ATHENA - The Weston-McEwen TigerScots trailed by scores of 7-0 and 13-6 throughout the game, but came back to win, 34-13, in a Blue Mountain Conference football game against Stanfield here Friday night.
"We are now 6-0 and we have found about six different ways to win," said W-M coach Kenzie Hansell. "Tonight, we came from behind. We have also passed, ran, battled, fought and kept the lead throughout. I'm proud of this team because it has adjusted in order to be successful.
"These kids also love to play football and that is what makes them so enjoyable to coach."
Early in the second quarter, the Tigers took a 7-0 lead on a passing touchdown from Derek Monkus to Trey Blevins.
W-M responded with a touchdown of its own before the half, on an Elliot Salter 13-yard touchdown jaunt. Salter finished with 132 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns on the night.
The extra point was unsuccessful, and it was 7-6 Stanfield.
TigerScots cornerback Miles Thul helped keep it close at halftime with an interception deep in TigerScot territory with 2:07 remaining in the first half.
"Miles went up and caught the ball. He really made a great play," Hansell said. "The linebackers and defensive lineman also brought pressure on the play."
Stanfield scored on its opening drive, starting at midfield, to make it 13-6 early in the third quarter as Blevins caught another touchdown pass from Monkus.
W-M edged back closer on the following drive on a Salter 6-yard touchdown run to pull within 13-12 with 6:47 remaining in the third quarter. Salter gained 50 yards on the ground in the scoring series.
The 2-point try was unsuccessful.
The Weston-McEwen defense stopped the Tigers and forced them to punt. After the change in possession, the TigerScots struck again.
The next scoring drive was led by the quarterback Dallas Reich, who ran for a 13-yard touchdown on a roll to the right. He had gone to the left on the previous play and picked up 18 yards on the run.
Reich threw for 133 yards and ran for 89 yards in the game.
Salter converted the 2-point try on a run to the right and cutback to the left.
With its first lead of the game, at 20-13, the TigerScot defense stiffened, stopped Stanfield and forced the punt.
On a third-and-7 play near midfield, Stanfield's Monkus threw it over the middle and deep to Blevins. The wide receiver was open with no one between him and the end zone. Reich, from his safety position, came out of nowhere and hit Blevins as he was taking possession to knock the ball free.
"Stanfield threw the ball more than we were expecting and on that play over the middle Reich made a good hit to knock the ball out," Hansell said. "We did a good job of dropping back in coverage the whole game."
W-M next went 54 yards for the scoring drive to make it 26-13 with 7:19 remaining in the game. A 32-yard pass up the middle found Aaron Speed and set up Salter's scoring run.
Nick Lively stepped up big for the TigerScots on the ensuing Tigers possession. The linebacker picked off a Monkus pass over the middle.
"Nick is so fast and quick," Hansell said. "He dropped back into coverage and made a good read on the ball on that play."
The pick allowed the TigerScot faithful to breathe easy and enjoy the rest of the game.
W-M scored again and ran most of the time off the clock in the fourth quarter.
The TigerScots are now 3-0 in league and Stanfield drops to 2-2 in Blue Mountain Conference play.
"The Tigers are so big and disciplined," Hansell said. "They really ran the ball hard. We had to find holes where we could attack them on defense. We even put some kids in some positions where they were not used to playing.
"Our kids were pumped up, though, to be playing at home in front of our crowd."
The undefeated TigerScots season will be on the line Friday at 7 p.m. at home against Irrigon in their Homecoming.
Weston-McEwen 34, Stanfield 13
Stan 0 7 6 0 - 13
W-M 0 6 14 14 - 34
Stan - Blevins 35 pass from Monkus (Ibarra kick)
W-M - Salter 13 run (kick failed)
Stan - Blevins 8 pass from Monkus (kick blocked)
W-M - Salter 6 run (conversion failed)
W-M - Reich 13 run (Salter run conversion)
W-M - Salter 5 run (conversion failed)
W-M - Reich 7 run (Salter run conversion)
First downs 9 11
Rushes-yards 45-221 38-225
Passing yards 83 133
Passes (Att-Comp-Int) 5-9-2 7-9-2
Punts 3-77 2-82
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties 6-49.5 7-60
RUSHING -Stan: Baros 17-91, Monkus 2-4, Pena 12-64, Grogan 13-60. W-M: Reich 16-89, Greenwalt 2-4, Salter 20-132.
PASSING - Stan: Monkus 5-9, 83 yds, 2 TD, 2 Int. W-M: Reich 7-9, 133 yds, 1 Int.
RECEIVING --Stan: Pena 1 -17, Grogan 2 -23, Blevins 2-43-2. W-M: McGill 2-22, Salter 2-50, Speed 2-49, Babb 1-13.