ELGIN, Ore. - The Weston-McEwen TigerScots committed two early turnovers - one interception and one fumble - deep in their own territory to surrender a 14-0 first-quarter lead to the Elgin Huskies in Blue Mountain Conference football action here Friday night.
"It is unlike us to start with two turnovers," W-M coach Kenzie Hansell said, "but our kids bend but don't break. That is why they are so enjoyable to coach. After we got behind 14-0, no one gave up, and no one was hanging their heads along the sideline. We made some adjustments and then played some TigerScot football."
After quickly falling behind, the TigerScots came storming back to score 49 unanswered points and take the 49-20 victory.
After the W-M scoring outburst, the two teams matched touchdowns in the third quarter.
The biggest play of the rally was the first touchdown for the TigerScots. Elliot Salter returned a kickoff 85 yards for the score to pull W-M within a touchdown late in the second quarter.
"That kickoff return was a huge momentum changer for us," Hansell said. "We had great blocking, and Elliot finds his holes and then takes off. He did a great job."
The TigerScots pulled to within one point just before the end of the first quarter on a Dallas Reich 11-yard scoring strike to Matt McGill.
The touchdown pass capped a 58-yard drive by W-M. In the drive, Reich hit Aaron Speed in stride up the sideline
for 34 yards to set up the score.
Another drive from midfield was finished by a Reich 1-yard scoring run in the start of the second quarter. This score gave W-M its first lead at 21-14. Salter rushed for about half the yardage on the drive, 27 yards on three carries.
Salter finished with 69 yards on the ground on 10 carries.
A Jesus Ceja 22-yard field goal moved the W-M lead to 24-14, halfway through the second quarter. W-M moved the ball about 50 yards to get in position for the kick.
A big special teams play came next for the TigerScots. Riley Sederburg blocked a Huskies punt and Gary Kobasa recovered the kick in the end zone for the score to pad the lead to a comfortable 31-14 difference late in the second quarter.
"It was a good stop by our defense to get them to punt," Hansell said. "And then our kids took advantage of the special teams play and scored."
After the special teams touchdown, Elgin never mounted a serious comeback as W-M subbed freely in the second half.
Back-up running back Tyler Peterson did a good job of running the ball in the second half, amassing 16 carries for 50 yards.
"Tyler played really well," Hansell said. "It was nice to get him some carries. In the game, our offensive line created a running game that we really needed versus Elgin."
The win moves the TigerScots record to 5-0 and 2-0 in league. They play again Friday against Stanfield at home at 7 p.m., where they will host three out of the last four regular-season league games .
"We are looking forward to playing at home," Hansell said. "We haven't been there in almost a month. Our fans have still been wonderful. They have traveled, cheered and the kids see that and respect that. It is definitely a community team."
W-M 49, Elgin 20
W-M 13 30 6 0 - 49
Elg 14 0 6 0 - 20
Elg - Risseeuw 3 run (conversion failed)
Elg - McGuire 10 run (2-point conversion)
W-M - Salter 85 kickoff return (Ceja kick)
W-M - McGill 13 pass Reich (kick blocked)
W-M - Reich 1 run (2-point conversion)
W-M - Ceja 22 field goal
W-M - Kobasa 0 fumble recovery end zone (Ceja kick good)
W-M - Reich 47 run (kick blocked)
W-M - Salter 11 pass Reich (Ceja kick good)
W-M - Peterson 6 run (kick blocked)
Elg - Harris 3 run (coversion failed)
First downs 13 5
Rushes-yards 37-190 39-63
Passing yards 83 69
Passes (Att-Comp-Int) 7-14-1 4-10-2
Punts 2-36 5-143
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 4-0
Penalties-Yards 7-60 7-65
RUSHING - W-M: Reich 3-53, Salter 10-69, Kobasa 4-6, Ramirez 2-10, Bond 2-10, Peterson 16-50, McAllister 1-(-2). Elg: Jared Harris 6-16, Justin Harris 7-(-5), Witherspoon 3-8, Risseeuw 6-6, McGuire 10-23, Hallgarth 7-20.
PASSING - W-M: Reich 7-11, 83 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT. Terjeson 0-3. Elg: Justin Harris 5-9, 69 yds, 2 INT. Risseeuw 0-1.
RECEIVING - W-M: Salter 3-27-1, Speed 2-38, McGill 1-13-1, Babb 1-5. Elg: Risseeuw 1-42, Hallgarth 2-3, Miller 1-24.