TIGERS TEST METTLE WITH TOUGH FOE
After last week's 35-0 loss to Pullman, Wash., La Grande head football coach Lance Lovitt sat his team down on Saturday and did a rundown of the team's goals.
Despite the setback, they were all intact.
"Number one, can we still win the Greater Oregon League? Yes. Number two, can we still make a run into the state playoffs? Yes. So we touched base on that and said we've got to get ready to go," Lovitt said. "It was a long trip to Pullman and we didn't come out ready to play last week."
Forgetting the Pullman loss will be key, as La Grande (1-1) doesn't have the luxury of feeling sorry for themselves with another stout opponent looming large on the Tigers schedule .
Idaho power Weiser comes to La Grande tonight.
Weiser (2-0) defeated Vale, 32-8, last week and are led by eighth year head coach John Srholec and all-star running back Bryce Svedlin.
"They've got quite a few returners, nine juniors and nine seniors I believe," Lovitt said. "They've got a good line and a good bruising fullback that have been a key part of their success."
Against Pullman, one of the top 2A schools in the state of Washington, La Grande gave up big plays early, spotting the Greyhounds to a 21-0 lead at halftime.
"I really felt, going in, that our size and speed matched up well with Pullman," Lovitt said. "We just had kids playing undisciplined."
Against Weiser, La Grande will have to deal with stopping the option, a task that will fall in the laps of standout defensive ends Tad Fox and Kyle Witty.
In a 35-0 win over Grant Union Sept. 2, Witty and Fox combined for five sacks.
Offensively, La Grande is led in rushing by Jeremy Blakely with 9 carries for 67 yards and Jordan Lanman, with 21 carries for 65 yards.
Trent Evins and Landon Weaver split time at quarterback for La Grande for the second week in a row against Pullman.
"An undefeated season is out, but people are still expecting us to have a good season," Lovitt said. "What focus on the things we're doing right, and that allows us to excel."
Kickoff is 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on 99.9 KWRL FM.