Imbler sinks Lakers, 60-24

Written by Casey Kellas, The Observer November 12, 2012 01:37 pm

Joe Griffin (bottom, right) leaps into the endzone for Imbler. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
Joe Griffin (bottom, right) leaps into the endzone for Imbler. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer

IMBLER — Eighth-seeded Triangle Lake came to top-seeded Imbler Saturday and tested the Panthers early on, but in the end it was Imbler’s high-scoring attack that prevailed in the first round of the 1A playoffs, 60-24.

The game was a back-and-forth tilt for the first quarter and a half.

The teams traded scores in the first quarter and both missed on the two-point tries, making it a 6-6 game after the first 12 minutes.

The Lakers took a 12-6 lead early in the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Austin Wilcut. But Imbler responded just two plays into its next drive when Jaden Bales scored on a long run to tie it at 12-12.

Bales finished with 238 yards rushing on 18 carries and scored three times.

Triangle Lake regained the lead on the ensuing kickoff on a 78-yard kick return by Hayden Wilkinson to make it 18-12.

But that would be the last time the Lakers led.

Bales set up a one-yard keeper by quarterback Kyle Johnson before a bobbling catch by Garrett Bigej on the two-point try gave Imbler a 20-18 lead with 10:13 to go in the second quarter.

It was all Panthers from there.

After the Lakers turned the ball over on downs Bales scored on a five-yard touchdown run with 2:55 to play. Casey Robertson caught a short touchdown pass from Johnson just before the half to make it a 36-18 Imbler lead at halftime.

“We started showing them some different formations,” coach Lee Lowe said of his adjustments throughout the game.

“They were putting a lot of people in the box, so we spread the formation a little bit, ran some motion and got the backers to soften up a little bit and give us a few more running lanes.”

Imbler scored three more times in the second half before the Lakers were able to find the end zone with 9:40 to play in the fourth quarter, but the damage had already been done.

Griffin finished with 146 yards rushing on 24 carries and two touchdowns. Johnson completed eight of 10 passes for 57 yards and two scores, while Robertson caught four passes for 47 yards.

“They played well,” Lowe said of Triangle Lake.

“They played till the end. Good ball club. That was good for us to have to come back a little bit.”

With the win the Panthers will play host to Perrydale Friday.

The Pirates went 6-2 this season and defeated Jordan Valley 76-24 in their playoff game this weekend.

Perrydale’s only losses this season came to Camas Valley (38-6) and St. Paul (50-28).

The Pirates also played Triangle Lake earlier this season and came away with a 82-42 victory.

Other 1A playoff scores from this weekend include St. Paul burying Powder Valley 66-20, Camas Valley downing Cove 94-12, Triad over Adrian 62-52, Dufur defeated Crow 46-8, Lowell beat 64-16 and Sherman topped Elkton 54-40.