The Muckers made a four-plus hour drive from Virginia City, Nev. to Klamath Falls. They had to cross through California to play against Hosanna Christian.
The Lions welcomed the visitors from the Silver State with a 60-0 throttling Friday evening, racking up over 400 yards from scrimmage against the Muckers.
“I felt like we played great, we prepared amazingly,” said senior quarterback Spencer Crawford, who completed 5 of 6 passes for 83 yards. “Our scout team prepared us amazingly, our coaches got film on them and we were watching film constantly. At the end of the day, we came out prepared and got the job done.”
It took all of 69 seconds for Hosanna Christian, a state semifinalist a season ago, to get on the board. Running back Mikey Sanchas scored on the fourth play of the game, which also proved to be the game-winner.
Less than three minutes later, Ethan Milligan scored the first of his three touchdowns on the ground. Milligan found pay dirt a second time from a yard which was set up nicely on a big reception from Will Maupin just shy of the endzone.
Over half of Milligan came on his third touchdown when we outran the Mucker defense for a 46-yard score.
“Everything was working,” Milligan said, who picked up 72 yards on four attempts. They were some big boys so we knew we had to get off our blocks fast. It’s all thanks to the line, Mikey and I are fast, but without that without the help from our line. I said ‘thank you’ to them after every play.”
Wideout Beau Baley would score on a 42-yard pass from Kenny Tuttle and Nick Maurer picked up a fumble and scored to help Hosanna take a 44-0 lead into the half.
The primary defense that the Hosanna offense saw from Virginia City was a four-man front, the same front that gave the Lions fits in last week’s jamboree. Friday night, the Lions offensive line opened up holes allowing for 277 rushing yards.
“Our line just blocked really well tonight,” said head coach Jim Johnston. We had some trouble with that front at our jamboree and I think the line blocked really well and our quarterback played better.”
While the offense was racking up points and yards, the defense pitched a shutout and held to Muckers to 69 total yards offense.
While studying film, the Hosanna coaching staff was able to recognize the Virginia City didn’t have a large number of players, rather, just a handful of plays that are run with crisp execution. They also picked up that wherever the Mucker’s John Paul Beckwith lined up, the ball was likely following him.
“We had them scouted really well,” Johnston said. “I felt like our defense that did some things really well. Like last year, we didn’t get off blocks very well. We got some good defensive speed.”
A year ago, both Hosanna Christian and Virginia City advanced to the semifinals of their respective states. Friday was a chance to prove the strength of football in the state.
“When you see their records and their losses are only in state playoffs and they are always in the playoffs, we feel like we are that team,” Johnston said.. “We try to go deep in the playoffs each year, I think the kids want to show that Oregon, 8-man football is tougher, that was their chip and their edge.”
With a win in the bag, the Lions will travel to face North Douglas on Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.