BURNS – Friday night’s game between Burns and Vale was the dream for fans and sport writers. Two long term rivals, both unbeaten in league play, taking the field in the final game of the regular season and with the league title on the line. The winner has a home game for the upcoming state playoff while the other team will be on a long bus ride to open the playoffs.
When the final buzzer sounded at Corbett Memorial Field, Burns will repeat as the 3A Special District 3 champions after a 27-8 victory over the Vikings.
Although the day was sunny, the game started with the temperature dropping to around 30. Although no wind, both teams started the game cold with no points going on the board for the first quarter.
The Hilanders were on the way to a shutout, leading 27-0 before Vale placed points on the board with 3 minutes, 33 seconds left in the game.
For the game, Burns had 400 yards of total offense with a balance of 206 yards in the air and 194 yards coming on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Jaden Tiller was 7-for-16 for 98 yards. On planned plays, senior Mick Winn was 2-for-2 for 108 yards. The two spread the passing around to six different receivers.
The two also led in the ground game with Tiller carrying 11 times for 85 yards followed by Winn packing the ball 10 times for 43 yards.
The Viks stayed with the ground game, rushing for 122 yards out of a total 219 yards of offense in the game. Quarterback Kolton Kesey was 12-for-28 and also led the run game with 67 yards after the early departure of Matt McBride in the first quarter due to injury. The Hilander defense held Jared Fulwyler to a mere 20 yards on five carries. Coming out of the backfield, Fulwyler did pick up 56 yards on five catches.
Burns ends the regular season with a perfect 5-0 league record and a perfect 9-0 overall record. The Hilanders are currently ranked third in the state. The Hilanders open their run for a state title with a home game versus Scio on Friday, November 8 starting at 7 p.m. Scio enters the playoff picture after finishing third in the 3A Special District 1-East division and a 5-4 overall record. The Loggers are on a two-game win streak after dropping the two previous games to Yamhill-Carlton and Madras. Scio is ranked 14th in the most current rankings.
As league runner-up, Vale will be on the road to Yamhill-Carlton to face the seventh ranked Tigers. The game is scheduled for Saturday, November 9 at 1 p.m. Yamhill-Carlton, like Burns, finished perfect at 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the 3A Special District 1-East league. A scoring machine, the Tigers put up 338 points this year while only allowing 117 points. In contrast, Vale put up 262 points while allowing the opponents 278 points.