Cougars derail Locomotives in season opener

Wallowa receiver Randy Spaur eludes a Harper Huntington defender on his way to his fourth touchdown of the game. Photo by Kim Lamb

The Cougar football team passed their first test of the young 2002 season Friday afternoon, downing Harper Huntington 46-26 at Wallowa.

Both teams were off to a slow start in the first quarter until Randy Spaur crossed the goal line following a perfectly executed pass and pitch play at the eight minute mark to give the Cougs a 6-0 lead. QB Jeff Kendall threw a strike to split receiver Ryan Harshfield who pitched the ball to Spaur as he scooted by on the way to the endzone.

Wallowa increased their lead with 5:03 remaining in the first on a toss from Kendall to Spaur on a 40 yard scoring pass play. The score increased Wallowa's margin to 12-0.

The Cougar defense continued to derail the Locomotives until late in the first quarter as Harper Huntington crossed the goal line on a pass over the middle. Harper Huntington successfully went for a two point conversion with 2:26 remaining to put the Locomotives on track at 12-8.

The Cougs struck pay dirt again with :55 seconds remaining on an 80 yard pass play from Kendall to Spaur. The score gave the Orange and Black a 20-8 advantage as the first quarter ended.

The Locomotives narrowed the Cougar lead to 20-14 late in the second quarter on a 20 yard scamper to the end zone.

Wallowa answered with 1:02 remaining in the first half on a toss from Kendall to Harshfield upping the score to 26-14 at the half.

A muffed punt by Harper.Huntington. midway through the third quarter gave Wallowa excellent field position on the Locomotive's 15 yard line. Spaur carried the ball through the line to the seven. The run set up a score by Kendall on a quarterback keeper around the right side of the line to give Wallowa a 32-14 lead.

Spaur once again made his presence known with 5:00 remaining in the third on an acrobatic catch after a 40 yard pass from Kendall. The score gave Wallowa a 38-14 lead.

A costly pass interference call on the Cougars gave Harper.Huntington. the ball on the Wallowa two yard line. The Locomotives took advantage of the mistake taking the ball over the middle of the line to narrow the gap to 38-20 with :53 seconds left in the third.

Wallowa converted for their seventh score of the contest at the 11:50 mark of the fourth quarter on a short screen pass over the middle to Andrew Long. The touchdown gave the Cougars a 46-20 advantage.

Harper Huntington intercepted a Cougar pass late in the quarter that eventually turned into the final score of the contest at 46-26.

Wallowa coach Greg Oveson was pleased with his teams performance. "We were a little confused in the first half but made some adjustment and came out strong in the second," Oveson said.

The Cougars will take on the defending 1A State Champion Dufur Rangers on Friday at Wallowa with action starting at 4:30. "Dufur is a really good team but if we do some things right we can score on them," Oveson said.

Score by quarter:

Wallowa-20-6-12-8 = 46

Harper Huntington-8-6- 6-6 = 26

Wallowa Statistics: Rushing; Kendall 8/20, Long 1/2, Green 6/-9, Spaur 8/38, Silveria 3/23, Redfield 3/1 = 29/93. Receiving; Harshfield 4/62, Tillery 1/8, Spaur 3/191, Redfield 4/40, Long 1/35, Silveria 1/22 = 14/358. Passing; Kendall 10/13/328, Green 4/4/30 = 14/17/358

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