A host of Vale tacklers swarm La Grande's Brody MacMillan during first-half action Friday night in Vale. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).
VALE – Anton Evans’ extra point kick late in the fourth quarter lifted La Grande over Vale 21-19 Friday night in prep football action at Hawley stadium.
The kick capped a game that showcased big plays and sudden momentum shifts where Vale built an early lead but watched the Tigers battle back to knot the contest before halftime.
The second quarter proved to be key for the Vikings.
“We had them on the ropes,” said Vale coach Jeff Aldred.
Vale held a 13-6 lead and was driving deep into La Grande territory when Viking quarter back Tanner Steele hooked up with John Wolfe on a touchdown pass that would have put the home team ahead 20-6.
La Grande's Cole Jorgensen (51) grabs Vale quarterback Tanner Steele while Vale's Nathan Kimball (34) sets up a block during a prep football game Friday night. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).
The touchdown, though, didn’t stand because Wolfe was penalized for pass interference.
Several plays later, the Vikings fumbled and La Grande capitalized. Payton Cooper’s 71-yard run set up teammate Braden Carson’s touchdown dive that tied the contest 13-13 with 4:06 left in the first half.
Early in the second half, Steele picked off a Cooper pass and ran the theft back for a touchdown but the score was called back because of offsetting personal foul penalties.
Vale went ahead for the last time in the fourth quarter. Willie Tolman’s blocked punt set up Steele’s touchdown run with 10:57 to go and a 19-13 Vale advantage.
But La Grande took the 20-19 win on Carson’s 1-yard touchdown run and Evan’s kick with 6:21 remaining.
The game began with Vale storming out of the gate in the first quarter as Steele hit Wolfe on a screen pass for a touchdown at the 7:35 mark and a 7-0 lead. A La Grande fumble on its ensuing drive set up Steele’s pass to Wolfe to push the home team ahead 13-0.
Brody MacMillan’s touchdown with 3:03 left in the first frame sliced the Vale margin to 13-6.
“We played great and it hurts when it comes down to a PAT,” said Aldred.
Aldred said the Vikings faced La Grande without two starters and several players banged up with injuries.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our effort. It was a great high school football game,” said Aldred.
Steele finished the game 11 of 18 for 177 yards while Wolfe pulled in five catches for 94 yards.
MacMillan paced the Tiger attack on the ground with 94 yards on three carries.
“We had a struggle tonight. That team has a lot of strength and they are well coached,” said La Grande coach Rich McIlmoil.
Adrian's Jace Martin catches a pass for a long gain against Crane Friday. (For the Enterprise/Angie Sillonis).
Adrian 58, Crane 18
The Antelopes improved to 3-0 with yet another display of offensive firepower against the Mustangs at home Friday night.
Conley Martin piled up 333 yards rushing, scored six touchdowns and was 6 of 15 for 105 yards in the air to lead the Antelopes.
Jace Martin scored one rushing touchdown and had one score through the air.
Adrian's Misael Munoz (No. 8) tackles the Crane ball carrier Jerett Doman during their game Friday. (For the Enterprise/Angie Sillonis).
Blaise Warn led Adrian on defense with 11 tackles and an interception. Birch Eiguren and Gavin Bayes ended the game with one interception.
“This was a total team effort, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The three interceptions shows our pass coverage significantly improved from out last outing,” said Adrian football coach Bill Wortman.
Baker 28, Nyssa 22
Gabe Gambleton’s 3-yard touchdown run in overtime pushed Baker past Nyssa Friday night.
Nyssa quarterback Andrew Enders put in a virtuoso performance tossing two touchdowns and finished the night 13 of 20 for 230 yards passing. Enders threw scoring strikes in the first and second quarters and his 6-yard jaunt in the fourth frame put Nyssa out in front 22-14.
Gambleton’s 2-yard touchdown and successful two-point conversion late in the contest tied the game 22-22 and forced the extra period.
Turnovers hurt Nyssa (1-2), said coach Lee Long.
“No question. We would drive the length of the field and then turn the ball over. Did it three times. It was definitely a game we should have won,” said Long.
Marshfield 56, Ontario 8
Marshfield’s Dom Montiel tossed four touchdown passes to help Pirates build a 28-0 advantage and Ontario never recovered at a game played at Crook County High School Saturday.
Ontario’s lone score came on a pass from Jake Hartley to Ruben Chavez late in the first half.
Harper ends season
Harper Charter canceled its season earlier this month according to the Oregon School Activities Association. The Hornets last played March 5 and lost to Joseph 37-18. The Hornets were scheduled to play a five-game schedule of six-man football.
Vale (1-2) will face La Pine at La Pine Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Antelopes (3-0) will travel to Imbler for a 2 p.m. game Friday while Nyssa has the weekend off and plays next against Vale on April 2. Ontario (1-2) travels to Baker City for a 7 p.m. game Friday night.
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