Nyssa 17, Knappa 0KNAPPA - That 10-hour trip to the coast? It doesn't seem that bad, especially when you get a win out of it.
For the third time in the last four years, the Nyssa Bulldogs made the now-familiar trek across Oregon and opened the state playoffs on the North Coast.
And for the second year in a row, the Bulldogs returned home victorious, following a 17-0 win at Knappa Saturday afternoon.
Nyssa - which knocked Warrenton out of the playoffs in a first-round contest last year - dominated the Loggers in every phase of the game.
Unfortunately for Nyssa, the Bulldogs also cornered the market on mistakes and penalties in the first half.
If not for bad snaps on their first three punts and a total of 12 penalties for 115 yards, the game really might have gotten out of hand.
The Bulldogs "had no toes left - they shot 'em all off," said Knappa coach Darrell Ferguson. "They're just a better football team. They have better athletes than we have, and we couldn't get anything going offensively.
"We couldn't run the ball, their linebackers are quick, they outmanned us up front ... we were really fortunate to be in it at halftime."
Knappa's drive chart for the game: Punt, blocked field goal, punt, fumble, punt, punt, punt, punt, interception, interception, fumble.
Knappa running back Brandon Wing (averaging 151.4 yards per game coming into the contest) was held to just 19 yards on 11 carries.
"They held Wing in check the whole game," Ferguson said. "We had to play the perfect game to win, and they had to play sloppy. They played sloppy and they still beat us."
The Bulldogs eventually cleaned up their mistakes, and put the first points on the board with 8:44 left in the second quarter.
After turning a bad snap on a punt into a first down at the Knappa 25, Nyssa quarterback Patrick Blanchard worked his way through the Logger defense for a 25-yard touchdown run.
Less than a minute later, the Bulldogs recovered a Knappa fumble, and Nyssa's Zach McDowall tacked on three points with a 39-yard field goal.
Nyssa intercepted two passes in the second half, and the Bulldogs capitalized on the first as quarterback Frank Skeen plunged in from 1-yard out, then ran for the two-point conversion.
The only negative for Nyssa on the day was a leg injury to Blanchard, who left the game with 5:47 remaining in the third quarter and did not return.
The Bulldogs picked up their second shutout of the season, and will play a second-round game at Heppner this week.