The Outlaws know they can score inside the 20-yard line.
Enterprise High School's football team has added another option: field goals. Sophomore Erich Roepke converted three extra-points Oct. 2 in the Outlaws' 45-6 pounding of the Irrigon Knights on a soggy evening at chilly Ortman Field in Enterprise. He bumped his total for this season, his first try at kicking, up to eight.
"I managed to do all right," Roepke said, "The field was muddy, but the ball was the same. It must have been slippery. I felt sorry for Kyle (Stangel), but he managed to do a good job holding the ball for me."
The quarterback for Enterprise (4-0 overall, 2-0 in Blue Mountain Conference), Stangel gave his right arm the night off. The defense repeatedly gave him ball - it recovered eight of the Knights' fumbles in dismal weather conditions - but he attempted only three passes. Instead, he simply let teammates engineer six touchdown drives in the first half and jump ahead 39-0.
The fifth play of the game, Enterprise senior defensive end Skyler Willis leveled punter Tyler Carroll at the one-yard line. From there, Stangel fed sophomore running back Marcus Lynn for an easy touchdown. On Irrigon's third possession, linebackers Jacob Girtz and Chaunce Galletly rushed quarterback Dustin Osborne in the end zone, popping the wet ball from his grasp. Junior nose guard Sean Dean smothered it for six more points. Roepke added an extra. The Knights' next possession resulted in another fumble, and sophomore Brock Hayes grabbed the ball around the 30. A minute later, Stangel gave it to senior Cade Steen for a 5-yard scoring run. Tack on another goal by Roepke.
Credit for Roepke's successful development goes to assistant coach Sam Magera. His older brother, Bud, led Enterprise all the way to a state championship in 1984 by rushing for more than 1,400 yards and kicking dozens of point-after's, in addition to his five field goals. His last was a 22-yarder in the final game. Training Roepke since mid-summer, Sam took an eager student - Roepke played tight end for junior varsity last year, his first in football - and transformed him into an increasingly dependable offensive threat.
"He's come a long way in three months," Magera said. "He started as someone who'd never kicked before. Now, he's our guy. And the more he works at it, the better he gets."
With four victories, Enterprise has already accumulated its most since 2002. The Outlaws will stay at home Oct. 9 for their next game, against Pilot Rock. Kickoff is scheduled at 7 p.m.