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Timberwolves defeat Cougars at home 55-7 after an explosive first half on Friday the 13th

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - The Cougars before their game with the Tualatin Timberwolves on Friday, Oct. 13. Canby would lose the game 55-7. It was a rough homecoming game for the Canby Cougars. They lost to the visiting Tualatin Timberwolves 55-7 on Friday, Oct. 13.

For Tualatin head coach Dan Lever, it was a positive experience.

"This league is pretty unbelievable as far the level of competition. If we're in another conference, it's us and them playing for the league title. In this conference, it's all about staying healthy and getting better each week. I know they had a few injuries going into this one that hurt them. We have kids that work incredibly hard and we get better each week. It's good to get any win verse anybody in this conference because of the toughness of it."

For Canby, the inverse was true, as the loss marked their fourth consecutive defeat since Sept. 15.

"The feeling is obviously not too great," Canby senior center Antonio Arredondo said after the game. "Tualatin is a very good team, you could tell right there. They've got great athletes. I think we didn't get out the gate very well. I liked the way our second quarter went, I thought we were starting pretty well. At that point we were down by a lot, but I thought we did pretty well the rest of the game trying to fight our hardest because Tualatin is a very good team."

In what turned out to be a particularly rough first quarter, Tualatin got on the board first with a quick 52-yard drive that resulted in Tualatin's sophomore running back Kainoa Sayre running the ball into the end zone from one yard out at 10:51. HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Tualatin sophomore Kainoa Sayre had three touchdowns in the Timberwolves 55-7 win against Canby on Friday, Oct. 13.

Canby's offense would struggle in the ensuing possession, and be forced to punt the ball away. Tualatin regained control of the ball on their own 39-yard line and marched it down the field in six plays to score again at 5:55 of the first. This time, senior running back Nathan Marx was the scoring player, running it in from 37 yards out. Tualatin's extra point kicker and starting quarterback Kyle Dernedde would fail to convert the extra point, leaving the score at 0-13 in favor of the Timberwolves.

The next two times the Tualatin offense touched the ball, they scored. After forcing Canby to punt the ball away yet again, Sayre ran in another touchdown, this time from 48 yards out. Dernedde would be successful with this point after attempt.

Tualatin forced the Canby offense to punt it away again, and with 1:48 left on the clock in the first quarter the Timberwolves found themselves in the end zone. Dernedde connected with sophomore wide receiver John Miller from seven yards out. After Dernedde tacked on the extra point, it was 27-0 at the end of the first quarter.

"Overall I thought we played great as a team," Dernedde said. "I thought we had an opportunity to come out and prove to people that we have a chance this year, to come back after last year. I thought it went great overall, I'm proud of our team."

Canby would build some momentum up after that touchdown. They went on a 58-yard, nine play drive that took them from one end of the field to the next, but were stopped on fourth and seven inside the Tualatin 25-yard line for a turnover on downs.

Tualatin responded in kind, taking over on their own 22-yard line and marching all the way down to the Canby 12-yard line where they had a field goal blocked on fourth and 10.

The next Tualatin possession, it only took them two plays to work their way 55 yards down the field. Dernedde connected with senior wide receiver Jackson Willig for a 44-yard touchdown pass and subsequent extra point conversion that brought the Timberwolves advantage to 34 at 4:35 of the second quarter.

Canby would avoid a shut out in the first half though, and march the ball 44 yards down the field to score their only touchdown of the night. Junior quarterback Trent Wakefield connected with senior running back Jacob Huggins on a 12 yard pass as the clock expired at the end of the first half. Junior Tyler Kellar put the extra point through the uprights, and it was 34-7 going into halftime. HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby senior running back Harrison Kinney had 13 rushes for 39 yards on Oct. 13. The Cougars lost to the visiting Tualatin Timberwolves 55-7.

Coming out of halftime, Canby's offense was forced to punt the ball away after a three and out, but Tualatin would pick up where the left off in the first half. At 8:15 of the third quarter Sayre ran in his third touchdown of the game from 15 yards out. Dernedde converted yet another PAT, and the score was 41-7.

In the ensuing Canby drive, Wakefield would be picked off just three plays in by Tualatin senior Risean Williams. The Timberwolves offense wouldn't let that turnover go to waste, as four plays later backup quarterback Blake Jackson would find senior Nick Savage in the end zone. At 5:49 of the third quarter, the score was 48-7 for the visiting team.

The final touchdown of the game came with 41.8 seconds left in the third quarter, when senior running back Nathan Marx ran through several tackles to score from 32 yards out.

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby lost their homecoming game to the visiting Tualatin Timberwovles 55-7 on Friday, Oct. 13. Canby would have a moment of good fortune at the start of the fourth quarter. Arredondo would recover a fumble and run the ball 21 yards down field, fighting off several tacklers before being brought down at the Tualatin 29-yard line.

"So I was blocking and I turned around and all of the sudden the ball flew out and I caught it," Arredondo said after the game. "My first thought was, 'I don't know what to do with this, I'm the center. All I do is snap the ball.' So I ran it, and there was actually a guy right there standing, and he didn't think I had the ball because I'm a lineman. Going through my mind was, 'I don't know what I'm doing' and 'Don't fumble the ball when someone tackles you' because I know I'm not fast enough to score."

"There was no one there, and I was like, 'Maybe I do score.' Then I saw someone running behind me and I thought, 'Uh-oh, he's fast,'" Arredondo added.

Canby (1-3 in league, 2-4 overall) plays on the road next week against Tigard. Tualatin (3-2 in league, 5-2 overall) will go to Sherwood.

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