The Cougars played with a plow.
Cody Green, a senior at Wallowa High School and running back on the football team, forced his way through tacklers from Triad in this season's first game, Sept. 4 at the Eight-Man Classic in Dufur. The defense often needed everybody to grab hold of Green and pile on him, but even then, he dragged them another four or five yards. The Triad Timberwolves won the game, 50-26, taking advantage of penalties and turnovers, but they never stopped the Cougars' powerful rusher.
"I'm just happy we played hard," Green said. "I wasn't really looking at the scoreboard. We played pretty good."
All day, stiff wind blew in one direction across the gridiron. In the second quarter, Triad moved with the gust to its back and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Jake Ovgard scrambled five yards to the end zone for a 14-0 lead. Dusty McDaniel, a junior QB from Wallowa, answered the only way he could when driving into the wind. He stuck to the ground, running 36 yards and crossing the goal line. Green thundered through defenders for two more points.
Trailing 14-8, Wallowa kept its pressure on Triad. After McDaniel's touchdown, senior Ian Parks lofted a kickoff into the air. The ball traveled above Triad's 35-yard line, when it paused and then drifted back around confused blockers. The Cougars recovered at the 39. But the wind denied much movement by Wallowa's offense. Instead, Triad used the gust and a play out of the schoolyard to increase its lead. Needing 11 yards on fourth down, Jake Ovgard handed off to running back Bryce Balin, who fed another back Gabe Ovgard on a reverse. Gabe threw 26 yards to the quarterback in the end zone, with less than two minutes left before halftime.
The Triad Timberwolves squeezed in one more touchdown before the break. Wallowa fumbled around midfield. Jake Ovgard hit Garret Powless with a 21-yard scoring pass. That pushed Triad ahead, 30-8.
After the Cougars licked their wounds, they stormed onto the field. The second play of the third quarter, McDaniel tossed a short pass to Parks at midfield. He promptly pitched the ball back to Green, who raced all the way to Triad's 8-yard line. But a clipping penalty, followed by a false start, bumped Wallowa back to the starting point. Triad eventually took possession, and Andrew Larson ran 13 yards for a touchdown.
Once again, the Cougars fought deep into Triad territory. However, Gabe Ovgard recovered another fumble at the 18-yard line and hurried all the way to the end zone for a 44-8 lead.
Next, Wallowa will play Sept. 10 at home against Union. Kickoff is scheduled at 2 p.m.