Nyssa football routs Stanfield

Nyssa players Jakob Hernandez (No. 2) and Efrain Caldera (No. 80) converge on Stanfield’s Hugo Hernandez as two other Bulldogs wrestle him to the ground Friday night. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)

NYSSA – Bulldog Caleb Benson scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and finished the night with 123 yards on the ground as Nyssa ran roughshod over visiting Stanfield 63-0 Friday night in a non-league matchup.

“Our boys played extremely well,” said Nyssa Coach Lee Long.

That is an understatement. The Bulldogs dominated the game from the beginning and erected a 34-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 55-0 at halftime.

“We moved the ball really well,” said Long.

The Tigers turned the ball over three times and ended the night with nine passing yards as the Bulldog defense dominated.

“This game was all about execution,” said Long.

The Nyssa offense – which ended with 239 rushing yards – functioned with precision. 

“It was a well-rounded team effort,” Long said.

The Bulldogs went ahead 7-0 on Benson’s 14-yard scoring jaunt with 10:10 to go in the first quarter. Then Benson returned a punt for a second score just over two minutes later to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 edge. Benson put the home team ahead 21-0 on his 18-yard run at the 6:51 mark of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs added two more touchdowns, including a score off a blocked punt, before the end of the quarter and a commanding 34-0 lead. The Bulldogs (3-1) tacked on three more touchdowns in the second quarter to effectively put the game on ice.

Nyssa running back Jose Sanchez said the Bulldogs’ focus during the week was to build – and then keep – momentum during the game.

“We were really trying to keep the pedal to the metal,” said Sanchez. “I felt we were the more dominant team.”

For the Nyssa offense, Benson has evolved into an impact player during the past three games. Against Lakeview, for example, the sophomore amassed almost 300 yards rushing. 

Long said Sanchez, Benson and quarterback Ethan Draper add to the Bulldog recipe of success.

“We are not one-dimensional,” said Long. “This particular year we are a very solid team.”

While pleased with his team’s performance Friday, Long said the “big games are coming.”

This Friday Nyssa will take on Umatilla in the league opener for both teams. Then Nyssa faces Vale at home and then travels to Burns. Burns is undefeated, and Vale knocked off No. 1 Clatskanie Saturday. 

“There are no gummies,” Long said of the upcoming league stretch. The Vale contest could be particularly brutal and Long has already dubbed the contest the “Black and Blue Bowl.”

“And Burns is thin in terms of numbers, but they have size,” said Long.

Still, Long said he is confident.

“I wouldn’t say we are at the top of our game yet. But in two weeks when Vale, Nyssa and Burns start playing each other, it will get real interesting,” said Long.

Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.