Vale’s Tanner Steele (9) tries to dodge Nyssa’s Santiago Miranda (30) during their game Friday night. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).
NYSSA – The Vale Vikings held the Bulldogs to a single touchdown, amassed 345 yards of offense and used a big fourth quarter to beat Nyssa 29-8 in prep football action Friday night.
The annual “Black and Blue” bowl game was all that a rivalry contest should be as it was packed with exciting plays and sudden momentum shifts. In the end, the Vikings retained the Iron Bowl wagon wheel trophy.
“I thought Vale had a good game plan. They capitalized on more opportunities,” said Lee Long, Nyssa football coach.
Vale running back Nathan Kimball led all rushers with 124 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown.
The Vale tandem of quarterback Tanner Steele and receiver John Wolfe also proved to be a key factor. Steele finished the night 16 of 19 for 187 yards and a touchdown.
Wolfe, meanwhile, hauled in eight passes for 104 yards and a score.
“It was pretty evenly-matched teams,” said Jeff Aldred, Vale football coach.
Each team displayed moments of brilliance punctuated by miscues and penalties.
“It wasn’t pretty but it was a prototypical rivalry game,” said Aldred.
Nyssa quarterback Andrew Enders paced the Bulldog attack and ended the night 9 of 21 for 110 yards and two interceptions. Enders also piled up 54 yards on the ground.
Nyssa began the game on a high note by marching deep into Viking territory but the drive stalled at the Vale 5-yard line.
The Vikings (2-3) – helped by a pass interference penalty against Nyssa – moved the ball quickly into scoring position. Kimball’s run and a successful point-after attempt pushed the Vikings ahead 8-0 at the 12:40 mark of the first quarter.
Nyssa quickly tied the game early in the second quarter when Enders hooked up with Landon McDowall with 11:01 to go.
Vale went out in front 16-8 just before halftime on Wolfe’s punt return touchdown and Steele’s successful point-after run.
Neither team scored in the third quarter as the game quickly evolved into a war of attrition but the Vikings took control in the final stanza.
Steele’s touchdown run with eight minutes remaining put the visitors out in front 23-8 and Steele connected with Dawson Lunt with just over two minutes to go for a 29-8 Vale advantage.
Nyssa finished the season with a 1-3 record. The shortened, spring football season does not include post-season play.
In other 3A football action Friday, La Grande rolled Ontario (1-4) 54-6.
Dufur 40, Adrian 38
If revenge is, indeed, a dish best eaten cold then the Dufur Rangers feasted on frozen dinners after Saturday’s victory over Adrian.
The Rangers snapped Adrian’s 17-game win streak as they stopped Adrian’s big green offensive machine.
The game was a payback of sorts for Dufur after the Rangers suffered a stinging loss to the Antelopes in 2019. The Adrian victory then ended Dufur’s 33-game victory run.
Cooper Bales tossed a 30-yard touchdown strike to Benjamin Schanno with under a minute to play to clinch the win for the home team.
Adrian trailed Dufur (5-0) 22-12 in the third quarter but battled back to claim a 38-34 edge on Conley Martin’s 51-yard touchdown run with nine minutes to go in the final frame.
“All I can say it was a great game between two of the best programs in 1A,” said Adrian coach Billy Wortman.
The Antelopes (4-1) are scheduled to conclude their season Friday against Powder Valley at 7 p.m.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the title of the game as the “Iron Bowl.” The correct name of the game is the “Black and Blue” bowl, sponsored by Munk Family Dental in Nyssa. The Enterprise apologizes for the error.
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected].
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