Pendleton pulled away from a banged-up Hood River Valley football team, 26-6, in a rare Saturday afternoon game at Pendleton Round-Up Arena.
The Buckaroos (3-0) received two second-half touchdowns from sophomore Payton Lambert and 134 yards of rushing from senior Tyasin Burns to distance themselves from the depleted Eagles. HRV was playing without two-way linemen Henry Buckles (neck sprain) and Rolando Flores (concussion).
“Those are game changers,” HRV Coach Caleb Sperry said. “It was a good challenge for us. We rolled into town with some injuries and a little adversity. We were a little undermanned.
“But the final score doesn’t reflect the closeness of the game.”
Hood River’s offense was thwarted by Pendleton a couple of times in the red zone. The Eagles remained in contention until late in the third quarter, despite trailing 20-6. Trenton Hughes, who scored the lone Eagle touchdown, broke free for a 50-yard gain to give the Eagles a first-and-goal at the Pendleton 5-yard line. But the Buckaroos held, taking over on downs after a Hughes to Zac Wells end zone pass fell incomplete with 1:05 remaining in the quarter. Lambert’s six-yard TD run with 8:25 remaining sealed the win for Pendleton.
The Buckaroos have now won five straight over Hood River, which entered the contest tied for the District 1 lead with the Buckaroos. Two lost fumbles also hurt HRV’s cause. The Eagles were coming off an all-around performance the prior week — a 22-0 shutout of Redmond — in which they were the ones taking advantage of five turnovers.
Hood River hosts Ridgeview (1-2) on Friday in a 7 p.m. contest. The Ravens were shut out 27-0 a week ago by cross-town rival Redmond. “We haven’t played them since 2017,” Sperry said of Ridgeview. “They look physical and tough. They played Pendleton to a one-score game.
“We’ll try this week to get back to full strength and get some momentum back.”