MILTON-FREEWATER — Mike Hussey’s voice pitched high in mock complaint as the ‘3’ on the back of fellow Ontario safety Jason Haueter’s jersey receded into the distance — now 30 yards away, now 40 — at Shockman Field Friday.
“That was mine,” Hussey screeched at his coaches on the Tigers’ sideline. “I was supposed to catch that.”
Haueter was returning an interception 60 yards for a touchdown at the time, and Hussey’s protest, while clearly in jest, was apt for a first half in which Haueter’s versatility soaked up all the spotlight.
Ontario would spread the wealth in the second half of a 50-6 blowout win over McLoughlin High School, but it was Haueter — scoring every Tigers point before halftime — who delivered the knockout punch and tainted homecoming for the shell-shocked Pioneers.
“We were pretty much focused on their tailback, No. 16,” said Mac-Hi senior Chase Copenhaver. “That opened things up for No. 3.”
Ontario’s No. 16 — junior Ben Turner — had his moments, but they came well after Haueter had brought Mac-Hi to heel in the Greater Oregon League opener for both teams.
Haueter’s first touch was ostentatious; he burst behind the Pioneers’ secondary and hauled in Hussey’s 78-yard touchdown pass on Ontario’s first snap of the game.
Haueter’s point-after kick made it 7-0. His 25-yard field goal midway through the second quarter made it 10-0. His 62-yard touchdown run on a fly sweep — and his ensuing PAT boot — gave the visitors a 17-0 cushion with 4:57 to go before halftime.
And his interception return, imploding the momentum of a promising Mac-Hi drive, made it 23-0 with 2:54 left.
“We’ve struggled at the start of games,” Haueter said. “We came out ready to play from kickoff.”
Aside from a methodical opening drive, McLoughlin (2-4, 0-1 in GOL play) had little to build on heading into recess. What hope remained was quickly dashed by its flurry of turnovers and instant scoring reprisals by Ontario (2-4, 1-0) in the third quarter. Mando Morin scored Ontario’s first non-Haueter points on a tackle-shredding 43-yard touchdown run to open the second half, and after Mac-Hi fumbled away the kickoff, Hussey scored from 27 yards out on a read-option keeper.
Two plays later, the Pioneers lost another fumble, and Turner scored on a 16-yard run.
The three touchdowns required a mere 2:54 of Ontario possession.
Playoff math in the four-team GOL is brutal, and the implications of Friday’s loss for Mac-Hi frank. Before the game, Pioneers coach Tim Hutchison talked about the lack of wiggle-room on a league schedule with just three games, calling each contest “do-or-die.”
It’s officially do-time.
“We’ve gotta forget about this and get ready for Baker,” Copenhaver said.
Copenhaver accounted for 152 of Mac-Hi’s 183 yards on offense. He was 9-for-25 passing for 102 yards and scored the Pioneers’ only touchdown on a three-yard run with 1:08 left in the game.
Copenhaver also had one of Mac-Hi’s two interceptions and recovered Ontario’s only fumble. Manuel Calvillo burgled the other interception.
“We’ve just gotta come out Monday and forget about this,” said Mac-Hi junior Jacob Podolski, who caught four Copenhaver passes for 33 yards. “A loss like this, especially on homecoming, is hard. But we have to use it as momentum. We’ve got to keep practicing and keep getting better each week.”
Tigers 50, Pioneers 6
Ontario 7 16 20 7 — 50
Mac-Hi 0 0 0 6 — 6
Ont — Haueter 78 pass from Hussey (Haueter kick)
Ont — Haueter 25 FG
Ont — Haueter 62 run (Haueter kick)
Ont — Haueter 60 INT return (kick failed)
Ont — Morin 43 run (Haueter kick)
Ont — Hussey 27 run (Haueter kick)
Ont — Turner 16 run (kick blocked)
Ont — Turner 1 run (Haueter kick)
Mac-Hi — C. Copenhaver 3 run (kick blocked)
First downs 13 11
Rushes/yards 32/305 25/80
Passing yards 106 102
Passes (comp-att-int) 4-8-2 9-25-3
Punts 1 3
Fumbles-lost 1-1 4-3
Penalties-yards 7-40 5-35
RUSHING — Ont: Turner 20-110, Haueter 3-85, Morin 2-50, Hussey 3-44, Marines 3-6, Garcia 1-10; Mac-Hi: Blake Yensen 13-33, Vince Roff 1-(-2), Chase Copenhaver 11-48.
PASSING — Ont: Hussey 4-of-7, 106 yards, Turner 0-for-1; Mac-Hi: Copenhaver 9-of-25, 102 yards.
RECEIVING — Ont: Haueter 2-93, Vogt 1-9, McDermott 1-4; Mac-Hi: Barnhart 3-32, Yensen 2-37, Podolski 4-33.