Outlaws crush La Pine on the gridiron
Last updated 9/26/2023 at 10:12am
The Outlaws football squad soundly defeated the La Pine Hawks on the road this past Friday night. Despite the fact that the squad had a difficult week with numerous players out with injuries and sickness, they prevailed in a final score of 40-12.
La Pine got on the scoreboard three minutes into the contest and took a quick 6-0 lead, but from that point on the Outlaws took control of the game. One minute later, Justin DeSmet intercepted the ball and ran 33 yards for the touchdown. Sisters missed the point-after attempt, but tied it up 6-6. Two minutes later the Outlaws scored again. Hunter Bronson made a 45-yard touchdown pass to Hudson Beckwith and the Outlaws went up 12-6.
Sisters scored three times in the second quarter and held a 33-6 advantage at the half. Kale Gardner had an interception and ran 18 yards for a touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion. Bronson threw a 38-yard pass to Landon Scott for a TD, and Beckwith, with great speed, capped off the second quarter, scoring with a 70-yard TD run.
Tony Gonzalez scored on a one-yard run in the third, the PAT was good, and at the end of the third period the Outlaws held a commanding 40-6 lead.
La Pine was able to score with just under three minutes left on the clock (missed the PAT), and the Outlaws walked off the field with the win.
Several younger players stepped up and played big roles in the game. Freshman Kayden Morris made his first Friday night debut as a starter and played well at linebacker. Finn Stancliff started once again at center and also did a great job.
Coach Gary Thorson told The Nugget the coaching staff has been pleased with the effort the running backs are showing when they block for each other.
"Our offense depends on that, and we have an unselfish group that is not worried about stats and that makes us all the more better," said Thorson.
Freshman running back Spencer Davis came into the game in the fourth quarter, ran well, and even showed more depth for the Outlaws at that position.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Outlaws had good moments both running the ball and passing. Hunter Bronson was very accurate. He finished five for six for 119 yards, and two touchdowns.
Coach Gary Thorson said, "We have a handful of kids that can catch the ball and run well after they do, and that showed tonight. Landon Scott is a threat every time the ball is thrown to him and his work ethic in practice makes everyone he goes up against better."
On the receiving end, Beckwith had one catch for 45 yards and a TD, Scott had three catches for 67 yards and a TD, and Kolbi Cotner, one catch for seven yards.
In rushing DeSmet had six carries for 24 yards; Gonzalez, six carries for 11 yards and a TD; Ethan Eby, five carries for 14 yards; Kale Mock, three carries for 14 yards; Spencer Davis, three carries for 60 yards; Beckwith, two carries for 62 yards and a TD; and Cotner, one carry for seven yards.
Sisters finished the night with 192 yards rushing, while La Pine recorded 56.
On defense, Kale Gardner and Eby both had six tackles, and two of Eby's were quarterback sacks. DeSmet, Cotner, and Gonzalez added four tackles each. The Outlaws recorded four interceptions on the night, one each from DeSmet, Gardner, Dolan Pool, and Gonzalez.
"The defense played their best game of the year and we had a handful of interceptions that were key for us," said Coach Thorson. "Gardner had his best game yet from his safety position and we got good performances at linebacker from Eby and Gonzalez, whose physicality and confidence seem to be growing each week."
Sisters was missing their kicker, Reid Woodson. Dawson Roberson and Tony Gonzalez filled in and did a solid job. Roberson had a great kickoff return in the third quarter that almost went the distance and put the Outlaws in good field position.
Thorson noted that sophomore Reese Moore is "one of the kids that plays with his hair on fire" and every week comes up with big plays on special teams.
Thorson said, "Our staff is having a blast coaching this group of young men, and I am excited for them and the progress they are making. Kennedy will be a great test for us as they are currently No. 1 in the OSAA polls and took second at State last year. It's a non-league matchup that will have no bearing on our league standings, but it is a great challenge and test for us to see where we are at. I am excited for our team, for this opportunity, and know they will play hard and represent our school well next week.