Power left, power right. That was the game plan for La Pine in last Friday's 22-3 victory over the Madras White Buffalos.
Madras and La Pine were both 1-0 heading into the game at Madras High School.
The White Buffalos had a few 3- to 4-yard runs with senior running back Treyvon Easterling to start the game, and a pass from Robert Pacheco to Dapri Miller set up a 27-yard field goal for Madras kicker Tyriek Rodriguez.
Madras was able to hold La Pine to zero points in the first quarter, holding that small 3-0 lead.
In the second quarter, La Pine was able to establish a run game and the Hawks completed a play-action pass on third-and-3 that would later turn into a quarterback sneak in the end zone by Riley Pinckney.
La Pine would go for two and was able to convert with a play-action pass. Halftime soon approached and the Hawks had a 8-3 lead over the White Buffalos.
The Madras offense was hardly on the field in the second half, not able to get anything going, playing into the run-heavy La Pine gameplan.
The Hawks were able to get chunks of 3- to 4-yard runs on the Buffs to start the second half and a 46-yard run by Oscar Steffens set up first and goal on the 1-yard line. La Pine punched in the ball on the next play. They ran the ball for the 2-point conversion and took a 16-3 lead over Madras.
La Pine held on to their lead all the way into the fourth quarter. The Hawks weren't giving an inch on defense. La Pine powered its way into the red zone in the last quarter of play, when a pass from Pinckney to Aaron Neuroth saw La Pine extend its lead to 22-3.
The White Buffalo offense was absent in the last part of the game and the La Pine Hawks moved to 2-0 on the season after their victory over Madras.
Madras ran 42 plays on offense and had just 54 total yards, 43 passing and 11 rushing. The Buffs were 4-for-11 on third-down conversions.
La Pine ran 55 plays and racked up 295 total yards of offense. They did most of their damage on the ground with 207 rushing yards, but also kept the Buffalos' defense in check, with 88 yards in the air.
The Hawks were also 7-for-10 (70%) on third-down conversion. Both teams lost one fumble during the game.
"They did a good job," head coach Kurt Taylor said. "They outcoached us I would say. We thought we were going to be able to do what they did to us. We came out there and just couldn't control the line of scrimmage. I will say our line technically blocked much better than in the past. So, they are getting much better, but we couldn't find a rhyme or reason to deliver the ball the way we needed to based on the reads we were getting. That was the biggest struggle."
"After watching the film, every single play there was an opportunity to have a successful play, but at the end of it, the boys have to execute it," he said. "You can call the best plays in the world, but if they can't execute it, it's not going to work."
The White Buffalos play Rainier this week, a team they are very familiar with. Madras played last year's 3A state champions twice last season. Madras lost a regular season game at home 28-6 and lost a state playoff game against Rainier 44-0.
"They (Rainier) are not doing anything different," Taylor said. "They are good for a reason. They have big, strong dudes upfront and they are going to run what they run, whether it is crazy formations, trying to get the edge. Defensively, they are doing the same stuff and hopefully, we can change some of the things we have done and given them on film, maybe catch them a little bit differently than what they expect we might do. They are very well-coached and they have a couple D1 prospects at the line. They are ranked No. 1 for a reason."
"Hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes from the La Pine game," he said. "We need to fail forward and learn from it. I think it is going to let us become a better team because it happened early. In all honesty, it was the perfect time to get knocked down and hopefully, the boys can respond going into the No. 1-ranked Rainier team. Since we are familiar with them and played them a couple times last year, they have some confidence going into the game."
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