Vale’s Nathan Kimball (34) runs past a Burns tackler during their game Friday, Oct 29. Vale won 20-0. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)
VALE – Vale’s Nathan Kimball didn’t mince words Friday night after his team beat Burns 20-0.
“Just feed me the ball,” said Kimball.
Kimball racked up 144 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns in the final game of the regular season as the Vikings (8-1) gained an early lead and held back a determined Burns team for the win.
The victory clinched the league title for Vale and the Vikings will face Sutherlin (5-3), Saturday at 1 p.m. in Vale in a first-round state playoff contest.
Tickets for adults are $8 and $5 for students. No passes will be accepted. Tickets can be purchased digitally through the Oregon School Activities Association website or Home Town Ticketing at https://www.hometownticketing.com/.
On Friday night, Kimball was all smiles after the contest with Burns.
“This feels really rewarding because it was such a big game,” said Kimball.
Vale coach Jeff Aldred said Kimball has “become very versatile.”
“He’s been running like his hair is on fire,” said Aldred.
The Hilanders (3-5) couldn’t get untracked Friday night, amassing only 66 yards of offense in the first half while Vale built a 12-0 advantage by halftime.
“It was a very clean, hard-hitting fast game. We ran the ball effectively,” said Aldred.
Vale’s Peter McBride (4) chases after Hunter Kemper (43) of Burns during their game Friday, Oct 29. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL).
Vale quarterback Tanner Steele ended the night 5-of-12 for 71 yards, including a 17-yard scoring toss to receiver John Wolfe early in the final quarter to put the home team ahead 20-0.
Vale’s offense clicked when it needed to. The Vikings piled up 314 yards in offense for the game.
Burns finished with 129 yards of offense, and generated less than 10 yards of offense in the third quarter.
While offensively solid for most of the game, the Vikings did misfire three times inside the red zone against Burns.
“Sometimes things don’t bounce your way, which I am OK with but cleaning up the small things, we have to be better at,” said Aldred.
Kimball’s touchdown run at the 9:59 mark of the second quarter gave Vale a 6-0 lead and his 44-yard scoring sprint midway through the second stanza put the Vikings out in front 12-0.
Steele’s pass to Wolfe with 6:54 to go ended the scoring.
Hunter Kemper paced the Burns running attack with 33 yards on 10 carries.
Aldred said now the focus for his team is the playoffs.
“We have to be better and more efficient offensively, maximizing our opportunities,” said Aldred.
Aldred said the Vikings can’t underestimate Sutherlin.
“They’ve played a tough schedule and they are big. They have some athletes and run kind of a complex offensive system. So, it is something we will have to be prepared for,” said Aldred.
In other prep football action, Adrian improved to 9-0 with a 62-6 league playoff win over Dufur Friday at Eastern Oregon University.
The No. 1-ranked Antelopes will face Imbler Friday night at 7 p.m. in Adrian in a first-round state playoff contest.
Adrian coach Bill Wortman mentioned the play of Toby Clow, Trevor Bertalotto and Adan Bautista during the Dufur contest.
“Our linebackers, safeties and skill players on offense all played great as well, but our success will and always will start up front,” said Wortman.
Adrian amassed 423 yards of offense against the Rangers Friday.
Nyssa/Harper Charter had a forfeit last week in its scheduled game with McLoughlin of Milton-Freewater. The team opens state 3A playoffs Friday, traveling to Rainier. Rainier was 5-0 in the Coastal Range League and was ranked No. 2 in the state with a 9-1 record.
•Vale lost to Creswell 3-0 Saturday in the first round of state volleyball playoffs. The Vikings finish the season 15-13 with an 8-2 league record.
•Jordan Valley lost 3-1 to Rogue Valley Adventist in Medford on Saturday. The Mustangs finish the season at 13-6 with a 6-1 league record. On Wednesday, Oct. 29, the Mustangs beat Imbler. Playing at home, Jordan Valley went 25-10, 25-16, 25-15 to win 3-0.
•Nyssa boys were scheduled to travel to Portland on Wednesday, Nov. 3, to open state 3A playoffs against Oregon Episcopal School. The Bulldogs take an 8-4 record into the match. Oregon Episcopal, ranked fifth, has a 10-4 overall record.
•Ontario boys beat Cascade 6-0 on Saturday. They were scheduled to travel to Stayton on Wednesday, Nov. 3, to take on the state’s top-ranked team in the opening of the state 4A playoffs. Ontario takes a 6-5-3 record into the match. Stayton has a 13-1 overall record.
•Ontario girls lost 2-1 to Newport/Eddyville. They finish their season 4-9 and a 4-2 league record.
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]
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