MILTON-FREEWATER - Mac-Hi's football team showed on Friday night just how dangerous its ground game can be, amassing more than 300 rushing yards before halftime in a 55-16 home romp over Riverside to even the Pioneers' season record at 2-2.
The Pioneers passed on their first play from scrimmage but never again put the ball in the air, instead pounding the ball down the Pirates' throats on a four-play, 58-yard drive, capped by a 36-yard run from senior running back Josh Rutherford that took less than a minute that set the tone for the evening.
"A night like this one shows that our kids are really buying into our system and what we are trying to do," said Mac-Hi head coach Chuck Pease. "We have a commitment to accomplishing what we are trying to do, and when our line plays like they did we can move the football."
After a Riverside punt pinned Mac-Hi on the 1, senior running back Jensen Jones took a handoff all the way to pay dirt for a 99-yard score.
"I mean, what can you say about a run like that," Pease said. "Again, it shows that our guys are buying into our concept, picking up their blocks and paying attention to the little things that make a team successful."
Mac-Hi put another pair of scores on the board before the first frame ended to make it a 28-0 spread after just 12 minutes.
The Pirates were never able to get back in the game, allowing Jones to scamper 55 yards on the first play from scrimmage in the second quarter to push the bulge to five scores.
"What it comes down to is practice," Pease said. "Our guys have doing what they need to do in practice, and when you do that you can get results like this. We're getting our confidence going, and I think we saw that out there tonight."
Jones, who amassed 234 yards on only five carries, capped his eventful rushing night with a 68-yard touchdown dash with 4:25 remaining in the half to make it a 49-0 game.
However, his night wasn't over.
After Riverside's lone score of the first half, Jones took the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for another score to leave the game 55-8 at intermission, giving Mac-Hi the opportunity to rest its starters in the second half.
"We have a lot of options," Pease said. "We haven't even been able to incorporate everything that we can do into our system yet, but every week we always say we just want to get 1 to 5 percent better. We're focused on always improving and showing that on the field."
A late Riverside touchdown strike with primarily Mac-Hi's second string on the field capped the scoring to leave the spread at 39 when the clock hit all zeros.
On the night, Mac-Hi needed only 18 plays from scrimmage to amass 55 points and 324 yards, and the Pioneers only possessed the ball for 8:15 thanks to a defensive score, a special teams touchdown, and five touchdown runs of 35 yards or more.
Up next for the Pioneers is Homecoming against Umatilla on Friday.
"I told the guys that they can enjoy this tonight, but when the week is over it's over," Pease said. "When it's Sunday night it'll be like this game has never happened. We preach that you can't change the past. You can only change the future."
Mac-Hi 55, Riverside 16
Riverside 0 8 0 8 - 16
Mac-Hi 28 27 0 0 - 55
Mac-Hi - Rutherford 36-yard run, 11:11.
Mac-Hi - Jones 99-yard run, 5:49.
Mac-Hi - Rutherford 30-yard fumble return, 4:55.
Mac-Hi - Rutherford 5-yard run, 2:37.
Mac-Hi - Jones 55-yard run, 11:53.
Mac-Hi - Rutherford 35-yard run, 8:16.
Mac-Hi - Jones 68-yd run, 4:25.
Riv - Papineau to to Harrison, 56-yard pass, 1:16.
Mac-Hi - Jones 70-yard kick-off return, 1:09.
Riv - Papineau to Keefer 32-yard pass, 3:02.
First downs 12 2
Rushes/yards 27-111 17-324
Passing yards 164 0
Passes (att-comp-int) 9-19-2 0-1-0
Punts 1-44 1-38
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 6-71 5-45
RUSHING - Riverside: Hansen 17-65, Harrison 8-17, Charbneau 1-22, Guenther 1-7; Mac-Hi: Jones 5-234, Rutherford 5-70, Saldana 4-19, Zambetti 1-2, Copenhaver 1-1, Birdwell 1-0.
PASSING - Riverside: Papineau 9-19; Mac-Hi: Richwine 0-1.
RECEIVING - Riverside: Hansen 6-50, Harrison 2-82, Keefer 1-32; Mac-Hi: None.