Though they may have lost the battle at Pendleton’s Round-Up Grounds Friday night, coach Mark Hodges’ troops are far from out of the war.
The Bulldogs (5-3, 2-1 CRC) fell to Pendleton 26-12 in their last regular season game as the Bucks came away with the Columbia River Conference championship. Both teams will enter the state playoffs, though, and as long as the Bulldogs have a pulse in 2011, they’re still a dangerous team.
A good portion of that danger comes from senior running back Bobby Adams, the catalyst to Hermiston’s offense and their success this season. The Buckaroos were able to corral Adams on Friday for 80 yards, but the back still rushed for more than five yards per carry. He still had plenty of holes to run through and some of the explosive cutbacks that have defined Hermiston’s season. The trouble was Pendleton kept the ball out of the hands of the Bulldogs’ offense.
Of course things in the backfield might look a little different the next time the Bulldogs hit the field. Starting quarterback Alex Campbell was forced out of the rivalry game when he took a rattling hit late in the fourth quarter. Campbell swayed and stumbled to the sideline on the arm of one of the officials. Even a half hour later, a pair of Bulldogs had to help him walk to the team’s bus for the ride back to Hermiston.
If the diagnosis comes back concussion positive — which Campbell’s post-hit demeanor indicated — things could be a little more difficult. Without a proven quarterback under center, a one-dimensional offense could land Adams in the cross hairs of the next opposing defense.
Whomever the Dawgs have taking snaps next, whether it is Campbell or backup Jerod Munsterman, the quarterback will have two weeks to prepare with a bye week coming up. And next time they hit the field, you can bet they’ll be hungry to prove that the Pendleton loss was just a hiccup during their late season push.