Adrian-Jordan Valley gets into football slugfest

ADRIAN – Coach Billy Wortman was still shaking his head this weekend about the football encounter his Adrian-Jordan Valley team had in Lowell.

“I’ve never had to put up 80 points in order to win,” Wortman said.

Last Friday’s 1A game against the Red Devils went on for nearly three hours and ended up with the highest point total of any game in the state.

Adrian-Jordan Valley won 82-76.

“It was eternal,” said Coach Pat Todd of Lowell. “I’ve seen slower tennis matches.”

One other team matched Adrian’s production last week as Joseph beat Huntington 80-0. The state saw other high scoring matches. Elmira beat Siuslaw 74-6 in 4A action and Reynolds beat Madison 67-0 in 6A action.

The Antelopes didn’t let the long ride to the Willamette Valley slow them down on the Devils’ home field.

Wortman described the game as a “track meet.”

That may be in part because the Devils spent a lot of time watching Adrian’s Michael Babcock head for the end zone. Babcock, a sprinter during track season, scored seven touchdowns, including returning an interception for the score on the first play of the game.

He ended the night with 312 yards rushing.

“My highlight reel was being able to run the ball that much and not fall over dead,” said Babcock, a junior.

Running back Wade Bond did his own long-distance work, scoring on a 60-yard pass play, a 46-yard fumble recovery, and a 70-yard kickoff return.

Quarterback Conley Martin scored three touchdowns, two by passing and one on a 32-yard run.

Wortman said one of the scoring passes came as Conley faced four tacklers.

“He was throwing up a prayer, Wade catches it, and scores a touchdown,” Wortman said.

On defense, Zeke Quintero had 16 tackles, Bond had 12 and Wes Bayes had 10.

Wortman said he knew halfway through the first quarter that it was likely to be a high-scoring shootout.

He said Lowell kept up rushing pressure all night, but that gave Adrian-Jordan Valley opportunity.

“If we broke one tackle, it was a touchdown,” he said.

His squad, though, struggled on defense.

“They knew they could have done a better job on defense,” Wortman said. “We let them know it.”

Babcock ascribed the defensive lapse to “first game jitters…We cleaned up our defense in the second half and put things away.”

Wortman said he made adjustments in the fourth quarter, beefing up the front line and finally corralling Lowell’s running game.

Todd noticed.

“We just aren’t fast enough to get outside,” he said.

Todd has a knack for high-scoring games. In 2013, Lowell set the state record with Imbler for the most points scored in a state championship game, with Imbler winning 88-76. That year, Lowell held the national record for most points scored in a season: 946.

The Antelopes have scored more points than they did Friday, once beating Mt. Vernon-Dayville with 86 points, Wortman said.

The Lopes now travel to Crane for a game scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Les Zaitz: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.