Adrian’s Wade Bond (No. 5) tackles Hosanna Christian’s Spencer Crawford (No. 4) during their playoff game Saturday in Adrian. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).
ADRIAN – Undefeated Adrian/Jordan Valley shrugged off a slow start and scored 48 unanswered points to post a 64-16 win over Hosanna Christian in a 1A football quarterfinal game Saturday.
Adrian/Jordan Valley rolled over most of its opponents this season and blanked Butte Falls/Crater Lake 70-0 last week in the opening round playoff contest.
For about a quarter Saturday, though, the it looked like the Antelopes might be in for a tough ride. After Adrian jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, the Lions, who entered the game with a 9-1 record, built a 16-6 advantage late in the first quarter and looked ready to post the upset.
Then the Antelopes shifted gears, tied the game and then ran roughshod over the Lions for the next three quarters.
An Adrian/Jordan Valley football player moves into make a tackle against Hosanna Christian Saturday during their 8-man football playoff game. (For the Enterprise/Brandon Ragsdale).
Antelope quarterback Conley Martin tossed five scoring strikes and finished the day 10 of 19 for 292 yards. Wade Bond ended the day with six receptions for 202 yards and five scores, while Mike Babcock finished with 90 yards on four carries and two touchdowns. Kort Skinner ended the game with 65 yards receiving.
“Our kids were just focused on playing to the best of their ability,” said Adrian coach Bill Wortman.
The victory sets up a semifinal game between Adrian and Crane Saturday at Hermiston High School. Crane defeated Dufur 42-6 on Nov. 15 but, more importantly, the Mustangs are the only team on Adrian’s schedule that gave the Antelopes a tough game earlier this season. Adrian defeated Crane 42-36 in a league game in September.
Adrian’s Michael Babcock (No. 10) hauls in a pass as Hosanna Christian’s Spencer Crawford (No. 4) defends. (The Enterprise/Brandon Ragsdale).
The winner of the Crane-Adrian game gets a slot in the 1A state championship game.
Crane is the real deal, said Bond after the game Saturday.
“They are a team I will never overlook,” said Bond.
Bond said when he woke up Saturday morning, he was nervous. Early-game events seemed to justify his worry.
The Lions, from Klamath Falls, went ahead 8-6 midway through the first quarter and were out in front 16-6 on Mikey Sanchas’ touchdown run with 4:57 to go in the first stanza.
Adrian needed two plays to get back in the game. Martin hooked up with Bond on a 50-yard touchdown strike to cut the lead to 16-12 with 3:51 to go in the first quarter. Bond’s interception on Hosanna Christian’s next possession set up Martin’s 10-yard touchdown run with 1:22 remaining in the first quarter and pushed the Antelopes ahead 18-16.
Martin’s touchdown run early in the second quarter gave Adrian a 24-16 lead and
Bonds’ 70-yard interception return at the 8:27 mark of the stanza put Adrian out in front 30-16.
The Antelope defense came up big for the rest of the half and paved the way for an opportunistic offense that used speed and precision passing from Martin to build a 52-16 advantage at halftime.
Adrian’s Wade Bond (No. 5) sprints downfield as teammate Kort Skinner (No. 12) sets up to block during their game against Hosanna Christian Saturday in Adrian. (For the Enterprise/Brandon Ragsdale).
“I just think they executed well, and they are very fast. I think we were out of football shape by the middle of the second quarter and that is on us,” said Lions coach Jim Johnston.
The Lions started fast and threw several new schemes at the Antelopes in the first quarter.
“They stacked the middle good. But we saw what they were doing and saw what we had to do,” said Babcock.
Blaise Warn paced the Antelope defense with 10 tackles while Clay Ready had six tackles.
“Next week will be another great game,” said Wortman.
The quarterfinal game at Hermiston High School begins at 2:15 Pacific time.
Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.
SUBSCRIBE TO HELP PRODUCE VITAL REPORTING — For $5 a month, you get breaking news alerts, emailed newsletters and around-the-clock access to our stories. We depend on subscribers to pay for in-depth, accurate news produced by a professional and highly trained staff. Help us grow and get better with your subscription. Sign up HERE.