A year ago, La Grande eked out a win in a state play-in game against Molalla that was undecided until the final minutes.
The time around, the only thing that was undecided late was how big La Grande’s final margin of victory would be.
Andrew Peasley threw four touchdown passes and also ran for a score, the LHS defense forced six turnovers and the Tigers ran over Molalla, 43-6, Friday night at Community Stadium.
La Grande started inauspiciously with a turnover on its second play, but it was about the only thing that went wrong for the Tigers as they quickly blew the game open.
Nathan Reed recovered a fumble on the next Molalla play, and Isaac Chamberlain scored from a yard out for a 6-0 lead.
Then Peasley went to work
The senior scored on a 27-yard keeper, then hit on touchdown passes of 60, 3 and 32 yards to three different receivers — Parker Robinson, G.T. Blackman and Cade Reed, respectively — to help the Tigers take a 34-0 halftime lead.
His second scoring pass to Blackman on the first drive of the third quarter — this time a 35-yard pass — pushed the lead to 40-0.
Molalla, meanwhile, sputtered on offense, throwing three interceptions and throwing three turnovers. The only score for the Indians came on a 73-yard halfback pass from Damian Pingo to Casey Brooks in the final minutes.
The win means the Tigers (7-2 overall) will hit the road for a first-round playoff game next weekend. The opponent will be determined Saturday night after the final play-in game is complete.