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Elginís Jeffrey Tarvin tries to slip out of the grasp of a Stanfield defender Friday. The Huskies fell to 0-3 for the season with a 55-2 loss to the visiting Tigers. Sixth-ranked Stanfield moved to 2-0 in the Blue Mountain Conference chase. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer
ELGIN — It was close for more than a quarter Friday.
But in the seond quarter, the visiting sixth-ranked Stanfield Tiger broke open the homecoming game in Elgin before cruising to a 55-2 victory.
Still, Elgin was able to break the season-long scoring drought — with the defense scoring two points on a safety.
Ahead 7-0, Stanfield took advantage of every opportunity to blow the game open in the second quarter.
With 9:53 left in the second quarter, the Tigers made it a 14-0 lead with a touchdown and extra point.
Four minutes later, they scored again, taking a 21-0 lead.
After a penalty and a deflected punt, Stanfield took over on Elgin’s 44-yard line with just under five minutes before halftime.
Two plays later, Stanfield scored again, making it 27-0 after Elgin’s Julian Jackson deflected the extra-point try with 4:18 left.
Elgin came back on the next series, thanks to hard running by Jaydon McKay and Chris Roberts — and a big penalty against Stanfield.
Jeffery Tarvin caught a pass that brought the Huskies to the Stanfield 39-yard-line, followed by a third-down run by Roberts less than a yard from the 35-yard-line and the first-down marker.
But the Huskies fumbled on the next play, ending the drive.
Julian Jackson sacked the Stanfield quarterback at the Tiger 29-yard marker on the next play.
But two plays later, the Tigers were in the end zone again, increasing the lead to 35-0.
The Stanfield quarterback Haefer rolled then scrambled all the way to Elgin’s 15 yard line, for a 56-yard gain.
Stanfield senior Cory Barros took it the final 15 yards on the next play.
On the next kickoff, a short squib kick was recovered by Elgin on the Stanfield 48.
On the first play a pass by freshman Gage Little was intercepted by Haefer and returned all the way to the one-yard line.
Barros punched it on the Tigers’ net play and after the extra point the lead had jumped to 42-0 with 39 seconds in the first half.
In second half, the Stanfield scoring marches continued, starting with a 22-yard run by Ulises Ibarra with 10:03 on the clock, making it 49-0.
The Huskies lost their starting quarterback Daniel McGuire in the second quarter to a torn rotator cuff that will bench him for the rest of the year, according to coach Brock Eckstein.
Then they lost another of their four seniors to a ankle sprain that may keep him off the field for several weeks. Julian Jackson was having a good game, blocking an extra-point, running back kickoffs and even sacking the Stanfield quarterback. But he was hobbling along the sidelines before the Huskies even got to the half.
“He sprained his ankle really bad. He should be down for a little while. Julian had a pretty good game before that happened,” Eckstein added.
With just four seniors, the Huskies lost two of them in just one quarter to injuries.
That forced Eckstein to reach for his freshmen.
For freshman Gage Little going in for quarterback McGuire, it was his first taste of varsity action. “Gage went in there and did a good job. He had some really great passes. He is pretty accurate for a freshman,” Eckstein said.
It also means that Little will be the Huskies signal-caller for the rest of the season.
Jeffrey Tarvin drew praise from the head coach after grabbing an interception.
But in the second quarter, it was Stanfield that kept coming up with the big plays — and scores.
“We were only down 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. Then we blew up. We went in 42-0 halftime,” the coach said.
The team made some defensive changes during halftime, and held the Tigers much of the rest of the game, Eckstein added. “The only scored about 15 points on us in the second half.
The biggest plays for the Huskies came late in the game when a deep punt set up the Huskies’ first points of the season — by the defense.
With about four minutes left to play in the game, Steven House punted the ball to the Stanfield nine-yard line. The defense came up with two straight blitzes and caught the Tigers in their own end zone for the safety.
Looking ahead, Eckstein said the young team has to be really prepared for Heppner. “They run a lot of misdirection so we have to get our kids to play really disciplined and stay home. From what I have heard, if you don’t stay home against Heppner, they will burn you.”
Heppner is 3-2 for the year, but tied with Stanfield and Grant Union for the lead in the Blue Mountain Conference. “Heppner now ranked fourth....That old Wapati League -- there are a lot of really great teams here,” Eckstein added.
“It is going to be pretty rough. We have two seniors down so we will be starting five freshmen Friday.”