Top-ranked Imbler romps over Huskies

By Observer staff September 18, 2012 09:40 am

MORO — Joe Griffin ran wild Friday over the Sherman County Huskies, leading Imbler to an easy 72-28 non-league victory.

The victory improved the Panthers’ record to 3-0 for the season and kept Imbler’s spot atop the 1A football rankings posted by the Oregon School Activities Association. Perrydale is ranked second, while Sherman dropped to sixth with its first loss of the season.

Griffin averaged eight yards a carry as he picked up 226 yards in 28 carries Friday. His longest carry was a 55-yard run. Griffin finished the game with three touchdowns and added a conversion, almost matching the entire scoring of the Huskies.

The visiting Panthers started off slowly with just one score in the first quarter. That also gives Griffin 622 yards rushing in just three games this season.

Ahead 6-0, Imbler added another 28 points in the second period to take a 34-0 halftime lead. The Panthers ran 47 plays in the first half, to just 16 by Sherman County, as Imbler controlled the game, according to coach Lee Lowe.

Then it got even worse for the Huskies. In the final three quarters, Imbler held Sherman to just 25 rushing yards.

Although Sherman scored 28 points in the second half, 14 of them came on long kickoff returns.

After scoring twice in the third quarter, the Huskies were watching Imbler pull away to a 56-14 lead by the end of the period after adding 22 more points to their total.

In the final period, Imbler still outscored Sherman County by a 16-14 margin.

The Imbler squad dominated Sherman by an 18 to 5 margin in first downs.

Casey Robertson only carried the ball four times, but rambled through the Huskies’ defense for 106 yards as Imbler finished the game with nearly 500 yards rushing. Jaden Bales had 11 carries for 88 yards as the three rushers combined for more than 400 yards in the lopsided win. 

Imbler quarterback Kyle Johnson picked up 34 yards on eight carries, while Bigej added 24 yards on four carries. Garey Combe picked up six yards on two carries.

Robertson also finished the game with four of the team’s eight catches for 61 yards. 

Bales caught three for 18 yards, while Garrett Bigej had one catch for three yards.

Imbler opened the season with a 58-36 win over Adrian, then followed it up handing Dufur a 54-28 loss in the Imbler home opener.

Now the Panthers will be getting ready to open the Old Oregon League season when they play Powder Valley Sept. 28.

The Badgers are off to an 1-2 start after losing to Kings Way Christian-Vancouver (Wash,) in the season opener by a 72-36 margin at the Dufur Football Classic. The Badgers lost on the road for the second time when Council (Idaho) handed the team a 56-18 defeat. Powder Valley handed Union a 46-22 loss Friday.

The 32nd-ranked Badgers will host Notus (Idaho) Friday at 7 p.m., while the Panthers get the week off.

In an unusual turn, the current OSAA rankings has Perrydale second, narrowly ahead of the Camas Valley Hornets. 

But it was Camas Valley (3-0) that won the season opener between the two schools by a 38-6 margin.

St. Paul (3-0) is tied with Camas Valley, the defending state champions for third in the rankings, while Lowell (2-1) is fifth.

Cove is ranked 10th in the latest poll, while Wallowa is 26th, Pine Eagle 35th and Joseph is 42nd out of the 42 teams listed, according to the OSAA.