If at first do not succeed, try again.
It is a cliché, but has become a reality for Triad sophomore Isacc Orndoff.
In the case of Orndoff, the saying has changed to if you do not first come up with an interception, try again and you will come away with more than you asked for.
Orndoff was a grip away from getting his first interception for the Timberwolves in his team’s last game against Prospect.
He was near on two occasions against Prospect, but made up for it against Chiloquin at home Friday in a 79-0 victory.
Orndoff was invincible at the start against the Panthers, and scored his team’s first three touchdowns.
Orndoff made up for his near interceptions when he picked off Chiloquin quarterback Seneca Hescock and ran the ball back 18 yards for a score.
A larger dent
He came back minutes later with a 40-yard punt return for a touchdown to put a larger dent in the Chiloquin deficit.
Orndoff followed with likely his most noteworthy score of the day when he came back with yet another interception for a touchdown, this time, a 40-yard effort.
“It did not really feel like it was about catching it because I still blocked it. It was just the momentum that helped me push forward,” Orndoff said.
After Orndoff’s heroics, it became the turn of running back Tommy Morene, who had back-to-back rushing touchdowns. He had a 25-yard run into the end zone, followed by a 34-yard score.
The Timberwolves began to trade the ball with each other as quarterback Micah Young had a 19-yard touchdown pass to Wyatt Sparks, and then a 32-yard throw for a score to Ethan Moritz. Moritz followed with a 30-yard run into the end zone.
Lucas Heyford ended the game with back-to-back scores as well, and first started with a five-yard touchdown run, and ended with a 65-yard run.
Triad led 46-0 by the end of the first quarter, and 60-0 halfway through the second quarter.
After falling to Crane early in the year, the Timberwolves felt even more discouraged after they lost a rivalry meeting with Hosanna Christian two weeks ago. The team has remained optimistic after it was without Morene.
“We played a weak opponent last week and we did not play too well. We still won, but did not play well,” Moritz said. “Practices were a little light-hearted and not taken seriously. We got it handed to us that game (Hosanna).
“We woke up in practice and put in new schemes. We started working harder and wanted it more.”
Chiloquin’s Jayden Riddle played quarterback for more than half the game after Hescock injured his right leg after he scrambled on a play in the first half.
Riddle was the team’s third-string quarterback at the beginning of the year. His name was finally called upon after the team’s second option was injured earlier in the week.
For Riddle, a sophomore, it was not his first choice to be quarterback, and had never thrown before this season. For Pop Warner football, he was a wide receiver and tailback.
“I had never played quarterback before. It was time to step up. I practiced and after a few plays. It was fun,” Riddle said. “I never thought about it before. They asked who wanted to play quarterback, so I tried. I got my chance.”
Homecoming, first game
After not being able to play at home last season, the Panthers will have their homecoming and first game at their high school in two seasons this coming Friday against Hosanna.
Though the team has beaten North Lake, it has been a memorable season for the Panthers after they nearly had a scare.
“Our season almost got canceled. We did not have time to practice in the summer. They were worried we would not have enough players. It is motivation. I feel people come out here and doubt because we are small and young but we can do some good work,” Riddle said.
“It does not matter if you are facing No. 1 Hosanna, No. 2 Triad or Bonanza. We will try our best. We try to put points on the board until the end. We try to keep going and overcome problems and situations.”
The Timberwolves gained much improvement this offseason after they attended a summer eight-man football camp at Southern Oregon University. More than half the team attended.
Sports, life balance
“It would be nice to say it is like ‘rah-rah-rah’ like in a Walt Disney story, but they come to practice. Some days, they had a hard day in school and are squirreling around,” Triad coach Mike Homfeldt said.
“Other days, we make more progress. At the end of the day, they are kids and tend to not always be at a high level. It is part of having fun. You have to have fun at practice.
“Just because you score, maybe you are not making the right block or making a tackle. Those are bad habits, and when you play a good team, those bad habits are exposed. We scored on this play but this guy and this guy did not make a block.”
Orndoff began to get more minutes for Homfeldt near the end of his freshman season.
His efforts versus Chiloquin might leave a scar after he caught the facemask of Riddle on his chin during the very last play of the game and left him bloody.
“His hands had been on the ball and could have picked it before, but the ball got off and just did not quite catch it. He made two outstanding plays on the ball. He broke on the ball and picked it clean,” Homfeldt said.
“That means he is going from one level to the next as to playing defense. After dropping the ball and seeing how kids get frustrated and cover their head like that, to see him have success, that is a great thing. To have his first pick-six and end up with two of them, he had a pretty good first quarter.”