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La Grande’s Ryan Ross had 102 yards rushing, including an 84-yard touchdown run, in the Tigers’ 70-6 loss to Baker Friday. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
The Baker Bulldogs came to Community Stadium Friday and pounded the La Grande football team 70-6, ending a winless season for the Tigers (0-8).
The game was one-sided throughout, with the Bulldogs (7-1, 3-0) jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and stretching it to 55-0 at halftime.
The lone bright spot for LHS came late in the fourth quarter when running back Ryan Ross broke free for an 84-yard touchdown run for the Tigers’ only score.
“These are going to be great young men,” coach Kenny Mace said of his team after the game.
“And that’s what we talked about. This game is about having fun, but it’s about teaching yourself about life.
“Knowing what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it and you work as a team, those are just things you can’t get in a classroom.”
Baker has reeled off five straight wins after losing to Fruitland.
The Bulldogs finished with 543 yards of total offense Friday, while La Grande managed 100.
Ross finished with 102 yards rushing on nine carries, but he was the only Tiger rusher to gain more than eight yards.
Brandon Dall completed one pass to Tyson Wicklander for six yards.
Trent Taylor led Baker with 106 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns, while Ben Baxter had 47 yards on five attempts and a score.
Braden Phillips had 233 yards passing and four touchdowns on 12 of 15 completions.
Thomas Hamilton replaced Phillips and threw for 123 yards and two touchdowns on seven of eight passes.
“With Baker it’s all about fundamentals. You have to be able to tackle,” Mace said.
“You have to block and you have to get off blocks. Those are things you have to do against a team like that. They’re a darn good football team.”
Mace, who was hired a week before practices started after Dave Collinsworth stepped down, said he will re-apply for the job for next season.
“That’s what they want,” he said about the players. “How do you turn a group like that down?
“They’re always going to be remembered. Not for the 0-8 season, but for the adversity that they overcame.”