It was a celebratory night in Hermiston Friday as the Hermiston High School Bulldogs took down their homecoming matchup of the Hood River Valley High School Eagles 60-34.
Despite their dominating score performance, coach Mark Hodges said his team's defense needs some work.
"We wanted to be the more physical team," he said. "I feel like for the most part, we were the most physical team on both sides of the line of scrimmage. But, in particular, we had a lot of defensive break down in the pass game."
Hodges said Hood River came into the matchup with a really good offensive game plan.
"So they were able to exploit our coverages pretty well," he said. "We have got to kind of learn from that."
Despite their sketchy start in the first quarter, Hermiston (5-3) dominated much of the first half of the game, scoring 31 points to Hood River's 14.
Hermiston then failed to score during the third quarter, giving away two touchdowns to the Eagles to make the game 38-28.
The Bulldogs retained their momentum in the fourth quarter, however, scoring four touchdowns and one three-point field goal to Hood River's one touchdown.
Hodges said the team was able to take the win but that it didn't meet meet his expectations for their potential in game play.
"I felt like our passing was very inconsistent," he said. "We have thrown the ball pretty well this year, but tonight, for whatever reason, we were just inconsistent."
Hodges said despite his frustrations over the Bulldog's passing game, he was happy with the team's running game.
"It seemed like our running game got better tonight," he said. "That is a good sign."
Hermiston will next face off against rival Pendleton High School. The game will start at 7 p.m. in Pendleton.
Hodges said to do well against the Buckaroos, they will have to continue to compete as a superior physical team.
"Pendleton throws the ball extremely well," he said. "I am sure they will have a terrific game plan. We are going to have to be ready for what they do. I think it will be a war. I think it will be a tough game. I think that both teams will give it their all."