Hermiston quarterback Tim Rude has thrown 11 touchdown passes so far this season. Seven of them came Friday night.
Rude and the Bulldogs passing attack exploded against the Benson Techmen, leading Hermiston to a 58-23 win at Kennison Field.
Rude threw for 396 yards, completing 20 of 26 pass attempts for seven touchdowns in the rout of Benson from northeast Portland.
We knew they had been pushed around a little bit, Rude said of the Techmen, who had given up a state-most 121 points coming into the contest. We just wanted to come out and do what we needed to do.
And the Bulldogs did that, plus a little extra. After jumping out a 24-0 lead on a Jerod Munsterman 24-yard field goal early in the second quarter, the Techmens Devante Mimms scored on a 10-yard pass from Dylan Haupt, but that was all the first-string defense allowed.
We wanted to see how we could match-up with really super athletes on the outside, Hermiston head coach Mark Hodges said. We saw that as a test to see what we could actually do.
And for the most part, the defense passed the test. The Bulldogs held the 6-foot-5, 235-pound tight end Vaughn Thirdgill to 53 receiving yards and star running back Khari Hanna to 37 yards on 21 carries, but wideout Wesley Gray broke loose for the Techmen with 151 receiving yards on six receptions.
We felt like we did OK, but we know we need to get better, Hodges said. We were able to control the line of scrimmage and put pressure on the passer.
Benson quarterbacks Dylan Haupt and Juwan Robins were running for their lives most of the night from a furious Hermiston pass rush, instigated by defensive ends Matt Kilsdonk and Jordan Ige and tackle Matt Epperson.
On the offensive side of the ball, Hermiston ran the ball just 12 times and only when they absolutely had to Hodges said. Jacob Almaguer packed the pigksin seven times for 95 rushing yards and backup Robert Adams carried it three times for 41 yards, including a big 33-yard gain in the fourth quarter to set-up a touchdown.
Jeremy Holden caught four passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns, including a 59-yard bomb that Holden packed a Benson defender on his back for the final 10. Alex Ortiz caught three balls for 99 yards and a pair of scores while Mark Hodges Jr. led Hermiston with six catchers for 80 yards. Hodges also scrambled around after a fumbled PAT snap to find Ige in the end zone for a 2-point conversion in the first quarter.
Hermiston capped its scoring in the fourth when backup quarterback Munsterman found Adam Maslan over the midddle for a 29-yard score. Maslan caught the pass in an awkward position with one hand over the top of his helmet, then ran over a Benson defender on his way to the end zone.