Prairie City 52, Spray/Wheeler 30
SPRAY - Prairie City used a punishing ground game to roll up 505 yards in total offense en route to a 52-30 victory over Spray/Wheeler in the first round of the District 4-1A football playoffs on Friday, Oct. 25.
With the win Prairie City (6-2), advances to the second round of the playoffs to face the winner of the Powder Valley/Harper-Huntington matchup.
The Panthers, the No. 3 seed from the Old Oregon League, and the Falcons, the No. 2 team from the TriCo League, traded touchdowns in the opening quarter, but after that the Prairie City defense went to work and held Spray/Wheeler scoreless until the 9:04 mark of the fourth quarter.
"They have a tough, big bunch of kids who are fast, and I was impressed with them," Prairie City coach Chris Wood said. "We were able to stop them on the ground in the second half and that was the difference in the game."
The Falcons scored on their first possession of the game on a 5-yard Tyson Davis run and a 2-point conversion, but the Panthers came right back with Joshua Munyon scoring from 6 yards out and running for the conversion to tie the game at 8-8.
James Hand hauled in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Zach Bruce for Spray/Wheeler's second score of the first quarter but the conversion attempt failed, and the door was open for Prairie City.
Munyon's second touchdown of the game with 1:14 left in the first quarter and the conversion run gave Prairie City a 16-14 lead and the Panthers never looked back.
Prairie City put two more touchdowns on the board in the second quarter on a 10-yard run by Tyler Waggoner and a 21-yard touchdown dash by Brandon Lovell to take a 32-14 halftime lead.
Waggoner scored again in the third quarter on a 1-yard run, and put his third touchdown of the game on the board to open the fourth quarter, taking the ball in from 10 yards out, as Prairie City pulled away.
William Rockhill scored the Panthers' final touchdown with 6:08 remaining in the contest on a 12-yard run.
Waggoner gained 137 yards on 13 carries to pace the Panthers' rushing attack. Munyon added 114 yards on 17 carries and Josh Moulton gained 27 yards on four attempts. Rockhill netted 26 yards on six carries.
Bruce passed for 255 yards for Spray/Wheeler and Hand caught eight balls good for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"We have to figure out how to play pass defense," Wood commented. "They were able to gain too many yards through the air on us.
"We had some kids who were injured. Thomas Hendriksen hurt his knee in practice and didn't play, Tyler has a broken finger and Josh was playing on an injured knee, but the kids hung in there as a group and played a good game."
Prairie City's next test will be on Friday, Nov. 1, at North Powder against undefeated Powder Valley. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.