WAITSBURG — Something new — in quarterback Sterling Eastman and receivers Kevin Glover and Roy Ebong — and something old — in Dalton Estes and Billy Brown — produced the same result as Waitsburg-Prescott opened the football season here at a refurbished Waitsburg stadium with a 41-6 non-conference win over Heppner Friday night.
“It was a great start,” W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. “I was nervous because it (Heppner) is such a fine program. They are always in the playoffs. They have a great scheme and they ran the ball. I knew we would have some trouble with it and we did. We made some adjustments and I was real pleased with the way the kids stepped up.”
The new, Eastman, teamed up with the old, Estes, on a 27-yard slant route as W-P got on the board first with 3:14 left in the first quarter.
Despite a Ben Shafer tackle of Jared Lemmon for an eight-yard loss, the Mustangs answered with a 75-yard, 16-play drive, with all but 11 yards on the ground as Aidan Wright accounted for 31 of his game-high 64 rushing yards on the drive. Stephen Thompson plowed the last yard to pull the Mustangs to within 7-6 with 7:22 left in the half.
“We couldn’t stop it (Heppner’s run),” Bartlow said. “We weren’t playing downhill enough in that second quarter. We had a six-man front and could not stop the run. We made a couple of personnel changes. We brought Biggy (Keith “Biggy” Lake,at 6-foot-2, 345 pounds) in at nose guard and that helped. Our kids started to play downhill and that was a lot better.”
Heppner didn’t score again, and W-P answered with two scores before the second quarter ran out.
An Eastman-to-Brown shuttle pass for 12 yards, and Brown’s 5-yard power burst up the middle for a W-P score, highlighted an eight-play, 63-yard scoring drive as W-P upped the lead to 14-6 with 3:21 left in the half.
The Mustangs went three-and-out, and W-P took over at its own 36 with 1:03 to play in the half.
Eastman found Glover over the middle for a 64-yard score and W-P went to intermission up 20-6.
“Our offense was clicking,” Bartlow said. “Troy (Larsen, offensive coordinator), in the first game that he has called, really mixed it up.”
Eastman, in his first varsity start at quarterback, was 7-of-8 for 155 yards and two scores in the first half, and finished 11-of-13 for 196 yards.
“We had five guys catch a ball,” Bartlow said. “That was huge for Sterling. Sterling threw the ball on time and his first game was good.”
W-P went to the Estes show to open the second half. Estes caught a 12-yard pass from Eastman, and carried the ball twice for 36 yards, with his last 19-yard gallop finding pay dirt and producing a 26-6 W-P lead with 8:19 left in the third.
Brown blocked a Mustang punt into the hands of Brendon Donovan on the second play of the fourth quarter. Donovan took it 42 yards for the score and an insurmountable 34-6 W-P lead with 11:17 left in the game.
Estes caught five balls for 76 yards and a score, and ran for 36 yards and a score. Brown finished with 47 yards rushing.
Glover caught two for 84 yards and a score, and Ebong added two catches for 11 yards.
“Glover had a couple of huge catches,” Bartlow said. “Roy (Ebong) had a couple of big plays on offense and played good D. The new players stepped up and Dalton played a great game. Ran the ball out of a couple of formations and caught some balls.”
The win extends W-P’s winning streak to 15 games after a 14-0 run to the 2011 Washington Class 2B title.
W-P continues its march through the Oregon Blue Mountain League as Pilot Rock visits Friday.
Waitsburg-Prescott 41, Heppner 6
Heppner 0 6 0 0 — 6
W-P 7 13 6 15 — 41
W-P — Estes 27 pass from Eastman (Estes kick).
Hep — Thompson 1 run (kick failed).
W-P — Brown 5 run (Estes kick).
W-P — Glover 64 pass from Eastman (kick failed).
W-P — Estes 19 run (kick failed).
W-P — Donovan 42 blocked punt return (Estes run).
W-P — Brown 1 run (Estes kick).
First downs 11 11
Rushes/yards 47/158 27/117
Passing yards 24 196
Passes (att-comp-int) 7-3-0 13-11-0
Punts 5-25.2 3-34.0
Fumbles-lost 4-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-45 4-35
RUSHING — Hep: Wright 18-64, Propheter 12-57, Thompson 6-10, Lemmon 3-(-5), Bredfield 2-19, Orr 1-8, Clark 1-(-3), Putman 2-1, Kindle 1-5, Corbin 1-2; W-P: Eastman 6-8, Brown 12-47, Team 1-(-4), Leroue 1-12, Glover 1-6, Estes 2-36, Alfred 4-12.
PASSING — Hep: Thompson 3-6-0 24 yards, Clark 0-1-0 0 yards; W-P: Eastman: 11-13-0 196 yards 2 TDs.
RECEIVING — Hep: Orr 1-11, Corbin 1-17, Wright 1-(-4); W-P: Estes 5-76-1, Leroue 1-13, Ebong 2-11, Brown 1-12, Glover 2-84-1.