LA GRANDE — The Powder Valley Badgers scored the game’s first 34 points and coasted to a 60-28 victory over the Enterprise Outlaws in the opening game of the Special District 3 playoffs Friday at Eastern Oregon University.
The win improved Powder’s record to 6-3 and solidified its OSAA ranking as the Badgers later grabbed one of four at-large berths to state. It’s the Badgers’ first playoff berth since 2016, when they reached the state quarterfinals.
“It’s a huge step for us,” head coach Josh Cobb said. “We’re young. We’re sophomore-heavy, so getting these guys some playoff experience is going to be huge for the long run.”
Reece Dixon threw for 463 yards and six touchdown passes for the Badgers on Friday, including a 72-yard scoring strike to Kaden Krieger and a 6-yard pass to Dominick Grende to help Powder Valley’s lead reach 28-0 after one quarter.
Another long touchdown pass — this one of 74 yards from Dixon to Ethan Stephens — made it 34-0 before the Outlaws finally got on the board. Gideon Gray scored from 2 yards out, and a safety just before the half brought Enterprise within 34-8.
But four second half scores — the last of which was a 54-yard touchdown catch by Roper Bingham — made it 60-8 with 3:03 to play in the third quarter.
Grende and Bingham finished with 188 and 116 yards receiving, respectively.
The Outlaws added three fourth-quarter scores on a 9-yard run by Jericho Peters, a 25-yard rush by Trace Evans and a 40-yard TD reception by Evans for the final margin.
The Badgers, who have won their last three games, ended up as the No. 12 seed and will travel to face Lowell in the first round of the state playoffs Friday at 6 p.m. Lowell is about 20 miles east of Eugene.