Oregon Sports Photos Photography by John Lariviere

17Jan/10Off

The Buckaroos Finish a Perfect Season

FOURTEEN and ZERO!  OSAA 1A STATE CHAMPIONS! Big and bold, the St. Paul Buckaroos stamped their mark in Oregon high school football history with a perfect season of fourteen wins and zero losses.  For the season, the Bucks scored a whopping 796 total points against opponents while yielding 334.  On Saturday December 5th, the Buckaroos' fourteenth win of the season earned them the OSAA 1A Football Championship state title with a 38-34 win over Imbler.  Ryan Pierson was an offensive force for St. Paul as he tallied five touchdowns and rushed for 384 of his team's 398 total yards on the ground.  Matt Gooding also scored for St. Paul and quarterback Daley Smith completed four out of seven passes for 60 yards in the air.

After trailing 26-14 at halftime, Imbler was able to pull within four points when quarterback Bryan Mills ran for a seven yard TD with 1:08 left in the game, but the Panthers could not pull off the onside kick letting St. Paul run out the final seconds of the game.  Other scorers for Imbler were Jace Eisiminger, Zack Phillips and Wesley Burgess who got into the endzone twice.  Burgess led his team with 129 yards on the ground and 74 receiving.  Quarterback Bryan Mills threw 16 passes, completing five for 144 yards and one touchdown.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul splits the defense of Imbler's Andrew Fullerton (left) and Dalton McDaniel as he picks up 22 of his 384 yards rushing. Pierson scored five of St. Paul's six touchdowns as they claimed the OSAA 1A Football Championship by defeating Imber 38-34.

Wesley Burgess of Imbler breaks free into open field as he runs for a 53 yard touchdown for the Panthers' first touchdown with 9:55 to go in the second quarter.

Quarterback Daley Smith of St. Paul dives for extra yardage after being tackled by Imbler's Bryan Mills in the third quarter. Smith fumbled the ball as he fell to the turf resulting in a turn-over after Imber's Dalton McDaniels pounced on the loose ball.

Wesley Burges of Imbler rushes for a seven yard gain in the third quarter. Burgess led his team with 129 yards rushing, 74 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Daley Smith of St. Paul makes a dramatic change of direction to avoid a tackle by Imbler's Bryan Mills as he picks up five yard late in the third quarter.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul turns towards the goal line as Imber's Andrew Fullerton (foreground) lines up in hopes to stop Pierson short of the endzone. Pierson dove across the goal line to put the Buckaroos up 26-14 with 50 seconds left in the first half.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul follows his lead blocker John Merten (17) who is lined up on Imber's Andrew Fullerton during a late fourth quarter run.

St. Paul head coach Tony Smith slips out from the cascading ice water as the Buckaroos begin celebrating their OSAA 1A State Football Championship after defeating Imbler 38-34.

St. Paul head coach Tony Smith slips out from the cascading ice water as the Buckaroos begin celebrating their OSAA 1A State Football Championship after defeating Imbler 38-34.

The St. Paul Buckaroos hoist the OSAA 1A Football Championship trophy high after defeating Imbler 38-34 for the state title.

The St. Paul Buckaroos hoist the OSAA 1A Football Championship trophy high after defeating Imbler 38-34 for the state title.

2Jan/10Off

Defensive Stand Sends St. Paul to Championship Game

It's a common claim in sports...defense wins games!  When St. Paul battled a talented team from Mohawk (located in northeastern Oregon) in the OSAA 1A Football Championship semi-final game at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, the honor to compete for the State Championship went to St. Paul as a defensive stand successfully thwarted a two point conversion attempt by Mohawk late in the fourth quarter, giving the Buckaroos a 32-30 victory.  The two teams literally traded touchdowns throughout the game as St. Paul struck first in the opening quarter on a 46 yard pass reception by Ryan Pierson with 1:43 left on the clock.  Mohawk wasted no time evening up the score when Matt York tapped a 55 yard drive in less than a minute to equalize at 8-8 as each team were successful with the two-point conversions.  As time ran out in the first quarter Pierson scored his second of three touchdowns on the day with a 64 yard run.

In the second quarter, on cue, Mohawk tied the score again when Matt York closed out a 75 yard drive in 4 plays with a 6 yard touchdown.  With that, St. Paul returned the favor to close out the first half with a 24-16 lead as Pierson scored his third TD with a 38 yard run with 6:10 remaining in the second quarter.  Dillon Tuyls scored the only touchdown in the third quarter to once again level the game at 24-24 with a 9 yard run, plus a conversion by Matt York.  St. Paul went into the lead for the last time at 11:10 in the fourth quarter when quarterback Daley Smith ran for a three yard touchdown and completed a pass to David Furguson for the conversion making the score 32-24.

To finish out the trading of touchdowns, Mohawk marched 72 yards in 13 plays to score on a Cord Wilkins two yard run to set up a chance to tie the game with the two-point conversion.  Mohawk quarterback Cord Wilkins rolled right and sent a high pass to Anthony Wallace in the corner of the end-zone, but St. Paul's Ryan Pierson's coverage was just enough to disrupt the play and preventing the catch to tie the game.  The Buckaroos were able to hold off one last Mohawk drive in the final minute as their defense played a major role in their 32-30 win to go on for the OSAA 1A Football Championship game the following week at Hillsboro Stadium.

Dillon Tuyls (left) of Mohawk squeezes out a five yard gain for a first down early in the first quarter before being caught by St. Paul's Josh Turner (right).

