October 12, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

BURNS Seth Petersens 4-yard bootleg touchdown in the final seconds ended La Grandes near upset here Friday night.

For the second year in a row, the Tigers were unable to snatch a win from Burns in the closing minutes of a Greater Oregon League football game.

This time was no different as the hosting Hilanders marched 92 yards in the final four minutes for a 25-19 win.

Last year, Burns beat La Grande 28-27 on a long touchdown pass with one minute remaining.

Both teams played extremely well. It was a good high school football game, La Grande coach Randy Waite said.

The loss dropped La Grande to 2-2 in the GOL and 3-3 overall. It was the Tigers second straight league loss.

I think our kids responded really well (after last weeks 50-0 loss at home to Baker), Waite said. They played their hearts out.

Casey Fenwick was La Grandes workhorse on offense. The senior running back caught four passes for 79 yards and carried the ball 32 times for 207 yards and touchdown runs of 2, 14 and 48 yards. The last score gave La Grande a 19-13 lead in the third quarter.

Burns responded with a Petersen 3-yard score in the third quarter to tie the contest.

With four minutes left, La Grande got within the Burns 10-yard line, but came away empty. The Hilanders then drove the length of the field for the deciding score.

Two big scoring runs of 91 yards and 95 yards by Talon Hofman were La Grandes only defensive breakdowns in the first half.

In the first half, we played really well defensively, except for those two runs, Waite said.

Hofman ended with four carries for 200 yards. Troy Macke added 151 yards on 17 carries.

After Hofman opened the game with a 91-yard touchdown, Fenwick answered with a 2-yard score.

Hofman repeated his first long run with a 95-yarder in the second quarter, followed by a Fenwick 14-yard touchdown, tying the game 13-all at the half.

Kyle Bomberger completed 8-of-13 passes for 125 yards and added 47 yards rushing.

Burns air attack was led by Petersen, who went 10-of-18 for 86 yards.

La Grande hosts top-ranked Vale next Friday.

La Grande 7 6 6 0 19

Burns 7 6 6 6 25

B Talon Hofman 91 run (kick good)

LG Casey Fenwick 2 run (Jacob Simonis kick)

B Hofman 95 run (kick blocked)

LG Fenwick 14 run (kick blocked)

LG Fenwick 48 run (kick failed)

B Seth Petersen 3 run (kick failed)

B Petersen 4 run (no attempt; time expired)

Individual statistics

RUSHING La Grande, Fenwick 32-207, Bomberger 10-47, Simonis 6-21, Thomas 1-14. Burns, Hofman 4-200, Macke 17-151, Petersen 4-4.

PASSING La Grande, Bomberger 8-13-0-125. Burns, Petersen 10-18-0-86.

RECEIVING La Grande, Fenwick 4-79, Thomas 1-19, Kleck 1-11, Moulton 1-9, Kleck 1-7. Burns, Hall 4-59, Root 4-25, Macke 2-2.