Harper Charter Hornets gear up for their first season of six-man football with hard work and practice. (The Enterprise/Kristine de Leon)
HARPER — As Harper Charter’s football team traveled to Echo High School last Friday, the coach and players were expecting a tough game.
“Echo is a big school with one of the biggest teams,” said Coach David Marker said. “They have over a hundred kids in their high school, and we have only 34.”
But the feelings of uncertainty quickly dissipated. The Hornets, playing in their first game in six-man football, beat the Echo Cougars 38-13.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Marker. “I think our boys played exceptionally well.”
Before the season started, he anticipated Echo as one of the toughest games of the season. But his team’s hard work paid off.
Marker said escaping with a victory “feels really good right now.”
When asked about how his team handled six-man football, which hasn’t been played in Oregon high school since the 1959, Marker thought his team managed it well.
Six-man football is a fast-paced, high energy game played on a field 80 yards by 40 yards, compared to the standard field that is 100 yards by 50 yards.
“We had a lot of big plays throughout the game,” said Marker. “We had some that were game-changing.”
Friday night’s star players were Corbin Palmer as tailback and Dalton Bixby as quarterback.
Palmer, a sophomore, ran the ball for 266 yards. Meanwhile, Bixby “threw the ball really well” throughout the game and even recovered a fumble, which he ran from the opponent’s 20-yard line back to his team’s 20, Marker said.
Other game highlights include a 60-yard scoring reception by Ryan Talbot and 72-yard run by Nano DeSantiago.
The Hornets are headed to Prairie City this Friday for their next game.