Hermiston coach David Faaeteete was sporting a football helmet at the start of Tuesday’s practice.
It was suggested he don some pads and lineup on defense.
“They don’t want no part of this,” the former University of Oregon defensive lineman said.
The Bulldogs (0-1) could use a boost in a few areas come Friday night when they host the Richland Bombers in a Mid-Columbia Conference game at Kennison Field.
Hermiston lost sophomore starting quarterback Chase Elliot for the rest of the season with a broken leg, suffered in the first quarter last Friday against Pasco. Running back Guiomar Garay also went down with an ankle injury. He is listed day to day.
“We didn’t finish the game,” Faaeteete said of the 27-20 loss. “We didn’t respond when the guys went down. They panicked and didn’t recover. Our ability to compete has to improve.”
Junior Robert Sloan replaced Elliot at quarterback, throwing for 95 yards, but was picked off three times, including late in the game that sealed the win for Pasco.
Hermiston is looking at Sloan, junior Sam Schwirse and senior Nathan Wheeler this week, but no decisions have been made.
“We will have to see how the next couple of days go,” Faaeteete said.
The Bulldogs are facing a Richland squad that suffered a 38-7 home loss to Chiawana on opening night.
“For Hermiston it was one game. For us it was one game,” Bombers coach Mike Neidhold said. “You have a long season. I don’t put too much stock in their loss.”
Richand managed just 123 yards of offense against the Riverhawks, and never got its run game going (negative 10 yards). Defensively, the Bombers allowed 312 yards.
“I’m an old offensive line coach,” Neidhold said. “I’m more than disappointed in how our offensive line performed. We have to be better. Two, our wide receivers have to step up and catch the football. Too many passes dropped. Three, our defense played way too long. We need to get first downs and sustain drives. We didn’t help out our defense at all.”
Faaeteete said they have seen some film of Richland, but it’s hard to get a feel for the Bombers.
“It’s hard to judge their team,” he said. “They were down the whole time. I do know they have size, athletic ability and depth.”
It will be Richland’s first trip to Kennison Field, and Neidhold is excited for his players and their fans to experience the quality of the venue.
“They have a great facility,” Neidhold said. “We are lucky to get to play them on the road. It will be nice for our levy people to see what you get for your money. Richland prides itself in having the best of everything, but we don’t when it comes to this.”