LA PINE — After leading by a single point at halftime, Madras took control in the second half Friday night and pulled away for a 34-12 Class 3A football victory over La Pine.
With the nonleague triumph, the White Buffaloes matched their win total of last season, improving to 2-0 while the Hawks slipped to 1-1 in their home opener.
La Pine quarterback Riley Pinkney, whose touchdown pass on the final play lifted the Hawks to an 18-12 win at Douglas the previous week, was injured late in the first half Friday. He left the game with La Pine trailing 7-6 but driving deep in Madras territory. The Hawks settled for a field goal try, which was blocked, and the Buffs took the narrow lead into the halftime break.
Madras opened the scoring in the second half on a touchdown catch by Kobey Jorgensen for a 13-6 lead.
Aaron Neuroth’s touchdown reception from backup quarterback Bryce Coble got La Pine within 13-12, but the Hawks’ two-point conversion try to regain the lead failed.
A touchdown run by Victor Torres pushed the Madras advantage to 20-12 by the end of the third period.
Things came unraveled for the Hawks in the fourth quarter. About three minutes into the quarter, La Pine blocked a punt that set up a Treyvon Easterling TD run for a 27-12 White Buffaloes lead.
“That might have been the dagger,” said Madras coach Kurt Taylor of the blocked punt and ensuing touchdown.
A nice drive by the Hawks, featuring the running of Adam Plant, put the hosts in position to keep it close. But an interception by Erik Boynton, his second of the game, turned the Hawks away.
Plant, who finished the game with 195 yards on 26 rushes, scored a first-quarter touchdown that put La Pine up 6-0.
Madras tacked on a touchdown in the last three minutes on another Torres run to account for the final score.
Torres finished with 136 yards on 16 carries with two TDs and also had four catches for 22 yards and a touchdown. Backfield mate Easterling gained 106 yards on 18 attempts and a touchdown.
“At the beginning of the game, I was a little worried,” said Taylor. “They were really in control, running the ball, and we weren’t tackling. I’m proud of the way our boys persevered.”
Taylor said he likes the look of his 2018 team.
“We have good players, we have talent,” he said. “They’re just not used to winning. My biggest job is instilling confidence.”
The White Buffaloes (2-0) are back home next week to face Rainier, while the Hawks entertain Burns.