JOHN DAY - In three previous games at Three Flags field this season, opponents of the Grant Union High School football team have failed to score.
On Friday, Oct. 29, that streak continued as the Prospectors dominated the contest from start to finish, hammering Nyssa 45-0 to up their season record to 7-1 and 4-0 in league games.
The victory set up next week's showdown against Vale, with the Wapiti League championship on the line.
The sixth-ranked Prospectors took no prisoners, creating five turnovers, while holding the Bulldogs to 111 yards in total offense and seven first downs, two of which came by way of penalties.
"We've been living and dying with our defense all year," Grant Union coach Monty Nash said. "To shut out a team like that was a tremendous effort."
Grant Union set the tone from the opening kickoff, putting together an 11-play drive, capped by a 19-yard scoring pass from Trey Mascall to Joel Silva at the 6:44 mark of the first quarter to give the Prospectors a 7-0 lead.
Mascall's scoring pass to Silva was the first of three the senior quarterback threw in the game.
After the ensuing kickoff, Nyssa got off five plays before Dillon Pendleton recovered a fumble by Bulldogs' running back Paul Jones and the Prospectors were back in business.
Eight plays later, Justin Bartlett made the score 14-0 on a 30-yard burst off right tackle.
In the second quarter, Grant Union gave the ball up twice in its own territory on fumbles, but the defense was up to the task and kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone.
"We really hadn't had to worry about fumbles all year. That's the first bunch we've had in about six weeks," Nash said.
A 27-yard field goal by Toby Thomas as time ran out was the only score of the second period and gave Grant Union a 17-0 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, scoring passes from Mascall to Laramie Horn and Chance Johns covering 10 and 35-yards, and a 1-yard Bartlett run made the score 38-0 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Early in the fourth quarter, Pendleton picked off a pass from Nyssa's Frank Skeen and returned the ball for a touchdown, but the play was called back on a holding penalty. Grant Union retained possession at the Bulldogs' 29-yard line.
"I wasn't ready for that, he just threw it right to me," Pendleton said. "I ran it all the way back and it felt good. I told coach I wanted to play receiver next game."
The interception set up the Prospectors' final score, when Zack DeRosier took the ball in on a 6-yard run making the score 45-0 with 5:06 remaining in the game. From that point, the clock ran unabated on the 45-point mercy rule.
Grant Union had 336 yards in total offense, including 222 on the ground, led by Thomas with 70 yards on 14 carries. Johns netted 52 yards on nine attempts and Bartlett gained 51 yards on six carries.
Mascall was 7-for-13 in passing for 114 yards.
Grant Union closes the Wapiti League season on Friday, traveling to Vale to face the Vikings in the league championship game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Mountain Time.