ENTERPRISE, Ore. — Weston-McEwen did all it could do to stay alive in the race for the last of the Blue Mountain Conference’s three postseason football playoff berths here Friday night.
But despite a defensive-delivered 18-14 victory over the Enterprise Outlaws, the TigerScots won’t be making a return trip to the playoffs next month.
W-M second-year coach Kenzie Hansell knew his team needed help on several fronts to qualify. And the TigerScots didn’t get it.
But Hansell expects his young team to continue to play hard in its final two games, beginning Friday night when undefeated Heppner invades Athena.
"Our kids just love to play football," Hansell said. "It’s a real joy to coach these kids because they play so much heart and energy."
They needed both to overcome the Outlaws here Friday after Enterprise put a pair of first-quarter touchdowns on the scoreboard. Weston-McEwen’s defense stiffened, however, and the TigerScosts was able to rally for the victory.
Elliott Salter’s 6-yard touchdown run with with about four-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game put Weston-McEwen ahead 18-14. And Kyle Watts’ pass interception on his own 30 on the final play of the game sealed the victory.
Outlaws running back Jacob Girtz dominated early as he scored on a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs in the first quarter and was successful on one two-point conversion run. That gave Enterprise a 14-6 lead — Weston-McEwen had scored on Aaron Speed’s 80-yard kickoff return — that held up until the final minutes of play.
Girtz, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior, gained 131 yards on 21 carries for the Outlaws. His running mate in the Enterprise backfield, Marcus Lynn, gained 90 yards on 14 carries in the first half before leaving with an injury in the second quarter.
The Outlaws also lost starting quarterback J.R. Masters to an injury in the first half.
Enterprise gained 202 yards on the game but zero yards via the pass.
"Injuries hurt Enterprise, no doubt about it," Hansell said. "But we’ve had our share of injuries, too."
Weston-McEwen drew within striking distance of the Outlaws in the third quarter when Watts rifled a 55-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Reich.
Reich had 119 yards on three receptions and Watts was 4-for-12 passing for 134 yards. Salter led TigerScot rushers with 91 yards on 20 carries.
"We had a great week of practice, even the kids who didn’t travel, and everyone played well," Hansell said. "And our side of the stands was filled.
"It was a very exciting win for the program. TigerScot football got better this week."
Weston-McEwen 6 0 6 6 — 18
Enterprise 14 0 0 0 — 14
Ent — Jacob Girtz 2 run (Girtz run).
W-M — Aaron Speed 80 kickoff return (run failed).
Ent — Girtz 2 run (run failed).
W-M — Dallas Reich 55 pass from Kyle Watts (run failed).
W-M — Elliott Salter 6 run (run failed).
Rushes/yards 27-88 51-202
Passing yards 134 0
Passes (att-comp-int) 14-4-1 4-0-1
Fumbles-lost 1-0 5-3
Penalties-yards 3 5
RUSHING — Weston-McEwen: Salter 20-91, Hegdal 1-(-1), Reich 3-(-2), Christopher 1-0, Watts 2-0; Enterprise: Girtz 21-131, Masters 4-2, Marcus Lynn 14-90, Stangel 1-2, Hayes 8-(-16), Galletly 3-0. Steen 4-(-7).
PASSING — Weston-McEwen: Reich 0-2-1; Watts 4-12-0, 134 yards, 1 touchdown. Enterprise: Galletly 0-2-0; Steen 0-2-1.
RECEIVING — Weston-McEwen: Reich 3-119, Speed 1-15-0; Enterprise: none.