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Home arrow Opinion arrow Pendleton bucks Tigers in non-league showdown, 42-6

Pendleton bucks Tigers in non-league showdown, 42-6

By Casey Kellas

The Observer

 Pendleton proved to have too much firepower for La Grande Friday night in a non-league contest at 

Community Stadium.


By Casey Kellas

The Observer

Pendleton proved to have too much firepower for  La Grande Friday night in a non-league contest at
Community Stadium.

The Buckaroos trounced the Tigers 42-6 to pick up their first win of the season.

LHS is now 0-4 this year.

“I thought the effort was there tonight,” coach Kenny Mace said.

“But what’s killing us is the mental mistakes.”

Pendleton came into Friday’s game with an 0-3 record, but the Bucks wasted no time in setting the tone against LHS.

On just the second play of the game, quarterback Connor Johnson connected with T.J. Hancock for a 74-yard touchdown pass to put the visitors up 6-0.

Then with 2:38 to go in the opening quarter, Dylan Holcomb ended a nine-play, 60-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run.

The two-point conversion made it 14-0.

“I thought we tackled a lot better, but we still haven’t had that guy that delivers that big hit that says ‘you don’t want to run that route anymore,’” Mace said.

“When we get that I think you’re going to see things turn. We have to out-hit people.”

Pendleton stretched the lead to 28-0 in the first half after one-yard runs by Holcomb and Johnson.

The Tigers finally got in the endzone with 1:55 left in the second quarter on a 15-yard pass from Tyson Wicklander to Jobin Reed.

But that was all the scoring the hosts could muster against an aggressive Pendleton defense.

“Our option hit for big plays, we just have to get better reads,” Mace said about his offense.

“The kids are working on it. It’s not due to a lack of effort, it’s just seeing it and recognizing it and all the mental reps that come with running the option.”

Pendleton added a late score before the half on a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ian Rivera.

The Bucks slowed the attack in the second half and scored once — a 23-yard pass to Rivera again — to round out the scoring.

Pendleton finished with 495 yards of offense, including 337 through the air.

Hancock caught three passes for  111 yards, while Rivera had four catches for 93 and two scores.

Holcomb ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, and Johnson completed 19 of 26 passes for 337 yards and three scores.

The Tigers had 219 yards of offense, led by Wicklander’s 106 yards through the air.

He completed eight of 17 passes.

Reed had 63 yards receiving on three catches.

Jake Chamberlain emerged as La Grande’s leading rusher with 48 yards on 16 carries, while Kyle Huntsman had 36 yards on three attempts.

The Tigers have now been outscored 243-54 this season.

But despite the 0-4 record, Mace is confident things are going to turn the corner for
La Grande.

“We just have to show the kids how close they are. They know how close they are, and they are not giving up.

“In the last four games that’s the one thing we’ve been able to do is not give up. Our kids have been fighting for 48 minutes and that’s all you can ask,” Mace said.

La Grande hosts Vale Friday.

The Vikings are 1-3 and are coming off a 49-7 loss to Baker this weekend.

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