PENDLETON — They may have taken a quarter, but the Pendleton Buckaroos were able to come from behind and finish off Scappoose for the second time this season.
In a 5A Special District 1 East-West crossover, the East’s second-ranked Bucks (6-2, 4-1 IMC) took control in the second quarter to take down the West’s visiting No. 2 Scappoose Indians 41-21 on Friday night. The win, which followed the Bucks’ 21-14 victory over the Indians earlier in the season, earned them a home game for next Friday’s first round of the 5A state playoffs.
“The kids knew how important this game was in our playoff positioning,” Pendleton head coach Erik Davis said. “It was a great win for us. We challenged the kids to come out and finish the game tonight, and they did that.”
As in their first meeting this season, the Indians took an early lead in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Jakob Kessi’s keeper put Scappoose up 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.
Pendleton senior quarterback Tanner Sweek connected with senior wide receiver Walker Camp to answer back and tie the score less than two minutes later, but Kessi rushed the ball to the 3-yard line with 2:32 left to play, and senior running back Josh Rice broke into the end zone on the next play.
The Bucks were down 14-7 by the first buzzer.
“We knew they were going to come out and come out fast,” Pendleton junior running back Zaanan Bane said. “But we answered back.”
Bane scored on a carry 32 seconds into the next quarter, and senior kicker Jon Lopez’s extra point knotted the score for the second and final time. Bane and Lopez combined to give the Bucks a 21-14 advantage with 6:30 left in the half.
Pendleton senior quarterback Cooper Roberts’ pass to Walker Camp with 0:48 seconds left fell incomplete, but a penalty on Scappoose pushed the Bucks to the 6-yard line. The Indians’ defense held strong to keep the Bucks out of the end zone for the remainder of the half.
“They’re a good football team,” Davis said of the Indians. “They came out guns a blazin’, but we were able to make some stops.”
Over six minutes and 30 seconds ticked away into the third quarter before the Bucks got going again. At 5:24, sophomore running back Kyle Liscom scored on a 1-yard carry, and with 1:41 remaining, senior wide receiver Nat Hunsaker also rushed for a touchdown. The Indians, meanwhile, were held out of the end zone for the entire quarter.
The Indians managed one more score five seconds into the final quarter, but Roberts and Camp connected for a response with 5:07 left to play to give Pendleton a 20-point advantage and solidify the win.
“We knew if we came out hard in the second half that they would break,” Bane said.
While the Indians outran the Bucks 156 yards to 105, Pendleton dominated the air with 237 passing yards to 68 for Scappoose. Camp finished with a team-high 131 receiving yards, and Sweek threw for 153.
“I always say it’s hard to beat a good team twice in one season,” Davis said. “I’m proud of the kids. This was huge for us.”
The Bucks will host next Friday’s playoff game against an opponent to be determined.