September 19, 2002 11:00 pm
BIG NIGHT FOR BAXTER: Powder Valley's Todd Baxter (24) scored three TDs and threw for another against Cove. Pursuing Baxter is the Leopards' Jake Locken (20). (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).
BIG NIGHT FOR BAXTER: Powder Valley's Todd Baxter (24) scored three TDs and threw for another against Cove. Pursuing Baxter is the Leopards' Jake Locken (20). (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).

By Pierre LaBossire

Observer Staff Writer

The Powder Valley football team got off to a slow start against Old Oregon League foe Cove, but once the Badgers cranked it up, the scores came fast and furious.

Cove managed to shut out the No. 1-ranked Badgers for the first 10 minutes of the game, but then Powder Valley exploded for 36 points in 11 1/2 minutes to take a commanding lead en route to a 56-16 win.

Badgers quarterback Todd Baxter scored three touchdowns and passed for another. He ran for 108 yards and threw for 144.

The game was played under the lights in Community Stadium before a big crowd of fans from Cove and North Powder. The game helped raised funds for the Powder Valley team.

Powder Valley coach Alan Stanfield said the kids might have been a little too excited at first playing before a big crowd under the lights.

"They were pretty out of sync at first," he said.

Powder Valley gave up 46 points last week against Jordan Valley, and Stanfield was happier with how his defense played against Cove.

Cove quarterback Jason Hagey did throw for 153 yards and a touchdown on a 26-yard pass to Josh Pfel. But, the Badgers also sacked Hagey eight times, and for the most part kept the Leopards' offense in the middle of the field.

Stanfield said the team's biggest defensive goal heading into this game was to not allow any 100-yard rushers. Tanner Marshall led the Leopards with 63 yards rushing. He said with that much attention being paid to the running game, his defense gave up some big plays through the air.

Cove coach Richard Thew said Powder Valley is very experienced while his team is very young. He was not unhappy with the effort made by his kids. Powder Valley racked up more than 660 yards against Jordan Valley, but Cove kept the powerful Badgers limited to 424 yards.

The Badgers' Deven Thompson had a big game, catching four passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Arden Perkins also had two catches for 57 yards and made a spectacular downfield block on a Baxter interception return to help spring him for a touchdown.

While many coaches might cringe at the effect a No. 1 state ranking might have on their team, Stanfield sees it as a confirmation of what the team has built over the past two or three years. He said Powder Valley is getting the recognition it deserves.

"For our kids, it's a pretty good motivation," he said.

Cove 0 8 0 8 — 16

Powder Valley 16 20 14 6 — 56

PV — Dozhier 7 run (PAT failed)

PV — Safety (fumble out of end zone)

PV — Thompson 36 pass from Baxter (Baxter run)

PV — Taylor 1 run (PAT failed)

Cove — Josh Pfel 26 pass from Hagey (Pagliarulo run)

PV — Baxter 19 run (Kerns pass from Baxter)

PV — Baxter 52 interception return (PAT failed)

PV — Simonis 1 run (PAT failed)

PV — Baxter 2 run (Taylor run)

Cove — Sofe 11 run (Josh Pfel pass from Hagey)

PV — Dayhoff 7 run (PAT failed)

Individual statistics

RUSHING — Cove, Marshall 9-63, Josh Pfel 4-36, Sofe 3-20, John Pfel 6-17, Pagliarulo 3-4, Hagey 8-(minus 25). Powder Valley, Baxter 6-108, Taylor 8-45, Dayhoff 5-30, Thompson 4-28, Simonis 3-21, Dozhier 3-16, Carpenter 3-2, Deal 2-(minus 4).

PASSING — Cove, Hagey 9-25-1-158, John Pfel 2-2-0-5, Josh Pfel 0-1-0. Powder Valley, Baxter, 8-15-1-144, Taylor 2-5-0-23, Deal 1-4-1-3.

RECEIVING — Cove (stats not available). Powder Valley, Thompson, 4-99, Perkins 2-57, Taylor 2-18, Shroyer 1-8, Weems 1-5, Hopson 1-1, Kerns 1-(minus 3).