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Panthers pound Powder Valley 74-36 to improve to 4-0
Imblerís Garrett Bigej reaches back for a pass as a Powder Valley defender tries to break it up in the Panthersí 74-36 victory Friday. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
IMBLER — Imbler continued its offensive barrage on Friday in a 74-36 victory over Powder Valley.
The Panthers are now 4-0 and remain No. 1 in the latest OSAA poll.
Led by another 200-yard rushing game (16 carries, 204 yards) by Joe Griffin, Imbler tore up the Badgers for 386 yards rushing.
But early on it was Jaden Bales (10 carries. 83 yards) who did the heavy lifting for the Panthers.
Bales scored from 13 yards out to get Imbler on the board with 9:42 to play in the first quarter.
Two minutes later, quarterback Kyle Johson hit Casey Robertson on a short touchdown throw to make it 14-0 in favor of the hosts.
Bales added a 25-yard touchdown run with 7:30 to go in the opening quarter and just like that the Panthers had a 22-0 lead.
“We try to mix it up a little bit and get as many touches to as many people as we can so we don’t get too one-dimensional,” coach Lee Lowe said.
Powder Valley started to find its offensive rhythm after that, finding paydirt on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Chace Dixon to Tyler Robinson.
After an Imbler punt, the Badgers put together another scoring drive, this one ending on a three- yard pass to Colton Eubanks to make it a 22-12 lead.
But Imbler responded with two touchdowns before the half — a 48-yard run by Griffin and a 16-yard completion to Robertson — to take a 36-12 lead into intermission.
“Offensively they had a good game plan coming in,” Lowe said of Powder Valley.
“It’s not that we let them in it, they just kept fighting to get back in it and wouldn’t go away.”
Imbler extended the lead to 44-12 with a score to open the third, and the teams traded two touchdowns each after that.
The Panthers scored twice more in the fourth to run away with the win.
“I think we’re improving. I think having a week off, we were a little rusty, or tight. But I think we found some things to work on to get better in the next couple weeks,” Lowe said.
Johnson completed eight of 11 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns.
Robertson caught three passes for 74 yards, while Bales had 46 yards receiving on three grabs.
Garrett Bibej had nine rushes for 74 yards and two catches for 44 yards.
Imbler is 1-0 in the Old Oregon League and will travel to play Wallowa Friday.
The Cougars (1-3, 1-0) defeated Joseph 64-14 Friday.
Powder Valley (1-3, 0-1) has now lost two straight and will travel to play Pine Eagle Friday. The Spartans are 1-3.