Down 24-0, Burns’ comeback falls short
By Randy Parks
The Nyssa Bulldogs jumped out to a 24-0 lead and then held off the hard-charging Hilanders for a 42-32 win on Friday, Nov. 2.
The victory gave Nyssa the Eastern Oregon League (EOL) title with a perfect 4-0 league record, while Burns finished 2-2 in the EOL and out of the 3A playoffs.
Nyssa scored on the game’s opening possession, as Austin Wagstaff finished off a 65-yard drive with an 8-yard scoring run. The 2-point conversion was good, and Nyssa led 8-0.
The Bulldogs made it 16-0 with less than a minute to play in the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Wagstaff to Luke Delbridge and a 2-point conversion run by Michael Smith.
Nyssa’s third score of the night came on a 20-yard run by Austin Castro, and Smith’s 2-point conversion gave the Bulldogs a 24-0 lead with 8:42 left in the half.
Burns’ offense then came to life, with Seth Nonnenmacher getting into the end zone on a 9-yard run to finish off a 63-yard drive.
Smith returned the ensuing kickoff back to Burns’ 18-yard line, but the Hilander defense forced the Bulldogs out on downs, and Burns took over at their own 14.
The Hilanders marched downfield, and with just seven seconds left in the half, Nonnenmacher lofted a 20-yard scoring pass to Tanner Crafts, making it a 24-12 game at the break.
Burns got the ball to start the second half, and on a fourth-and-two at their own 39, Nonnenmacher hooked up with Austin Feist for a 61-yard score, bringing Burns to within 24-18.
On Nyssa’s next possession, Wagstaff got loose for a 39-yard TD run, putting the Bulldogs back up by 12.
Burns cut the lead back to six, as Nonnenmacher capped off a 65-yard drive with a 2-yard scoring run.
Nyssa answered back with an 81-yard drive, Wagstaff covering the final eight yards for his third rushing touchdown of the night.
Starting at their own 36, the Hilanders went the distance in nine plays. Nonnenmacher’s 3-yard TD run and the 2-point conversion pass to Feist brought Burns to within 36-32.
Burns then forced Nyssa to punt and took over at their own 41. The Hilanders were unable to pick up a first down however, and the Bulldogs took over on downs at the Burns 32.
Wagstaff punched it in from a yard out, giving Nyssa 42-32 lead with 4:50 left to play.
Burns final drive was stopped by an interception, and Nyssa ran out the clock for the win.
Nonnenmacher completed 17-of-24 passes for 188 yards and two scores and picked up 69 yards on 16 rushes with three touchdowns.
Feist led Burns in rushing with 85 yards on 15 carries.
With the victory, Nyssa earned the right to host a first-round playoff game and will play Pleasant Hill on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. MT.
Vale claimed the second playoff spot with a 3-1 league record and will play at Cascade Christian Friday, Nov. 9.
Burns finished the season with an overall record of 5-5.
1 2 3 4 Final
Nys 16 8 12 6 42
Bur 0 12 12 8 32
Nyssa — Austin Wagstaff 8 run (Jamie Escobedo pass from Wagstaff) 2:04
Nyssa — Luke Delbridge 11 pass from Wagstaff (Michael smith run) 11:24
Nyssa — Austin Castro 20 run (Smith run) 3:18
Burns — Seth Nonnenmacher 9 run (run failed) 9:02
Burns — Tanner Crafts 20 pass from Nonnenmacher (pass failed) 11:53
Burns — Austin Feist 61 pass from Nonnenmacher (run failed) 2:57
Nyssa — Wagstaff 39 run (run failed) 5:07
Burns — Nonnenmacher 2 run (pass failed) 8:25
Nyssa — Wagstaff 8 run (run failed) 11:13
Burns — Nonnenmacher 3 run (Feist pass from Nonnenmacher) 1:58
Nyssa — Wagstaff 1 run (pass failed) 7:10
RUSHING—Nyssa, Smith 17-135, Wagstaff 16-106, Escobedo 1-(-5), Castro 6-36. Burns, Feist 15-85, Gahley 7-28, Nonnenmacher 16-69, White 4-9.
PASSING—Nyssa, Wagstaff 4-11-0 84, Escobedo 0-1-0 0. Burns, Nonnenmacher 17-24-1 188, Feist 2-4-0 34.
RECEIVING—Nyssa, Delbridge 1-6, Escobedo 1-32, Castro 1-8, Smith 1-33. Burns, Feist 4-100, Crafts 4-39, Nonnenmacher 2-34, Bailey 6-38, White 1-7, Sutcliffe 1-2, Gahley 1-2.