down pass was intercepted to stop the drive.
The Panthers again quickly drove down the field, wearing out an undermanned Riverhawk defense that had trouble stopping the run all game. Littlejohn finished the drive with 19-yard touchdown scamper.
A second turnover right after the ensuing kick led to another Panther score, as the game was quickly slipping away from the Riverhawks.
Late in the first quarter, the Riverhawks got their first touchdown of the season. A Panther fumble at midfield and was picked up by Pullen who scrambled his way to the endzone to make the score 35-6.
While his speed and elusiveness were making things a little difficult for the Panthers on defense, Pullen was replaced at junior quarterback Riley Brock after throwing back-to-back interceptions - one of which was taken back for a touchdown.
Brook played well in a reserve role, considering the way the game was going. He finished 6-of-14 passing for 54 yards and one touchdown, and also accounted for 25 yards on the ground. The leading rusher for the Riverhawks was sophomore Andre Niko, who had 10 carries for 40 yards.
On the other side, the Panther’s dominate ground game was the story. As a team they racked up nearly 300 yards rushing, with Littlejohn running for over 200 yards on 19 carries. Senior quarterback Hayden Parrish was 9-for-15 passing for 175 yards and three touchdowns. He added 34 yards on the ground.
The Panthers will look to continue their momentum, as they will travel to Parkrose on Friday while the Riverhawks will try to bounce back with a road game at La Salle. Both games will start at 7 p.m.