Quarterback Cord Wilkins of Mohawk works his way around the outside on a keeper in the first quarter. Cord completed 6 of 13 passes for 168 yards and rushed for 78 yards.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul celebrates after scoring the second of his three touchdowns of the game. Pierson rushed for 196 yards and hauled in two receptions for another 52 yards.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul (right) throws a move on Mohawk's Anthony Wallace as he attempts to avoid the tackle during a second quarter possession.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul (right) throws a move on Mohawk's Anthony Wallace as he attempts to avoid the tackle during a second quarter possession.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul looks for the down markers to check his progress as Mohawk's Anthony Wallace ends up on top of him in reverse position after making the stop.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul leaves all players in the dust as he breaks away for a 38 yard touchdown with 6:10 left in the second quarter.

Matt York of Mohawk (right) eyes St. Paul's TJ Weisz as he attempts to get around the outside after a screen pass reception late in the second quarter.

St. Paul quarterback Daley Smith dives through the Mohawk line for a first down on a third-and-one play in the third quarter.

St. Paul quarterback Daley Smith dives through the Mohawk line for a first down on a third-and-one play in the third quarter.

A helmet discarded during St. Paul's celebration after defeating Mohawk 32-30 lay in the middle of the field while the players exchange handshakes after the OSAA 1A Football Championship semi-final game.

2Nov/09Off

St. Paul Bucks Perrydale at the Rodeo Grounds

I am not the biggest football fan.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy football...I'm just not fanatical about it.  However, I love Oregon 1A high school football.  Eight man football!  It's a wide open game played in the purest element of high school sports.  I try to get out to St. Paul, Oregon at least once a year to shoot the St. Paul Buckaroos on their home field...the St. Paul Rodeo Arena.

I have blogged previously about St. Paul football and their very unique home field...a 10,000 seat stadium that host the world famous St. Paul Rodeo on the Fourth of July, but is converted to a football field courtesy of the local Willamette Valley Grass Seed Growers who donate seed and labor to plant a grass football field in the arena in time for football each Fall.  Understand...there are only 85 students in the high school at St. Paul and 354 folks in the entire town.  Here's a link to one of my previous blog stories about St. Paul Football.

The Buckaroos hosted the Perrydale Pirates on October 16th to determine which of the two teams was to going to take sole possession of first place in the Casco League standings as both teams entered the contest with a 6-0 record.  St. Paul got out to a two touchdown lead heading into half-time and was able to hold off the Pirates as they battled back into the game in the second half.  The No. 2 ranked Buckaroos kept a lead over the No. 3 ranked Pirates throughout the final two quarters to claim a 34-24 homecoming victory.

The St. Paul Buckaroos gather in the cottage adjacent to the rodeo arena for their pre-game talk as they prepare to take on league rival Perrydale Pirates.

The St. Paul Buckaroos gather in the cottage adjacent to the rodeo arena for their pre-game talk as they prepare to take on league rival Perrydale Pirates.

The St. Paul Buckaroos host the Perrydale Pirates at the St. Paul Rodeo Grounds.  The 10,000 seat arena provides one of the most unique settings for high school football in the nation as the local grass sead growers donate grass seed and labor to install a football field in the arena following the St. Paul Rodeo in July in time for Fall football.

The St. Paul Buckaroos host the Perrydale Pirates at the St. Paul Rodeo Grounds. The 10,000 seat arena provides one of the most unique settings for high school football in the nation as the local grass sead growers donate grass seed and labor to install a football field in the arena following the St. Paul Rodeo in July in time for Fall football.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul runs for an eight yard gain during the opening drive against Perrydale.  Pierson rushed for over 300 yards and scored four touchdowns during the Buckaroos’ 34-24 home victory.

Ryan Pierson of St. Paul runs for an eight yard gain during the opening drive against Perrydale. Pierson rushed for over 300 yards and scored four touchdowns during the Buckaroos’ 34-24 home victory.

Pierson of St. Paul flies for a few extra yards after being up-ended on a first quarter run.

Pierson of St. Paul flies for a few extra yards after being up-ended on a first quarter run.

Blake Barnes of Perrydale earns four yards the hard way as he is hit hard by St. Paul’s Ryan Pierson as he leaps high to pull down a pass reception.

Blake Barnes of Perrydale earns four yards the hard way as he is hit hard by St. Paul’s Ryan Pierson as he leaps high to pull down a pass reception.

David Ferguson of St. Paul questions a penalty call with the referee after the Buckaroos scored the two point conversion with 1:20 left in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.  The flag was ultimately withdrawn the the conversion was good.

David Ferguson of St. Paul questions a penalty call with the referee after the Buckaroos scored the two point conversion with 1:20 left in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. The flag was ultimately withdrawn the the conversion was good.

TJ Weisz of St. Paul pulls in a pass reception for a 20 yard first down with 4:00 remaining in the fourth quarter.

TJ Weisz of St. Paul pulls in a pass reception for a 20 yard first down with 4:00 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Being all smiles after they celebrate their 34-24 victory over Perrydale, Matt Brown (Left) and David Ferguson of St. Paul shout out to fellow students as the bus leaves the St. Paul Rodeo Arena to head back to the high school.

Being all smiles after they celebrate their 34-24 victory over Perrydale, Matt Brown (Left) and David Ferguson of St. Paul shout out to fellow students as the bus leaves the St. Paul Rodeo Arena to head back to the high school.