After coming up short on its comeback bid against Kennewick, Hermiston will try to take out its frustration on Benson Polytechnic a northeast Portland high school at 7 p.m. this Friday at Kennsion Field.
The Techmen, who moved into Class 5A at the beginning of the year, have shown some potential on the offensive side of the ball in two games this season, but have given up over 100 points combined on defense.
After a season-opening loss to Greshams Centennial, 55-14, the Techmen fell to the Class 6A Grant Generals, 66-27, in last Fridays matchup. Centennial is also 6A.
Bensons defense has given up the most points in Class 5A this season, letting teams score 121 points over the the first two weeks, undoubtedly leaving the potent Hermiston attack licking its chops to light up the scoreboard.
Benson head coach Anthony Davis said at the beginning of the season while his team is adjusting to the new classification, he has some explosive players that are capable of making big plays, including 6-foot-4 tight end Vaughn Thirdgill, who hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of the Grant game.
Thirdgill is one of the states biggest tight ends, tipping the scales at 235 pounds, and was a first-team all-Portland Interscholastic League selection last season when the school was in Class 6A, but still in the PIL.
Tailback Khari Hanna is also one of the guys Davis is looking to have a break-out season. Hanna rushed for 130 yards on 16 carries against Centennial. Davis called the 190-pound Hanna the hardest working guy youll see around the state of Oregon.
Perhaps the biggest threat to the Hermiston defense will be wide receiver Wesley Gray. The 6-2, 180-pound wideout caught three touchdown passes against Grant of 58, 13 and 51 yards and has become a focal point of Bensons fast-paced, spread-pistol offense.
Injuries have put a kink in Techs plans this season, losing starting center and offensive line captain Nick Preciso to an ACL tear. They also lost starting defensive lineman Nick Blank for the year.
At quarterback, Dylan Haupt left the Centennial game with a strained back, but rebounded nicely and performed well in the Grant matchup, tossing four touchdown passes in the lopsided defeat to the Generals.