PENDLETON — Bucks football coach Erik Davis said that last year’s games against the Scappoose Indians were a test of Pendleton’s character. On Friday, they’ll face that test once again.
The Buckaroos are set to square off against the Indians this Friday at the Round-Up Arena. Scappoose is coming in with a three-game streak, and Pendleton is undefeated thus far in 5A Special District 1 play.
“They’re a top 10 team,” Davis said. “They’re very big up front. They’re offensive and defensive line averages 275 pounds. They know how to run the ball very well behind that line.”
Not only do the Indians have a sizable starting line, but quarterback Jakob Kessi, a third-year returning starter, standing 6 feet and weighing in at 208 pounds, will bring experience to the field against the Bucks.
“They’re much bigger up front (this year),” Davis said. “At any level. They’re just very physical. We’re preparing for a ground game, defensively.”
Pendleton’s first showing last year against Scappoose ended in the Bucks’ favor, 47-27. The Bucks rallied for the win.
“We had to come back,” Davis said of the game. “That showed a lot of character for us in a situation where our backs are against the wall.”
The Bucks notched another win against Scappoose later in the year, at the quarterfinals. Pendleton escaped with a 21-14 win, but not before suffering some bumps and bruises first.
“(Starting quarterback) Trent (Sorey) went down early, and Cooper (Roberts) came in and took advantage of the game very well. To beat a very good team twice is difficult. We created a culture of winning the big games when it counts. Hopefully we can carry that culture into this week,” Davis said
Roberts and senior Tanner Sweek will share quarterback duties on Friday night. While a two-QB lineup may be unconventional for some teams, Scappoose will hit the gridiron with a similar game plan.
At 6-feet, 2-inches, and 211, Luke McNabb, son of Scappoose head coach Sean McNabb, will also get time on the field behind the offensive line.
“They’ve shown that they have a kind of two-quarterback system,” Davis said. “We’re very similar teams in that way. Coach McNabb’s son can throw the ball very well.”
With the similarities in mind, Davis said the Bucks have been sticking to their regular playbook this week, and polishing what works best for them. Last Friday saw the team take down a 62-21 blowout over Putnam at its season’s first home game.
“As a staff, we’re not trying to expand our playbook too much that we start to slow ‘em down,” Davis said. “We’re trying to get better at what we do. We’re focusing on an uptempo offense. The kids are putting time in the film room. They’re understanding that they can play at a high and fast level. The only things you can control are your preparation, effort, and attitude. That’s been our motto this year — control what you can control. Our effort has to be top notch.”
The Bucks’ first Round-Up Arena appearance of the season will kick off at 7 p.m.