Enterprise got back on track Friday with a 28-6 win over Stanfield and broke its three-game losing streak. The Outlaw defense held the Tigers in check most of the night and didn't give up any points until the fourth quarter with two minutes remaining.
"The guys really stepped up tonight and I thought they would because we've had some excellent practices this week," coach J.D. Nobles said.
The focal point of Nobles practices was the defense and that meant plenty of drill work for the linebackers and defensive backs.
"We really worked the defense during practice...and sure enough, they were able to stay focus. But we also addressed the offensive line and our blocking schemes, and line came out and did a great job," Nobles said.
Great job indeed: holes were opened up for freshman fullback Jacob Girtz and tailback Bret McCleary. The duo combined for 229 yards on 25 carries.
"We did have a night running the ball," Nobles said. "Stanfield was blitzing a lot and we decided to run the ball on the ends and it kept working."
With no immanent threat from Stanfield, the Outlaws kept the ball on ground and avoided the air attack by throwing five times the entire game. Enterprise (2-3, 2-4 overall) has put itself in a position to battle for a playoff spot. The Outlaws remain fifth in league and only one game behind Weston-McEwin (3-2, 4-3 overall). Stanfield's (0-5, 0-7 overall) woes continue and remain last in the league. The Tigers remain winless and much of it can be contributed to the team's inability to put points on the board. Year-to-date, Stanfield has scored 56 points during its seven games - while giving up 258.
As for Enterprise, the focus now turns to league leading Heppner (5-0, 6-2 overall) and will try to build some consistency on both sides of the ball the rest of the season.
"This is what they've been playing for all year. The kids will definitely be fired up and ready to go Friday," Nobles said.
This weekend: an interesting twist
With the 2A Blue Mountain re-organizing the teams this past year, this will be the Outlaws' first look at Heppner. In an interesting twist to this weekend's story line, coach Nobles and Greg Grant (Heppner) might have to settle their differences from the sidelines.
During the season, and teams not familiar with each other, coaches would call one another and 'borrow' game film. For those who might not be familiar with this, teams record their games for reference. Grant called Nobles earlier in the year and requested some film on a team that Heppner was to play. Knowing that Heppner was on the schedule later down the road and Grant would be able to not only study the film of the team he was interested in- Grant would also be able to study Enterprise for later down the road.
According to a source, in gentleman fashion, Nobles sent the tapes despite knowing that Heppner would be able to study the Outlaws. Grant was indeed appreciative and said, "If there's anything you need down the road, let me know." But when Nobles would take him up on the offer and request one of their game tapes on Stanfield versus Heppner, Grant made sure to send film of Stanfield versus someone else. This way, Enterprise would have no reference to Heppner and break the 'gentleman's agreement' between the two coaches.
When I asked Nobles about this incident, he simply replied: "There is truth to that, but the kids will determine the outcome on the field and all we can do is worry about ourselves and no one else."
Regardless of what happens during the week, one thing remains certain about an Enterprise home game in October: it's bound to be chilly.
"It should be a cold weather game and were used to those types of conditions...the climate is actually one of our advantages of playing up here," Nobles said.