Wallowa’s varsity football team suffered only its second loss of the season Oct. 26 in a soggy matchup at Eastern Oregon University. A soaking rain pelted players and spectators for most of the game, leaving the artificial turf soggy.
Neither team scored in the first quarter and both had a touchdown in the second quarter. Gus Ramsden connected on a 28-yard pass to brother Zeb Ramsden to push the score to 6-6 at the half.
Dufur scored two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter. Wallowa came back in the fourth with a touchdown, not enough to beat a determined Dufur team.
With the Rangers effectively shutting down Wallowa ace runningback Austin Brockamp (35 yards rushing for the game), Ramsden was forced to take to the air. He completed five of 12 passes for 145 yards, including one interception, his best performance of the season.
One of the passes (28 yards) resulted in a touchdown by Zeb Ramsden. Zeb had a total of 71 yards receiving and Tristin Bales weighed in with 64 yards.
Dufur completed four of nine passes for 95 yards. Wallowa tallied 168 yards rushing in the game to the Rangers’ 150.
Defensively Zeb led the stats with 10 tackles and seven assists, Brockamp added six tackles and five assists and Jesse Duncan had six tackles and six assists.
The dual challenges of artificial turf and driving rain, along with Dufur’s aggressive defense, interrupted the usual Wallowa pattern this season –– five or six touchdowns on breakaway runs in the first half followed by a second half with an open clock.
Despite the loss, the Cougars remain in the hunt for the 1A championship in a home game 6 p.m. Friday against the 15th-ranked Falls City/Kings Valley Charter Eagles.
Wallowa defeated the eagles in September, 54-18.
The Cougars fell to No. 2 in the state following the loss to Dufur, which now stands at the top of the heap. Both Dufur and No. 3 St. Paul are undefeated.
Wallowa will face the winner of the Imbler match with Lowell Nov. 3. That game is scheduled to be played Nov. 9. The Cougars could conceivably face St. Paul in the quarterfinals. Finals are scheduled Nov. 24.
Dufur defeated No. 15 Elgin in Round 1. Elgin will face St. Paul Nov. 2. Elgin stayed alive in post-season play defeating Enterprise 42-14 Oct. 26.