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Bulldogs defense stymies Burns despite absence of key player

Sophomore running back Caleb Benson runs the ball for the Bulldogs on Friday in Burns. Nyssa put together a solid four quarters to claim an Eastern Oregon League victory. (For the Enterprise/Randy Parks)

BURNS – Nearly two weeks ago, the Bulldogs stood on their home field staring at the cinders of a hard-fought loss to Vale. That night Bulldog Coach Lee Long tipped his hat to the Vikings for their 20-10 win.

The Bulldogs spent the next week considering that defeat and dealing with the loss of quarterback Ethan Draper to a back injury. Draper is a key component to Nyssa’s high-octane passing game and he wasn’t going to be behind the center when the Bulldogs cruised into Burns to face down the undefeated Hilanders. 

Once again, conventional wisdom dictated that Nyssa faced a tough . . .