VALE – Eli Aldred ran for 108 yards and scored two touchdowns and Vale shrugged off a slow start to post a 45-0 Eastern Oregon League victory over Nyssa on Friday, Oct. 21.
The win gave the Vikings bragging rights for another year in the annual Black and Blue Bowl and possession of the wagon wheel trophy.
Viking quarterback Colton Stepleton threw for 191 yards and then on defense scored a touchdown on an interception return as Vale held the visiting Bulldogs to 76 yards of offense.
“Our defense played well in the first quarter but you have to produce on offense,” said Nyssa coach Lance Lovitt.
The Vikings entered the game after a two-week break – including a forfeit by McLoughlin – but showed no signs of rust after the first quarter.
“I was extremely pleased with how we played,” said Vale coach Jeff Aldred.
The Vikings piled up 350 yards of offense and blew open a scoreless contest in the second quarter with three touchdowns for a 21-0 advantage at halftime. Nyssa threatened late in the first half – propelled by a 61-yard run by Dylan Robbins – and reached the Viking 3-yard line but was stymied by the Vale defense.
“We game-planned extremely hard. Nyssa has run multiple offensive sets this year so we had to be prepared for a little bit of everything,” said Aldred.
Vale went ahead 27-0 at 7:47 mark of the third quarter on a 42-yard pass from Stepleton to Skyler Cade to effectively seal the victory.
Robbins paced Nyssa with 54 yards on the ground.
The Vikings took control of the game in the second quarter over a three-minute stretch. Aldred’s 18-yard touchdown run with 11:02 to go in the second stanza put the home team ahead 6-0 then a Nyssa fumble on a punt attempt put the Vikings on the Bulldog 2-yard line. Aldred scored his second touchdown moments later and Stepleton’s conversion pushed Vale ahead 14-0 with 9:52 remaining. On Nyssa’s next possession, Stepleton’s interception return gave Vale a 21-0 lead.
“We obviously dominated the game. Every aspect of the game, offense, defense, special teams. We had a lot of big plays and Eli (Aldred) ran the ball hard. For being off a few weeks off we couldn’t have asked for more,” said Aldred.
Vale next plays Burns Friday night in Vale at 7 p.m. for the Eastern Oregon League championship crown.
Aldred said Burns, as always, will be a tough game.
“Defensively they fly around and are good tacklers and don’t make a lot of mistakes. They are playing really well so there is a lot at stake,” said Aldred.
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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