News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Outlaws fall to La Pine on gridiron

Sisters hosted La Pine on Friday, April 2, and the Hawks proved to be more than the Outlaws could handle. The Outlaws fell in a final score of 22-15.

Teams started out slow and the game was scoreless at the close of the first quarter.

La Pine fired on all cylinders in the second quarter. The Hawks’ first score came when their quarterback scored on a long run up the middle. They were good on their two-point attempt and took an 8-0 lead. The Hawks scored again, and got the two-point conversion with just one minute left on the clock. It looked as if La Pine would enter the half with a 16-0 advantage.

Outlaws quarterback Griffin Gardner orchestrated a drive with completions to the outside to Adam Maddox-Castle and Wyatt Maffey, and saved precious minutes on the clock. The last snap of the first half was a Gardner pass from the visitor’s 41-yard line that found its way toward Garrett Vohs on the far sideline. Gardner was unable to even see the completion — because he was hit as he released the ball, and was face down in the grass. The pass was right on the money and hit Vohs in stride. The Outlaws scored as time expired on the clock. The Outlaws two-point conversion failed and at the half Sisters trailed 16-6.

The third quarter started with the Hawks leaning on their huge offensive line and they kept the ball for half of the quarter. La Pine scored on a drive up the middle and at the end of three Sisters was down 22-6.

In the fourth, the Outlaws put together a drive on the grit and determination of quarterback Gardner, who overcame penalties, and multiple sacks and hits. The Outlaws found themselves facing the grim prospect of 4th and 24 from the Hawks’ 36 yard line. Backup quarterback Easton Moore took a toss from Gardner from behind the line of scrimmage and launched a 35-yard completion down the near sideline to Nate Weber, who made it to the one yard line. Gardner took the ball into the end zone on the next play, and the game seemed within reach. The Outlaws were down by a touchdown with just over five minutes left on the clock.

But the Outlaws were not able to stop the Hawks, who ran out the clock.

Special teams were in the spotlight several times, with the punting game showing strength and accuracy. Punter Nathaniel Alvarez came up with a very gritty and determined play in the third quarter. The Outlaws were set to punt, and the snap sailed over Alvarez’s head down to the goal line. Nathaniel scrambled, grabbed the ball, and kicked it away as a multitude of Hawks were poised to tackle him in the end zone. The Hawks’ player who ended up receiving the ball couldn’t handle it, and the Outlaws recovered the bobble.

Maffey was a bright spot for the Outlaws’ defense as he corralled the Hawks’ ball carriers, made 10 tackles (four solo), and forced a fumble.

Gardner commented on his team and their adjustments in the second half.

“We just love one another,” the quarterback said. “When I’m down, they’ve got me, and when they’re down, I’ve got them. They (La Pine) loaded the box and stacked the perimeter. They would slant on our motion so we couldn’t get anything. Our run game was getting stuffed so we looked for other options and I think it worked pretty well.”

Coach Gary Thorson said, “In the second half we got some momentum and starting hitting some passes and our kids kept scrapping. It seemed that the whole game we had a hard time stopping their run game and I think that was the difference. They were pretty physical, and I don’t think we did a good job hitting the gaps at times, and that showed. But, I’m super-pleased with the guys’ efforts, particularly in the second half. We were just one stop away from having the chance to win the game or at least tie at the end.”


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