Adrian’s Conley Martin turns upfield against Dufur in state quarterfinal action on Saturday, Nov. 13. The Lopes won 88-6. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL
ADRIAN – The defining moment for the Dufur Rangers Saturday in a quarterfinal prep football contest with Adrian arrived midway through the first quarter.
Pinned deep in their own territory, Dufur’s Cody Phillips burst through the Adrian defensive line and sprinted down the field toward the end zone and what looked like a sure touchdown. Then Adrian’s Conley Martin raced after Phillips, closed within a few feet and then punched the ball out of Phillips’ arm.
Adrian recovered the fumble and Dufur’s last, best chance, to get ahead early evaporated. The play personified the game. Adrian’s speed and offensive firepower helped the Antelopes clinch an 88-6 victory and punched their ticket to a semifinal contest with Lost River from the Klamath Falls area Saturday at 2 p.m. at Caldera High School in Bend.
“We are young and inexperienced and Adrian is a really, really good football team. No one has Adrian’s speed,” said Dufur coach Jack Henderson.
Henderson and his Ranger program are no strangers to postseason success, having racked up playoff appearances and state titles over decades but he was visibly impressed with Adrian after the game.
“We couldn’t do a whole lot against them,” said Henderson.
Conley Martin piled up 291 yards rushing and scored five touchdowns for the Antelopes and the home team took control early.
The Adrian defense – paced by Misael Munoz’s nine tackles and two quarterback sacks — smothered the Ranger offense for four quarters.
“I was happy with our defense and our offensive line play was really great today. Dufur is one of those programs we like to measure ourselves against and it was an honor to host them,” said Adrian coach Bill Wortman.
Jace Martin’s touchdown run – followed by Conley Martin’s point-after jaunt – opened the scoring with 5:10 to go in the first quarter and an 8-0 Antelope advantage.
“We worked hard in practice this week. Our biggest advantage was we are really good at communicating with each other. Today, we played as a team,” said Jace Martin after the game.
Conley Martin’s 89-yard touchdown run late in the first stanza pushed the home team ahead 16-0.
Early in the second quarter Conley Martin scored a second time and then hooked up with teammate Gavin Bayes on a short pass for a successful conversion for a 24-0 Adrian lead.
There were still three quarters left to play but at that point the game was essentially over.
Adrian (11-0) added four more touchdowns to build a commanding 56-0 lead at halftime.
“We came out locked in. I think all of us played pretty good,” said Gavin Bayes.
Dufur (6-5) finally scored early in the fourth quarter but the Antelopes racked two scores before the end of the game for the final margin.
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