In front of packed stands, the Savages had a terrible evening out against Waitsburg Friday night. The runaway 42-6 score turned out to be the least of their worries in what had to feel like an endless game to the Enterprise team.
Waitsburg brought some big, mean defensive backs, like 205-pound senior Henry Hubbard, and some devastating offense with senior fullback Gabe Kiefel, at a feather-light 220 pounds, which tore Enterprise up badly on the scoreboard as well as the field itself.
EHS senior Andy Marcum, filling in at quarterback for Tony Swart, who came out with a bruised shoulder, was limping and in obvious pain after his first play. Marcum, prior to taking over the QB position, hadn't had an easy day anyway, taking numerous solid hits throughout the first half. Early in the fourth quarter play was halted when both Marcum and Enterprise freshman Kyle Stewart were injured on the same play. Marcum, who was down for a good ten minutes, eventually rose to applause and limped off the field, but had to dress down and was unable to continue. Stewart, who suffered a devastating hit by Waitsburg sophomore Cole Janovich, was whisked away by ambulance to Wallowa Memorial Hospital, where he was x-rayed and then released. Stewart never lost consciousness, but was strapped into a backboard for transport for safety's sake, said EMT personnel at the field.
"We got outplayed, in just about every facet of the game," coach Randy Morgan admitted after the final whistle. "We knew we were young coming in, and when we get up against a veteran line ... we got outplayed."
The team's youth was especially problematic, with senior tackle Brin Jones out for one more game on a disciplinary matter, and with the loss of senior guard Erik Gilliland for two more games on the same issue. With seniors Tony Swart and Marcum out, and senior running back Tristan Beck hobbling on a knee injured in the first half, the Savages senior field-presence was limited to tackle Matt Exon and running back Craig Swart. Swart had the Savage's only score on the evening, and spent the entire game running hard against a tough defense and refusing to give less than 100 percent.
The lack of senior players was definitely a factor in the loss, and seriously limited the team's versatility. Waitsburg brought its own underclassmen in toward the end of the fourth quarter, which was not an option the Savages had. "When they substituted and got younger, we couldn't get any younger," Morgan said.
Still, the younger players showed some heart, playing strongly until the end. 120-pound EHS sophomore defensive back Jake Maasdam's fourth quarter toe-tackle of the Cardinals 170-pound senior wide receiver Aaron Suckow, who had faked his man and had nothing but clear field and Maasdam between himself and the goal, summed up the game for a lot of Enterprise fans. The team lost, but it wasn't beaten.
EHS will be heading to Asotin on Sept. 24 for its last non-league game before its league opener on Oct. 8 at home against Grant-Union.