The Joseph Eagles had a taste of what will be next season on Friday afternoon as they traveled to Pine Eagle to play football, football with eight players instead of their usual 11. "It was kind of confusing, but once we got up 28-6 then we knew that everything was all right," said JHS coach Rusty Eschler. The change didn't put too big of a dent in Joseph's line as the Eagles defeated Pine Eagle 28-12. "For a whole week's worth of practice we did all right," Eschler said. Joseph will drop from 2A to 1A next season due to a drop in enrollment to play in the Old Oregon League with cross county rival Wallowa.
Pine Eagle struck pay dirt in the opening quarter on a six yard touchdown run by Riley Harimen. Joseph tied the contest later in the period on a 46 yard TD run by Randall Eschler.
The Eagles shifted into high gear in the second quarter. JHS wide receiver Tristan Patton was on the receiving end of a 19 yard pass from Eschler for the score. Eschler ran for the conversion giving Joseph the lead at 14-6.
Joseph increased their lead later in the quarter on a 21 yard strike from Eschler to Tanner Stewart to extend their lead to 20-6.
Patton made his way to the end zone in the third quarter on a 75 yard catch and run from Kyle Hook. The JHS quarterback shot through the line on a keeper for the conversion giving the Eagles a 28-6 advantage.
Pine Eagle's Jeff Chamberlain crossed the goal line for the final score of the contest on a 32 yard run in the fourth quarter in the Eagles 28-12 win.
Coach Eschler said that Tristan Gorsline had a whale of a game defensively. At one point in the game Gorsline had seven solo tackles in a row, six of which dropped Pine Eagle ball carriers for a loss.
Joseph and Enterprise will meet on Friday in Joseph for what may be their final game as Wapiti League foes.
"The kids have been looking forward to this game for the past two weeks. It doesn't matter how the season has gone, both teams always want to play hard," Eschler said.
Score by quarter
Joseph-6 14 8 0-28
Pine Eagle-6 0 0 6-12
Rushing: Joseph-Hayes 1/13, Gamboa 5/18, Hook 12/35, Eschler 20/177; Pine Eagle-Chamberlain 15/110, Hammond 24/177, Casch 9/-12; Passing: Joseph-Hook 3/7/108 1-TD, Eschler 4/8/69 2-TD; Pine Eagle-Casch 0/3/0.
Receiving: Joseph-Gamboa 1/11, Eschler 1/14, Stewart 2/40, Patton 3/112.