The Prairie City/Burnt River Panthers claimed a 39-28 victory Friday over the Dayville/Monument Tigers in a battle for a spot at the state playoffs for 1A six-man football.
Prairie City/Burnt River, as league champions of the south region in Special District 5, will compete in the semifinals, facing the Joseph Eagles at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Sherman High School in Moro.
Win or lose, the Panthers will face Triangle Lake or South Wasco on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Madras High School, the time to be determined.
Dayville/Monument will compete in the six-man classic, battling the Echo Cougars at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at Sherman.
To start off Prairie City/Burnt River’s Oct. 18 homecoming game, several Prairie City American Legion Post 106 members stood on the field with flags flying for the national anthem.
Dayville/Monument scored on the first drive of the game with Tiger quarterback Donovan Schafer connecting with JT Hand for a touchdown.
Bouncing back, Prairie City’s Declan Zweygardt rushed from the 7-yard line to score a touchdown, and Opie McDaniel added 2 points on the conversion kick.
Later in the first, Panther Marcus Judd made some gains rushing, then scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass.
The Panthers led 27-22 at the half, and each team scored a touchdown in the third, Prairie City leading 33-28.
Tiger running back JT Hand was sidelined with an injury in the third, and the Tigers were held scoreless in the fourth.
The Panthers had 303 yards rushing and 103 passing.
Prairie City/Burnt River head coach Scott Dean said they had concerns over Dayville/Monument’s successful deep passing.
“We maintained ball control, finally, in the second half with our running game,” Dean said.
Dayville/Monument head coach Kyle Hand said his team played hard, with Schafer throwing well.
“Prairie City stopped our running game, and all we could do is pass,” coach Hand said.
“Wesley Adams played a heck of a game and blocked well and on defense got a lot of good stops,” he said. “Tell Cox played with a lot of heart.”
Hand said, when JT Hand went down with an injury, Zach Ferguison “came up big” and helped the team.
“Mark Thomas played well defensively and made great catches,” coach Hand said.
Dean said it was a “great lesson to learn, to grow and know they can compete with anyone they want,” he said.
He said his guys played physical.
“We ran the ball really well, and we overran them,” he said. “Got a couple guys nicked up. We don’t mind running over the top of people — that’s our M.O.”
Dean said Winegar, Zweygardt, McDaniel, Austin Catron and Jake McHatton led in the team effort, adding he couldn’t ask for more from his young men than they got out of them that night.
“I’m thrilled for our kids. I really think they’re the ones that have taken it,” Dean said. “The world’s ours right now, and our kids are starting to believe.”