Football can be a simple game sometimes.
Ask Umatilla head coach Mike Mosher. With the exception of their opening 50-6 loss, the Vikings (0-4) are a couple plays away from having one, maybe even two wins.
Its just tiny little things we can fix and adjust going forward, Mosher said Monday. The kids get it. They see the film and say, Wow, coach is right.
Following a 28-8 loss at White Swan, Washington, last week, Umatilla will again travel to Washington to take on Tri-Cities Prep of Pasco at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Jaguars (3-1) have already played an area team this season, running past Stanfield 41-12 in week two. Since losing to Heppner 47-7 in its opener, TCP has gone 3-0 and outscored its opponents 77-30 behind burly quarterback Dane Petersen.
Petersen hasnt been a big threat through the air this season, completing just 4-for-14 passes for 140 yards and seven interceptions, but he can run it. He leads the Jaguars in rushing attempts (47), yards rushing (393) and rushing touchdowns (seven).
If we keep him contained in the pocket and dont let him run around, well be fine, Mosher said. Hes got a big, strong arm, but if we keep him where he needs to be and tackle well, well be just fine.
Senior tailback Rama Rudolph has added 387 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
As for Umatillas offense, Mosher thinks his zone running scheme with junior Kasen Manley and senior Albert Guizar will be effective, partially because of the Jaguars preferred scheme on defense.
TCP likes to run a man-free concept, which means that the cornerbacks are in man coverage on the outside, with usually one safety deep who roams in the center of the field. This is good news for a Viking team that likes to run because the defensive backs have a tendency to have their backs to the play.
The key for us is making sure we are way, way more physical up front, Mosher said. We have the talent to do it. We just didnt execute (before).
The Vikings have an unusual schedule. They are in the three-team Eastern Oregon League with Nyssa and Vale and have to go around the region to find any sort of competition. Right now, they are in the middle of a three-game stretch against Washington opponents.
Mosher said he isnt worried about league competition, just playing a complete game of football.
If we continue to improve each game, clean up the little stuff, league will take care of itself, he said. We need to play 135 snaps ... (and) play each play, each snap fresh, and well be just fine.