The Cougars ran into another powerhouse.
For the second time this football season, Wallowa High School's team challenged one of the state's best. The defending state champions at Imbler limited the Cougars' prolific attack and took their Oct. 2 game by the score of 64-14. Wallowa's only other setback happened a month earlier at home, where the local boys led the still-undefeated Buckaroos from St. Paul for much of their contest before losing 88-56.
The setback at Imbler dropped Wallowa's overall record to 3-2, while its mark in Old Oregon started at 0-1.
In the first quarter, Imbler running back Wesley Burgess sparked his team to a 30-0 lead. "We played not to lose, instead of getting the win," Wallowa coach Bill Robb said. "If we had played the first half like we did the second half, it could have made a different outcome. But we were weary of that back. We kept letting him make the first move and tried to catch up, but you can't let him do that."
The Cougars can learn from quality opponents, Robb added, and they remain confident. The rest of the season, they will shoot for second place and a spot in the state playoffs. Next, Wallowa will travel Oct. 9 to Halfway, their last road trip.