La Grande rolls past Nyssa while Ontario claims victory over Vikings in prep football action

La Grande’s Payton Cooper (8) shrugs off one tackler while he tries to avoid Nyssa’s Marlin Miles (79) and teammate Brody MacMillan gets set to block Friday night in Nyssa. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

NYSSA – La Grande took control early and never looked back on the way to a 42-8 victory over Nyssa Thursday night in local prep football action.

“I think we were outmatched,” said Lee Long, Nyssa High School football coach.

La Grande used its team speed to overwhelm the Bulldogs and piled up 321 rushing yards in a game that got away from the home team in the second half.

“We play fast and play hard. We preach that in our program,” said La Grande Coach Rich McIlmoil.

Nyssa quarterback Andrew Enders amassed 108 yards passing, tossed a touchdown and ran the ball nine times for 103 yards.

“We were able to pass the ball and in the first half we were OK. We just had some weird flaws, like multiple snaps over the punter’s head. La Grande has got size at the line and they run hard,” said Long.

La Grande’s Payton Cooper paced the Tiger attack with 137 yards on 11 carries.

The Tigers struck first on Brody MacMillan’s touchdown run at the 9:26 mark in the first quarter for a 6-0 edge.

The Tigers added two more scores in the second quarter to build a 18-0 advantage but the Bulldogs sliced the margin to 18-8 on Enders’ pass to Landon McDowall and Orin Stipe’s successful point-after catch with 3:01 left in the half.

Nyssa opened the second half with a successful drive to the Tiger 42-yard line but a turnover ended the rally.

From there it was all La Grande.

Nyssa (1-1) travels to Baker City Friday for a 7 p.m. game against the Bulldogs.

Ontario 16, Vale 14

In Ontario, the Tigers built a 16-6 lead at intermission and held off the Vikings in the second half to clinch the win.

Ontario Quarterback Ruben Hernandez was 12 of 19 for 127 yards passing and tossed a touchdown as the Tigers bounced back from a 46-14 loss to Nyssa the week before.

Hernandez “had a pretty solid night,” said Greg Simmons, Ontario football coach. 

Simmons said Ontario’s ability to limit turnovers was key.

“And our defense was huge overall. They made good stops and their communication is improving,” said Simmons. 

Vale’s Nathan Kimball led the Vikings on the ground with 104 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown but Vale’s offense struggled with consistency.

“It just felt like one of those nights from the very beginning. Everything felt a little off. We needed a break or two but every close play we had didn’t go our way,” said Jeff Aldred, Vale football coach.

Eli Aldred racked up 44 yards and scored a touchdown for Vale (1-1).

“Truly there were a lot of things that went in our favor. Our guys showed a lot of toughness,” said Simmons.

Ontario’s Jake Hartley also scored a touchdown for the home team Friday night.

The Tigers (1-1) will travel to Prineville Friday to face Marshfield for a 4 p.m. contest.

Vale, meanwhile, takes on La Grande (1-0) at home Friday night at 7 p.m.

Adrian 60, Pilot Rock 18

In Adrian, Conley Martin rushed for 118 yards and scored four touchdowns to help push the Antelopes (2-0) past the visiting Rockets Friday.

Martin amassed 219 yards passing and the Antelopes collected touchdowns from Jace Martin, Riley Griffin, Clay Ready and Gavin Bayes.

Jace Martin also led the Adrian defense with nine tackles. The Antelopes will face Crane Friday at 7 p.m. at home.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

Previous coverage:

Vale, Nyssa and Adrian prep football teams notch weekend wins


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