STANFIELD — The Irrigon Knights opened the 2018 football season by dominating the Stanfield Tigers in a 34-8 non-conference win.
Stanfield struggled throughout the night offensively, scoring their first and only touchdown of the night late in the fourth quarter.
Irrigon was slow to start as well, getting on the board when Payton Smith ran the ball in for a touchdown with 1:58 left in the first quarter. Things started picking up in the second quarter when Ruben Moreno scored Irrigon’s second touchdown, and Roberto Ayala caught a touchdown pass followed by a rushing touchdown by Jaben Boyer to give the Knights a 28-0 halftime lead.
Much of the third quarter was spent around the 50-yard line, with both teams keeping each other at bay until Irrigon’s Keith Flemming rushed the ball to the 32-yard line. On the next play, Smith carried the ball to the 18 yard line before senior running back Luis Covarrubia scored Irrigon’s final touchdown of the night, making the score 34-0.
With just 1:06 left in the fourth quarter, Stanfield’s Anthony Keeney finally put his team on the scoreboard with a rushing touchdown.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Stanfield head coach Davie Salas. “We need more practicing. Our first-year players are still learning the speed of a varsity game. We did well in the second half – that’ll give us confidence for next week.”
Irrigon left the game impressed with their team’s victory – especially considering that they were working with an all-new coaching staff.
“The kids did really well,” said Irrigon coach Ken Thompson. “Irrigon hasn’t had a ton of success in football. We want to establish a culture of hard-working football players here. We’re in a tough league, and we’re taking things week-to-week, but we’d like to make the playoffs this year.”
Covarrubia says that his team, filled with new players and new coaches, is expecting even more success during the coming season.
“Our new people are trying to fill the spots that our old team left,” he said. “We’re expecting big things this year.”
Irrigon hosts Weston-McEwen next Friday while Stanfield travels to Central Linn.