ADRIAN — On Nov. 13, the Adrian Antelopes football team hosted the Dufur Rangers for the quarterfinals of the 2021 OSAA 1A Football State Championships. The Antelopes entered the game coming off of a 58-0 victory over Imbler High School, whereas the Rangers defeated their first round opponents 58-40.
In the game, the Antelopes put on their hard hats and went to work early. Adrian was able to gain a substantial lead over Dufur. The Antelopes’ offense put on a scoring showcase for the home crowd, putting 56 points on the scoreboard in the first half. In relation, the Antelopes’ defense held strong throughout the entirety of the first two quarters, holding the Rangers’ offense to zero points.
The Antelopes kicked the ball to the Rangers to begin the second half of the game. Dufur intended on starting the second half with a strong offensive drive, but Adrian had a different idea. On the very first offensive play of the second half, the Antelopes were able to force a fumble that was eventually recovered by Adrian. As a result, the Antelopes took over possession of the ball, and immediately took the ball to the endzone as Adrian junior WR/S Robert Garza (5) rushed the ball nearly 30 yards for a touchdown, increasing the Antelopes’ lead to 62-0.
After forcing the Dufur offense to punt, the Antelopes regained possession of the ball. They were able to drive the ball downfield, led by Antelopes’ sophomore QB/DE Jace Bateman (12), to get into the endzone on a quarterback keeper, as he made the Rangers’ safety miss in order to further increase the Antelopes’ lead to 68-0.
As the fourth quarter started, the Rangers were able to get into the endzone after completing a big pass downfield, in order to halt the shutout. Consequently, the Antelopes kick return team prepared to take the field for the first time since the beginning of the game. Consequently, Antelopes’ senior QB/S Conley Martin (14) returned the kickoff nearly 70 yards for a touchdown, to increase the Antelopes’ lead to 74-6.
Later in the quarter, the Antelopes defense was able to force an additional turnover by forcing and recovering a fumble. As a result, Bateman (12) led the team down the field, and was able to find the endzone another time before the end of the game on a quarterback keeper, 82-6.
The Antelopes’ final touchdown of the game came from their special teams. It started with the Antelopes’ defense holding the Rangers’ offense, and forcing them to punt the ball. In relation, the defensive line was able to apply pressure, allowing Adrian junior C/DT Brock Bertalotto (51) to block the punt. After Bertalotto’s block, the ball was sent bouncing into the endzone, where the Antelopes recovered the ball for a touchdown, 88-6.
Due to the running clock as a result of the deficit, the game ended prior to the two-point conversion with the final score of 88-6.
The Antelopes will advance to the semifinals of the 2021 OSAA 1A Football State Championships to compete against the fourth seeded team in the tournament, Lost River High School, on Nov. 20 at Caldera High School, in Bend, Oregon, starting at 2 p.m. (PT).