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Imblerís Tyler Tandy, right, and Kyle Johnson block a pass to a Powder Valley receiver during the Panthersí win Friday. (Nancy Campbell photo)
NORTH POWDER — The game of the week around the area melted away in the rain for Powder Valley. The Badgers had a measuring stick game, and potentially the Special District 4 crown on the line against Imbler Friday night in the district opener.
But, Powder Valley couldn’t get out of its own way during a 56-18 loss.
“You can’t give a team like Imbler breaks,” Badgers head coach Dan Townsend said. “Because you’re not going to get them. They just play so fundamentally sound and don’t turn the ball over very often.”
Townsend didn’t have to wait long for the worry to set in. After an interception by Imbler’s Joe Griffin on the opening drive, it took one play for Imbler to get on the board.
Griffin took his opening touch on offense 51 yards into the end zone.
“After that play I just looked at the sideline and it wasn’t good,” Townsend said. “The kids had their heads down.”
The run by Griffin was just the start of Joe’s show. The junior entered the game with 16 touchdowns in the last two games.
He fell just short of that mark against Powder Valley — scoring seven times, giving him 23 touchdowns in the last 12 quarters of football. Griffin now has 26 offensive touchdowns this season. The national record for touchdowns in a season for 8-man football is 67, set by Cody Eikmeier in 1967 in Nebraska.
The Badgers had opportunities in the first half but gave them back off of penalties. Jake Grammon was called for offensive pass interference after hauling in a 35-yard pass in the end zone. Chace Dixon had a 46-yard touchdown run called back on an illegal block before halftime.
“It changed the game for us,” Townsend said. “You can’t take points off the board. They’re hard to come by against a team like Imbler, and you know they’re going to be able to put up points.”
Those two touchdowns, along with two interceptions in the opening half, allowed Imbler a 28-6 lead at the half.
Imbler did get a brief scare when Griffin went down in the third quarter, but the injury turned out to be a leg cramp. The running back returned to the game and scored his final two touchdowns after sitting out for 10 minutes.
Griffin finished with 151 yards on 15 rushing attempts with four touchdowns. He also reeled in three passes for 165 yards with three touchdowns, including two for more than 70 yards.
Griffin also had a pair of interceptions. Quarterback Kyle Johnson was 8-of-10 for 298 yards and three touchdowns.
Klint Porter caught three passes for 90 yards with a touchdown.
Seth Dixon led the Badgers with 24 carries for 115 yards. Quin Stephens picked up 81 yards on the ground on 18 carries with a touchdown.
Chace Dixon struggled on the wet night, going 10-of-26 for 107 yards and three interceptions.
Imbler (4-1, 1-0 SD4) will host Wallowa at 2 p.m. Friday. Powder Valley (2-2, 0-1 SD4) will host Pine Eagle at
Joseph earns first win
WALLOWA — The Joseph football team picked up its first win of the season, posting a 54-26 victory over in-county rival Wallowa Friday.
The win improves the Eagles to 1-3 overall, while Wallowa is 0-3.
Wyatt Warnock led the Eagles with 92 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Eric Lara had 52 yards rushing and a score, and Sebastian Solis, an exchange student from Panama, rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown and had an interception return for a score.
Sam Beckman added 49 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, and Aaaron Borgerding had 11 tackles.
Joseph plays at Cove Friday at
Union falls to Stanfield
STANFIELD — The Union football team couldn’t get the Stanfield offense off the field when it needed to Friday.
The Bobcats dropped the Blue Mountain Conference matchup 76-24, falling to 0-2 in the the BMC.
Brooke Scantling had a 101-yard interception return for a touchdown for Union. Scantling finished the day with five rushes for 85 yards and a
Ty Coon led Union with 125 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns.
Chris Ross picked up 30 yards on eight attempts. Union failed to complete a pass in the game, and sophomore quarterback Aaron Clark threw two interceptions. Union will host Heppner at 7 p.m. Friday.