September 14, 2003 11:00 pm

The La Grande Tigers did not quit against Pendleton Friday, according to coach Shea Little.

Even though the Tigers lost 33-6, Little said the team put forth a good effort.

"They stepped up and did a good job," Little said. "Our focus is on improvement."

The Tigers (0-2 overall) were coming off a 40-0 loss to Fruitland, Idaho, last Friday.

Sean Crow scored the first Tiger touchdown of the season on a 6-yard run.

The touchdown was set up by quarterback Mitch McKinney's 29-yard pass to Cody McCrae.

Crow helped the Tigers' rushing attack in the second half. He ended up with 93 yards on eight carries.

The blitzing Pendleton defense gave the Tigers trouble in the first half.

The Buckaroos' Drew VanCleave threw three touchdown passes and Chase Berry ran in a touchdown to give Pendleton a 26-0 halftime lead.

Little said the talk coming out at halftime was to approach the second half as if the score was 0-0.

The Tiger defense gave up a touchdown in the third quarter, but that was the end of Pendleton's scoring.

"They bounced back," Little said. "They came back and battled."

Little said the Tigers moved the ball well in the second half and made personnel changes.

"They all stepped up," Little said.

He said the Tigers' focus is on their league opener next Friday against McLoughlin.

"We needed to improve; I think we did that," he said.

— Raenelle Kwock

Pendleton 33, La Grande 6

Pendleton 14 12 7 0 — 33

La Grande 0 0 0 6 — 6

P — Berry 5 run (kick good)

P — Curtis 37 pass from VanCleave (kick good)

P — Berry 17 pass from VanCleave (kick failed)

P — Alberts 37 pass from VanCleave (kick failed)

P — Gundlach 30 pass from VanCleave (kick good)

LG —Crow 6 run (kick blocked)

Individual statistics

RUSHING — Pendleton, Berry 13-79, Curtis 2-11, Cooley 6-13, Cox 3-10, Patterson 6-(minus 4). La Grande, Myer 7-19, Crow 8-93, McKinney 3-22, Wilmarth (minus 40).

PASSING — Pendleton, VanCleave 10-17-203, Patterson 3-9-39. La Grande, Wilmarth 0-5-0, McKinney 3-5-45.

RECEIVING — Pendleton, Gundlach 2-61, Curtis 3-67, Berry 2-29, Alberts 2-48, Stump 1-10, Reed 1-9, Greenfield 2-30. La Grande, Cederholm 1-7, Stebbins 1-9, McCrae 1-29.