Football Friday: A look at local prep games for Sept. 20

By Observer staff September 20, 2013 10:07 am
Grant Union at Union, Cove at Liberty Christian, Powder Valley at Notus (Idaho), Elgin at Joseph, Weston-McEwen at Enterprise, Imbler vs. St. Paul in Dufur

Grant Union at Union 

WHEN: 7 p.m.
MEDIA: Audio will be streamed live on and simulcast on 105.9 FM.

RECORDS:  Grant Union 2-0; Union 2-0
PLAYER TO WATCH:  Defensive line, Grant Union. The Prospectors have held opponents to 23 points through the first two games of the season.

ABOUT THE GAME: The Bobcats will need to execute their offense much better against a stingy Grant Union defense.

The Prospectors  allowed a touchdown in the waning moments of a 32-6 win over Lost River a week ago. 

Grant Union is allowing 12.5 points per game this season, and has not allowed a score in the first half.

Union didn’t put the ball in the end zone when it had chances last week against Riverside, but Ty Coon did eventually get there with a pair of touchdown runs.

Experience in the 11-man game will be the difference in the game. 

Union doesn’t have a player that has played anything other than 8-man football in high school. 

Grant Union starts 11 seniors, and has a history of success on its side.

PREDICTION: Grant Union 48, Union 8


Cove at Liberty Christian

WHEN: 7 p.m.


RECORDS: Cove 0-3; Liberty Christian 1-0

PLAYER TO WATCH:  John Lessor, running back, Liberty Christian. Lessor, a sophomore, is a strong runner, finishing with 202 yards on 12 carries with five touchdowns last week.


The Leopards offense will again be forced to put up points against a very good opponent on the road.

Liberty Christian is coming off a Washington 1B state title last season, and the Patriots are at it again, picking up a 68-6 win last week.

Cove was able to hang around until the half against Adrian during a 34-14 loss last week. The Leopards need to be able to make adjustments to score in the second half if they’re going to pick up the first win of the season.

For the second straight week, Cove will see an impressive sophomore running back. The Patriots feature John Lessor. 

He had five touchdowns last week.

Tackling has been an issue in the past for the Cove. If that doesn’t change, it will be a long day. 

• PREDICTION:  Liberty Christian 66, Cove 14 


Powder Valley at Notus, Idaho

WHEN: 7 p.m.


RECORDS:  Powder Valley 1-1; Notus 2-1

PLAYER TO WATCH:  Tyler Robinson, wide receiver, Powder Valley. Robinson was banged up in the season opener against St. Paul, but returned to form with 124 yards on five receptions during a 60-22 win over Echo.


Powder Valley is relying on the strong arm of Chace Dixon early on this season, and it’s paying off. 

The senior completed 12-of-17 for 258 yards during last week’s win over Echo.

With numerous weapons on the outside including Robinson, Seth Dixon, Quin Stephens and Jake Grammon, Dixon should continue to put up big numbers.

Notus has three games under its belt this season. The Pirates split with two teams receiving votes in the Idaho 1A Division II poll, with the loss coming against Wilder, Idaho, 46-30.

As long as Dixon makes the right reads, the Badgers should be prime for a big road win before opening their Old Oregon League schedule next week.

• PREDICTION:  Powder Valley 44, Notus 22 


Elgin at Joseph
WHEN: 7 p.m.


RECORDS:  Elgin 2-0; Joseph 0-2

PLAYER TO WATCH:  Gavin Christenson, receiver, Elgin. The prediction paid off last week with the 6-foot-2 receiver hauling in six catches for 110 yards while adding 78 yards on the ground.


Elgin continues to enjoy the 8-man game after a 48-12 win against Huntington/Harper last week.

 The Huskies amassed 415 yards of total offense behind a strong rushing attack.

Joseph went to the ground, too, but fell to Yoncalla 46-22.

It will be up to the Eagles’ defense to stop the ground game of Elgin to pick up a win.

It’s easier said than done with Christenson developing as a playmaker. 

Chris Roberts also helps in the Elgin run game, picking up 81 yards and a score a week ago.

Joseph will lean on freshman Cayden DeLury and junior Eric Lara in the running game. The duo combined for 32 carries and 300 yards against Yoncalla.

The Eagles need the run game to work, only attempting three passes last week.

• PREDICTION:  Elgin 44, Joseph 16 


Weston-McEwen at Enterprise

WHEN: 7 p.m.

MEDIA: Audio will be streamed live on and  simulcast on 92.1 FM.

RECORDS:  Weston-McEwen 0-2; Enterprise 1-1

PLAYER TO WATCH:  Cody White, running back, Enterprise. White put together the best numbers by an Outlaw during a 19-6 win over McLoughlin. He finished with 58 yards on seven carries. The senior also had 14 receiving yards.


 This is a must-win game for a undersized Enterprise roster. It’s not that the Outlaws don’t have size, but only 18 players listed on the roster.

That doesn’t allow Enterprise any margin for injuries, or even fatigue.

Enterprise rallied last week to beat McLoughlin 19-7, with all 19 points coming in the fourth quarter.

The offense will need to find a way to sustain drives to get into the end zone.

Weston-McEwen was crushed by Waitsburg-Prescott 49-6 last week.

Defense will be the name of the game when these two teams meet. Combined they’ve scored 30 points in 16 quarters of football 

• PREDICTION: Weston-McEwen 16, Enterprise 12


Imbler vs. St. Paul at Dufur

WHEN: 2 p.m.


RECORDS:  Imbler 2-1; St. Paul 1-2

PLAYER TO WATCH:  Luke Silbernagle, running back, Imbler. The junior played a big part in the Panthers’ success last week. His ability to catch the ball, five receptions for 86 yards, took some attention off Joe Griffin.


The final game of a grueling preseason schedule for Imbler wraps up against the state runner-up from last season.

The Panthers looked sharp during a 72-20 win against Sherman.

Tyler Tandy and Luke Silbernagle played a big part in the win, despite the fact Griffin stole the show with eight touchdowns.

Without opponents keying off Griffin, Imbler’s success will suffer.

St. Paul is coming off a disappointing loss to Lowell, 76-40.

The Buckaroos’ opening slate surpasses the Panthers by a slim margin.

St. Paul also fell in a rematch of the state title game to Camas Valley, 64-54.

Both teams are looking to make a statement before the league schedule opens up.

• PREDICTION:  St. Paul 54, Imbler 52