The Gervais football team had the week off after the Chemawa Braves were forced to cancel their contest against the Cougars scheduled for Friday due to lack of practice time.

Per OSAA rules, all athletes must participate in at least 10 practices before being eligible to play in a sanctioned game. According to Gervais coach Duane Riddell, the Braves players had yet to reach that benchmark before Friday’s game and were forced to cancel.

The cancellation gives the Cougars (0-1) a two-week window to regroup after their 42-6 loss at Heppner to open the season before facing the No. 3 Dayton Pirates (3-0, 1-0 West Valley).

“We had some areas where we really played well,” said Riddell about the season-opening game against the Mustangs. “I really felt our offensive and defensive line did a really good job.”

Gervais now faces a daunting task in opening conference play at home this week against the defending 2012 3A state champion Pirates, who enter the contest on a 15-game win streak since losing the 2011 title game.

“That’s a big challenge for us,” said Riddell.

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