New Bandon football coach Aaron Freitag spoke fondly of the Cranberry Bowl and its significance to the players, both before and after the Tigers beat Riddle 58-0 on Friday night in this year’s version of the showcase game.
“For the kids that it was the first Cranberry Bowl, I told them, ‘You always remember your Cranberry Bowls,’” Freitag said.
The Tigers got their first win of the season. They continue the preseason this week at Coquille, a top Class 3A team.
Bandon got off to a fast start against the Irish, especially senior twins Darian and Donavin Phommaphat.
The twins are two of the three seniors on the team and were joined as captains by Brennan Boston for their final Cranberry Bowl.
“It was pretty special for them,” Freitag said.
Then they got to work helping the Tigers win.
Darian scored on a 40-yard run on Bandon’s first play from scrimmage. Donavin had the next three scores — a 22-yard run, a 43-yard pass from quarterback Braydon Freitag and a 61-yard run.
Freitag also had a short touchdown run to give the Tigers a 38-0 halftime lead and Darian Phommaphat scored his second touchdown on a 45-yard run before Aaron Freitag turned the offense primarily over to the team’s younger players.
And those players did well, as well.
“My JV kids did a great job,” Freitag said. “I’m really happy with our younger guys — and our whole team.”
Backup QB Wyatt Dyer had both a touchdown run and a 17-yard touchdown pass to Trei Gore for the Tigers.
“The JV took over and you couldn’t tell the difference,” Freitag said. “They took it down the field and punched it in.”
After the opening loss to Glide, the Cranberry Bowl was good for the Tigers, Freitag said.
“It was a fun game,” he said. “The kids had a blast. It was an all-around good win. And good for morale.”
After Friday’s game at Coquille, Bandon has one more preseason game, at Illinois Valley before opening league play against Waldport.