Vale’s Nathan Kimball (34) and Brayden Gregory (18) run down Baker’s Gauge Bloomer during their game Friday night. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).
VALE – John Wolfe had a big game Friday night.
So did the rest of the Vale Vikings.
Wolfe pulled in eight passes for 116 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Vale past Baker 21-12.
The Vikings broke open a close game late in the first quarter when Wolfe hauled in a short pass deep in Vale territory and ran 85 yards for the touchdown and a 7-0 Vale edge.
Wolfe’s punt return early in the final quarter pushed the Vikings ahead 14-6 and a Baker fumble less than two minutes later set up Nathan Kimball’s touchdown and a 21-6 Vale advantage with 8:51 to go.
Vale coach Jeff Aldred said online chatter earlier in the week that indicated Baker would go undefeated during the five-game spring season motivated his players.
“Vale boys don’t like to be told they can’t do something,” said Aldred.
After the game, Wolfe said the victory was special.
“I think Baker underestimated us a little,” said Wolfe.
Gabe Gambleton’s touchdown midway through the second quarter for the Bulldogs cut the Vale lead to 14-6 and the Bulldogs added a second score with 40 seconds to go in the game.
“It was unbelievable to finally get to play,” said Wolfe.
Aldred said Wolfe’s performance was not unexpected.
“John is a superior athlete, he works hard and is a great teammate,” said Aldred. Steele paced the Viking ground attack and finished the game with 48 yards on 16 carries and was nine of 16 for 117 yards passing.
The Friday night contest played out under the lights and with only a few people – parents of players and cheerleaders – allowed in the bleachers. Fans, though, were strategically positioned in the nearby parking lot and around the fence that guarded the field.
Aldred said a spring time football game felt a “little eerie at first.”
“The fan thing is tough. When I saw few people (in the bleachers) it was kind of a gut punch,” said Aldred.
Aldred said the contest was a “typical first game.”
“It took us a while to get going. But Steele made some terrific runs for us and we made some adjustments at halftime that helped,” said Aldred.
Gauge Bloomer led Baker on the ground with 81 yards.
Aldred said his first game impression was good.
“We have a group committed to this shortened season,” said Aldred.
Vale will take on Ontario Friday night in Ontario at 7 p.m.
Nyssa 46, Ontario 14
At Ontario, the Bulldogs piled up 425 yards – including 142 yards in the air – to beat the Tigers Friday night.
Ontario quarterback Ruben Hernandez finished the night eight of 16 for 113 yards and a touchdown and Marcos Grijalva hauled in nine passes for 92 yards and one score.
Caleb Benson led the Bulldog attack on the ground with 146 yards on 17 carries.
Nyssa will host La Grande Thursday night at 7 p.m.
In Adrian, the Antelopes crawled all over visiting Ione/Arlington 54-0 Friday afternoon in eight-man football action. Adrian will face Pilot Rock at home Friday at 6 p.m.
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]
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