By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Cascade’s Jacob Bell and Baker’s Paul Hobson had themselves a day as both of their squads opened the season Saturday afternoon at Cascade High School.
The Bulldog quarterback in Hobson, for instance, was cooking as the junior went off for four passing touchdowns in the first half alone in Baker’s 34-26 victory. Hudson Spikes and Malaki Myer each split the four with both having two touchdowns apiece with the Bulldogs going into the halftime break leading 27-12.
“I’ve been working with my dudes the whole summer and it helps with reps. Going through reps is what it’s all about, we came out just hard. We know we were coming out from a loss from last year, we were hungry. It came with every day at weights, through summer training and we’ve been working,” Hobson said.
The passing game exposed a hole in the Cougar defense, and with a few costly mistakes offensively it had them playing from behind. Things that facing good opposition like the Bulldogs will help them take that next step going into Week 2 against the defending 4A State Champions in Marshfield.
“We have a lot of young guys playing right now…it’s just a matter of putting in the work, we’ll get it all fixed. We’ll get it fixed,” Bell said.
Bell was grinding and turning for 244 yards on the ground on 33 carries with two touchdowns in the process with the host-Cascade squad coming to life in the second half of the non-league game. Leading the rushing game that also saw Karsten Sande, Nolan Abrams, Andrew Snyder and Trenton Wymore pick up significant carries in the defeat.
In the second half though, the Cougars settled in defensively. Holding the Bulldogs to a Kayden Garvin seven-yard rushing strike with Cascade turning to Bell and their offense to slowly claw back into the game. Bell would score after both teams got defensive stops to make it 27-20 leading into Garvin’s strike to push the lead back to double figures.
Neither defense broke for the remainder of the half with Baker looking to get a cushion while the Cougs hoped to make it a one-possession game.
“We went into halftime with a head of steam and we kind of got ahead of ourselves, but we came out and finished the game. We locked down, it was good,” Hobson described the second half.
“We got in there (at halftime) and we were pissed. We were angry, we were not expecting this hard of a fight. So we got in there, Coach gave us the best speech and our defense really stepped up,” adds Bell. “I knew from the beginning (that) our line, they’re studs. The holes were there, every play we ran the holes were there. If we fix our little mistakes on offense, get our snaps down and hold onto the ball, we’ll do great things this year.”
It was one of those finishes you hoped for and that will hopefully carry over to the rest of the season as Cascade pulled to within eight of Baker following a Abrams- Jackson Walsh touchdown connection with 25 seconds left. The Bulldogs recovered the onside kick and took a knee to end the game. Baker returns home to Baker City Friday to host Homedale of Idaho at 7pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald