For a football player competing in his first game at the quarterback position, Dufur sophomore Bailey Keever was as cool as the other side of the pillow.
Keever rushed nine times for 145 yards and a touchdown and completed 12 of 20 passes for 185 yards and five more scores to lead the Dufur Rangers to a 58-38 shootout victory over highly-touted Lowell Friday in varsity football play at Dufur High School.
Dufur coach Jack Henderson knows how to churn out prototype quarterbacks, and Keever more than fits that mold.
“Bailey played very well,” Henderson said. “He ran the ball well and really managed the game for us as well. He changed some plays at the line of scrimmage and put us in good position to score points and take advantage of what Lowell was trying to do on defense.”
Nick Little had a solid day on the ground with seven totes for 83 yards and a touchdown, and Trever Tibbets chipped in nine carries for 50 yards and a trip to paydirt.
Through the air, several players had their hand in leading the attack, as Dufur posted nearly 300 yards rushing and 185 yards passing for the night.
“One of the things that we wanted to establish was a run to pass balance,” Henderson said of the offensive philosophy. “We were pretty balanced tonight. Bailey threw the ball well and we had multiple kids catching passes. It was a real positive thing there.”
Another positive element to Dufur’s game was its defensive adjustments.
In the opening half, the Red Devils reeled off 32 points, but were behind 44-32 at the break.
Through the tweaking by defensive coordinator C.S. Little, Lowell could only muster one second-half touchdown, in the third quarter.
The Red Devils had four fourth-quarter possessions and were able to move the ball to some degree, but were unable to cash in points.
The Rangers defense picked up three sacks, forced two turnovers, recovered a muffed punt and scooped up an onside kick attempt.
“They ran a little quick trap play and we were lining up incorrectly,” Henderson said of Lowell’s offense. “The adjustment was getting them (Dufur’s defensive players) settled down a little bit and get them playing some fundamental football. As the game went on, we improved a lot defensively and flew to the ball and arrived with aggression and that was good to see.”
Dufur (1-0 overall) plays Adrian next Friday.
The time and location of the game has yet to be determined.