HILLSBORO - Old Oregon second-best team also settled for the state's No. 2 ranking.
After halftime Nov. 29 at the state Class 1A championship game, Joseph High School's football team surrendered three touchdowns to and lost 48-36 to Imbler High. The season closed with two rivals from the same district battling in a rematch. The Eagles finished this season with their overall record at 11-2. Both setbacks happened against the Panthers.
"We had 'em beat but didn't finish them," said senior running back Grant Marcum, who rushed 24 times for 178 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a punt 73 yard for another score. Both of his touchdowns happened in the first quarter.
Senior quarterback Erik Steen (3 of 9 passing, 79 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) accounted for the Eagles' other touchdowns. He scrambled a yard across the goal line for the game's first points, and later found senior receiver Gavin Baynes in the end zone with passes of six and 61 yards. The longer play gave Joseph a 36-22 lead with 2:38 left in the second quarter.
However, the Eagles never scored again and the Panthers very slowly turned the game around. Immediately after Baynes' second scoring catch, Imbler's Nick West return the kickoff 82 yards to the end zone. Then late in the third quarter, quarterback Dalton McDaniel - taking over for the injured Bryan Mills, who broke his leg Nov. 22 at Wilsonville in the semifinal against Dufur High- Zack Phillips hit Zack Phillips with a 26-yard scoring strike. West ran for another two points, but the defense stopped him short. Then early in the last quarter, Jace Eisiminger took a handoff one yard into the end zone for the Panther's first lead all day.
In the last minute, West broke free for some insurance with his 64-yard touchdown run.