OROVILLE – There are wins by big margins, and then there are wins that are impressive.
Oroville’s football team took care of business against a Lake Roosevelt team it knew it couldn’t allow to stay in the game, putting together a nearly mistake-free performance while beating the Raiders 45-19.
And it wasn’t really that close.
The Hornets started at a sprint — that being Tanner Smith’s 65-yard return of the opening kickoff to Lake Roosevelt’s 9-yard line — and didn’t let up until taking a 45-6 lead into the fourth quarter.
Oroville’s defense held the Raiders to 85 yards of offense through the first three quarters, 55 of that on one play. Offensively the Hornets didn’t commit a turnover and as a team the limited their penalties to just six for 43 yards.
“They’re all must wins right now,” said Oroville coach Tam Hutchinson. “But for me, this was important with us heading to White Swan next week. We needed to play a solid game on both sides of the ball.”
Dustin Nigg put the Hornets on the scoreboard with a 9-yard run on the first play after Smith’s big return, and two plays later Oroville had the ball back after a Raider fumble.
This time it took 10 plays to move 35 yards, with quarterback Luke Kindred punching the ball in from a yard out.
Kindred scored his second touchdown of the game on the opening play of the second quarter with a 4-yard run that put Oroville up 18-0.
The Hornets scored twice more in the second quarter – on a 26-yard pass from Kindred to Smith, and a 1-yard Logan Mills run with 11 seconds left in the half to take a 32-6 lead into the break.
The Raiders scored on a 55-yard pass from Austin Rosenbaum to Justus DeWinkler in the second quarter.
“We had a blown coverage,” Hutchinson said. “But other than that we really did play well.”
The Hornets added touchdown runs from Nigg in the third quarter and Connolley Quick to open the fourth before LR was able to move the ball on the Oroville reserves.
Kindred led the Hornets in rushing with 84 yards on 10 carries while completing 4-of-5 passes for 69 yards. Quick added 52 yards on the ground, Smith had 47 and Nigg added 38 and two scores.
Defensively, Kyle Scott and Smith led the team in tackles, with Mick Fulmer and Angel Camacho forcing LR fumbles.
Kyle Holt led the Raiders (1-6, 1-3) with 87 yards on nine carries, most of it in the fourth quarter.
The Hornets (4-3, 3-1) play at White Swan on Friday, Oct. 19, and need a win either there or at home against winless Bridgeport the following week to clinch a playoff bid.
“White Swan is its own set of challenges,” Hutchinson said. “Not least of which is the five hour bus ride and all that entails. But we’re playing better now (than earlier in the year), so we’ll go down and see what happens.”