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La Grande Observer Paper 07/23/14

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By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

The La Grande Tigers football team played "110 percent better," coach Randy Waite said after a 32-13 loss to Pendleton Friday night at Community Stadium.

"I was pleased we could bounce back," he said. "We were happy with the effort."

The Tigers were much more competitive than in their Sept. 6 63-10 loss against Hermiston. Pendleton is considered one of the top 4A teams in the state.

"We thought we played with them (Pendleton)," Waite said. "We made too many mistakes. We thought we could win."

The Tigers trailed 25-0 in the third quarter but began clawing back toward the end of the period, making Pendleton sweat.

Mitch McKinney scampered from 20 yards out for the Tigers' first touchdown with 1:56 remaining in the third.

The Tigers got the ball right back at the 15-yard line when Pendleton lost a fumble.

With 11:06 in the fourth, quarterback Kyle Bomberger plunged into the end zone and a Casey Sheehy PAT cut the deficit to 25-13.

Pendleton made two big plays on defense to help preserve the win.

The Tigers' Tyson Stebbins caught a pass from Bomberger and raced up the right side for 49 yards, but he was grabbed from behind at the 4-yard line.

Brian Nooy let much of the air out of the Tigers' rally when he picked off a fourth-down pass by Bomberger's with about six minutes left.

Pendleton then put the game away once and for all when Chase Berry ran in his second touchdown of the night with 1:42 left in the contest.

La Grande travels to McLoughlin Friday.

Complete statistics were unavailable by The Observer's deadline today.

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