PENDLETON - The Pendleton Buckaroos look to shake off a season-opening loss to Forest Grove last week with a win at 7 p.m. Friday over Mountain View.
Injuries slowed the Bucks last week, but third-year head coach Brice Gundlach hopes his team can get off to a quick Intermountain Conference start with a victory Friday.
"We're excited to have Mt. View on our home field," said Gundlach. "Mt. View is a solid team."
Mt. View comes off a 33-12 loss to Thurston last week and a 2-7, 2-5 IMC campaign last year, finishing sixth in the IMC.
Pendleton took care of Mountain View 28-19 last season in a game where the Bucks' Chase Berry rushed for 239 yards to offset 21 penalties.
"We have to dominate the line of scrimmage," Gundlach said. "Our offensive line has to play well."
Berry was lost graduation and the Bucks have turned to Shane Cooley at running back, but Cooley sat out with a knee injury in the Forest Grove contest and will likely sit again Friday. Tim Austin led the Bucks with 44 yards rushing last week, but as a team Pendleton finished with 79 total yards rushing.
"We had several offensive mistakes that cost us," said Gundlach of the Forest Grove game. "A lot of the mistakes were first-game mistakes and correctable."
Mt. View returns senior Gus Haugen, who earned IMC honors as a wide receiver, but will handle the quarterback duties this season. Haugen will likely look for wide receiver targets in seniors Pat Foster, Simon Currie, Ryan Millsap and Nick Whitton.
Mike Simpson, Ashton Easton and Kallon Field will try and fill the void in the back field left behind by graduated Sean Wilcox, who was named to the IMC second-team.
"We have to come out big defensively and get things rolling," Gundlach said. "We need to play aggressive like we did last week and establish ourselves."
Haugen will be the defensive anchor for the Cougars along with defensive lineman Tom Takemoto (5-foot-10, 210 pounds).
Pendleton quarterback Trevor Patterson passed for 133 yards with an interception last week and Matt Gundlach reeled in 105 of those yards.
"I think we made some mistakes offensively, but we feel that we can produce better numbers this week," Gundlach said.