MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi rallied for 16 fourth-quarter points during their season-opening football game with visiting Sisters Friday night at Shockman Field.
Unfortunately, the Outlaws had built a 26-0 lead after three quarters and silenced the home team’s uprising with a pair of touchdowns in the final 5:40 of play in a 39-16 victory.
Sisters running back Ethan Luloff scored four touchdowns and rushed for 235 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Tristen Lewis completed 4-of-8 passes for 159 yards and a pair of scores for the Outlaws.
Following a Mac-Hi three-and-out on the game’s initial offensive series and a 40-yard punt to the Sisters’ 25-yard line, it took the Outlaws just one play to claim the night’s first touchdown. Luloff broke loose for a 75-yard dash to the Pioneer end zone at the 9:54 mark of the first quarter. The first of three successful PAT kicks by Josh Andrade put Sisters in front 7-0.
Luloff added an 88-yard scoring sprint with 3:23 left in the second quarter that doubled the Outlaws’ lead to 14-0.
Mac-Hi’s best opportunities for point prosperity in the opening half came on its second and fourth possessions. On series two, a 39-yard pass from quarterback Chase Copenhaver to tight end Derek Richwine put the Pioneers at the Sisters 16.
But four plays later, Mac-Hi relinquished the ball on downs.
Prior to Luloff’s second six-pointer, the Pioneers moved from their 39 to the Outlaws’ 3. But an illegal-use-of-hands penalty and an 18-yard loss on an errant center snap out of shotgun formation resulted in an unsuccessful resolution of the march.
Sisters took its 14-0 cushion into halftime.
Luloff increased the Outlaws’ lead to 20-0 with an 80-yard touchdown return of the second-half’s opening kickoff.
Lewis teamed up with Isaac Jackson for a 45-yard pass-and-catch at the 2:33 mark of period three to make it 26-0.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Pioneers cut into the Sisters’ advantage. Copenhaver hit tailback Jeffrey Jones with a short toss over the middle that Jones turned into a 38-yard touchdown with 11:49 on the clock. A 2-point conversion run by Tavis Hodgen brought Mac-Hi within 18, 26-8.
The Pioneers began their next series at the Sisters 29 after a high snap out of punt formation. Four plays later, Hodgen scampered across the goal line from 12 yards out with 7:13 to go. Copenhaver threw a 2-point conversion pass to Richwine that reduced the deficit to 10, 26-16.
But a 62-yard touchdown run by Luloff and a Lewis-to-Jackson scoring pass of equal distance with 1:39 left put the game out of reach.
Despite the setback, Mac-Hi coach Tim Hutchison was encouraged with what he witnessed.
“We’re excited,” Hutchison said. “We made a lot of little mistakes that we can correct. We’re primed to do something good.
“The kids kept fighting the whole game,” Hutchison said. “They never gave up and never stopped believing in themselves. We’re going to get better because they want to get better.”
Copenhaver ended up 6-of-15 for 122 yards and a touchdown, and led Mac-Hi rushers with 51 yards on nine totes. Richwine caught four passes for 73 yards.
Mac-Hi’s Sept. 7 contest with Riverside has been canceled and its Sept. 28 matchup with the Pirates has been moved from Boardman to Milton-Freewater, according to Jay Rodighiero, athletic director. The possibility another game will be scheduled next Friday is indefinite, Rodighiero said.
Sisters 39, Mac-Hi 16
Sisters 7 7 12 13 — 39
Mac-Hi 0 0 0 16 — 16
Sis — Luloff 75 run (Andrade kick).
Sis — Luloff 88 run (Andrade kick).
Sis — Luloff 80 kickoff return (kick failed).
Sis — Jackson 45 pass from Lewis (kick blocked).
Mac-Hi — Jones 38 pass from Copenhaver (Hodgen run).
Mac-Hi — Hodgen 12 run (Richwine pass from Copenhaver).
Sis — Luloff 62 run (Andrade kick).
Sis — Jackson 62 pass from Lewis (kick failed).
First downs 8 13
Rushes/yards 30-275 37-140
Passing yards 159 122
Passes (att-comp-int) 8-4-0 15-6-1
Punts 3-23 2-34.5
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 8-61 4-25
RUSHING — Sis: Luloff 14-235-3, Lewis 5-42, Kaping 6-25, Team 4-(-5), Kirshner 1-(-22); Mac-Hi: Copenhaver 9-51, Jones 16-50, Hodgen 5-47-1, Birdwell 6-10, Team 1-(-18).
PASSING — Sis: Lewis 4-8-0, 159 yards, 2 TDs; Mac-Hi: Copenhaver 6-15-1, 122 yards, 1 TD.
RECEIVING — Sis: Jackson 2-107-2, Moore 2-52; Mac-Hi: Richwine 4-73, Jones 1-38-1, Hodgen 1-11.