A large, bright, nearly full moon shone over Bulldog Memorial Stadium Friday evening.
In some circles a full moon can cause strange things to happen. Such was the case Friday when Baker lost a Greater Oregon League homecoming football game 39-6 to La Grande.
Both teams lost their starting quarterbacks — La Grande’s Andrew Peasley and Baker’s Gabe Gambleton — in the first half to leg injuries. Neither returned.
La Grande scored 39 points without a sustained drive. The Tigers scored on a recovered punt in the end zone, a field goal and a safety. And two of the Tigers’ four touchdowns were one-play action of 40 or more yards.
Baker’s backup quarterback, Spencer Smith, had his first pass intercepted and returned for an apparent touchdown. But that play was called back by penalty.
La Grande also had another score nullified by penalty.
Smith and Gambleton combined to complete just two passes in the game.
Baker coach Dave Johnson said the Bulldogs had some chances to play even with La Grande, but didn’t capitalize.
“We had our opportunities, but we’re still trying to figure out how to be opportunistic,” Johnson said.
“We have to show up and focus on what we need to do. Hats off to La Grande. They made the plays when they needed to.”
Johnson said the season has been a growing experience for his young Bulldogs.
“We just have to keep hoping and keep working,” he said.
La Grande scored first when the Tigers punched the ball lose from Alex Hammans on a punt return and recovered the ball in the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers then built a 13-0 lead after one period on a 1-yard Isaac Chamberlain run.
In the second quarter, following the interception where the touchdown return was called back, the Tigers took over on their own 8.
Three plays later, Parker Robinson, who was filling in for Peasley, raced 47 yards into Baker territory.
On the next play, Robinson found GT Blackman for a 43-yard touchdown and a 20-0 La Grande lead.
Robinson and Blackman hooked up again, this time for a 76-yard TD, with 4:30 left in the first half and a 27-0 Tiger lead.
Chamberlain’s 25-yard field goal gave La Grande a 30-0 halftime lead.
Baker finally got on the board on its first possession of the second half when Hammans scored on a 12-yard run.
La Grande answered when Robinson and Blackman hooked up for the third time, this time from 8 yards and a 37-6 lead.
La Grande’s final points came in the fourth quarter on a safety when a Baker center snap went out of the end zone.
Baker (0-1 in the GOL and 1-5 overall) travels to Ontario Friday.
La Grande -13 17 7 2 — 39
Baker - 0 0 6 0 — 6
L — Robinson recover fumble in end zone (Chamberlainkick)
L — Chamberlain 1 run (Kick failed)
L — Blackman 43 pass from Robinson (Chamberlain kick)
L — Blackman 76 pass from Robinson (Chamberlain kick)
L — Chamberlain 25 FG
B — Hammans 12 run (Run failed)
L — Blackman 8 pass from Robinson (Chamberlain kick)
L — Safety: Center snap out of end zone