Turnovers stymie Ontario’s offensive attack against Baker

ONTARIO – Turnovers killed the Ontario High School football team Friday, Oct. 6, against Baker.

The Bulldogs established control early on the way to a 41-20 Greater Oregon League victory over the Tigers at Ontario High School.

“We were able to move the ball but we shot ourselves in the foot,” said Ontario coach Greg Simmons.

The Tigers (0-2, 4-2) committed three turnovers, including two inside the red zone during the game and didn’t manage to get their offense untracked until the second half. By then the visitors built a 20-0 advantage.

The Bulldogs entered the contest 1-4 overall after a brutal series of early-season non-league games. The win over Ontario was big, said Baker coach Jason Ramos.

“This game was huge for us in terms of our sights moving forward,” he said.

Ramos said the Bulldog defense was a key.

“We got some stops defensively when we needed them,” he said.

For most of the first half the Tiger offense moved the ball well, constructing several potential scoring drives, only to be stymied by Baker (2-0, 2-4) inside the red zone.

Ontario’s Ethan Hendrickson paced the Tiger attack, scoring three touchdowns.

Seth Iwasa was crowned the Ontario High School Top Tiger from the high school’s royal Tiger Court and honored during halftime of the Ontario-Baker football game Friday, Oct. 6. Jesley Meza-Aviles was also crowned the Top Tiger from the royal court. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)

The Tigers played without quarterback and impact player, Diego Rodriguez, who is sidelined with a broken hand.

The Tigers manufactured a nearly flawless, 10-play, 76-yard drive to open the game but fumbled on the Baker 1-yard line. Moments later Baker quarterback Paul Hobson hooked with receiver Rasean Jones on an 88-yard touchdown reception to put the visitors out in front 7-0 with 4:15 to go in the first quarter.

On Ontario’s next possession, the Tigers moved to the Baker 24-yard line but an interception ended the threat. Baker capitalized on the turnover and notched another score in just three plays for a 14-0 advantage just before the end of the first quarter.

Ontario High School freshman and Tiger Royal Court member Xochitl Cerezo-Garzia (in black dress) smiles during halftime of the Baker-Ontario football game. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)

Ontario again moved the ball with precision on its next possession and reached the Baker 26-yard line but another interception gave the ball back to the Bulldogs. Baker took advantage, scoring a third touchdown for a 20-0 lead with two minutes to go in the half.

The Tigers again drove to the Baker 1-yard line but failed to convert as time ran out in the second quarter.

Baker went ahead 27-0 early in the third quarter.

Hendrickson’s 11-yard scoring run late in the third quarter cut the Baker lead to 27-7 but the Bulldogs scored early in the fourth frame for a34-7 lead.

Ontario scored two more touchdowns – both by Hendrickson – for the final margin. Hendrickson finished the night with 160 yards on 32 carries for the Tigers.

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

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE – The Malheur Enterprise delivers quality local journalism – fair and accurate. You can read it any hour, any day with a digital subscription. Read it on your phone, your Tablet, your home computer. Click subscribe – $7.50 a month.