Report for game played Oct. 19

Tigard JV White 48, Tualatin JV Cardinal 22

On a perfect fall afternoon the seventh-grade Tualatin Wolves faced Tigard, an opponent with a reputation for scoring lots of points behind the strength of its big, fast and powerful star running back. To be successful, the Wolves would have to put together one of its best efforts of the year.

Tigard started off true to form, receiving the opening kickoff and quickly jumping to an 8-0 lead on a long run from scrimmage by their featured back. Tualatin responded immediately with a quick three-play scoring drive of its own, using three different running backs and outstanding blocking by the front line of Tyler Anderson, Nathan Nelson, Quinn McCarthy, Jaxsen Porter and Isaia Porter. Following productive runs by Derek Leneve and Kyle Dernedde to move the ball to the Tigard 39, back Cameron Springer slashed through a huge hole opened by the line before making a tremendous spin move at the 30 to avoid a sure tackle, keeping his balance and outracing the remaining tacklers for the score. With McCarthy as long snapper and quarterback Bryce Hulse as holder, Dernedde made the PAT kick to tie the score at 8-8.

Tigard responded with another quick touchdown, again behind the running of their big back, despite impressive defensive effort by Nelson and Dernedde who showed speed of their own in chasing down the fleet Tigard runner following a long breakaway play. Nelson followed the touchdown by using his height to block the PAT kick to keep the score at 14-8 Tigard.

Tualatin again countered Tigard’s score, this time with a varied 13-play, 63-yard drive that utilized five different ball carriers, two pass completions and outstanding blocking from all positions. Key plays were a 17-yard run by Dernedde, who got an outstanding block from right tackle Isaia Porter to spring him at the line before using a downfield block from Nelson to get extra yards, and Dernedde had another long run of 22 yards, using running back MacGuire Asay’s block on the corner to spring him and then cutting behind a perfect downfield block by Lucas Diggins to get the final 10 yards. Hulse threw two nice flare passes, first to Springer and then to Leneve, to keep the defense off-guard, and Hulse finished the impressive drive by following his powerful lineman across the goal line on a quarterback keeper, giving the Wolves a 16-14 lead following another successful PAT kick by Dernedde.

The Wolves’ lead was short-lived, however, as on the first play from scrimmage Tigard’s big back scored again, and by kicking the PAT the score moved to 22-16 Tigard. Tigard followed with a successful onside kick, recovering the ball at Tualatin’s 47 and, with their bruising back carrying three consecutive times, tallied another quick score. Tualatin was quickly learning that unless multiple defenders wrapped up the powerful tailback he was likely to break free for a long gain. Nelson again blocked the PAT kick, and Tigard now led 28-16. Tualatin would need to stop the momentum if they were to stay in the game.

And stay in it they would. Tigard tried to onside again but touched the ball early, giving Tualatin good field position at the Tigard 48. The Wolves’ varied running attack again utilized five different backs to keep Tigard’s defense guessing, and the offense marched down the field to complete an impressive 48-yard drive capped by a seven-yard run by Jalen Hale, who patiently waited for blocks to develop from pulling right guard Adam Riehl, running mates Leneve and Springer and wide receiver Cole Spires as he swept left and bolted for the end zone as space opened up. Other key plays on the drive were a 15-yard run by Leneve, who swept right and used Hales’s block to get outside, and a 14-yard gain by Justin Fisher, who ran off right tackle Christian Slater’s bruising block to blast up field and get the ball inside the Tigard 10, picking up a key first down and setting the stage for Hales’ touchdown two plays later. Dernedde’s PAT kick hit the crossbar and bounced back, and the score was 28-22 Tigard.

Tualatin tried an onside kick of its own, but Tigard recovered at the Tualatin 47. Tigard attempted its first pass play, with the defensive line forcing the quarterback out of the pocket and Nelson making a crushing tackle after a short gain. Daniel Sexton and Cameron Boothby then sacked the quarterback on the next play, forcing Tigard to go back to its bread and butter play which amazingly resulted in another long touchdown by their bruising tailback, extending their lead to 34-22 following the unsuccessful PAT kick.

Tualatin had one final opportunity to score before halftime as Tigard’s attempted onside kick rolled out of bounds at the Tigard 42. The Wolves drove downfield, using a variety of runs and passes to get to the Tigard 10 yard line before time expired for the half. Tigard’s lead remained at 34-22.

Tualatin took the second half kickoff and ran for several first downs before turning the ball over on downs to Tigard at Tigard’s 48. Three plays later Tualatin’s defense forced a fumble, which was recovered by Nelson, giving the Wolves good field position at its own 46. Tualatin went to work again, putting together another impressive 12-play drive that this time used seven different running backs which, along with continued outstanding blocking from the entire offense, moved the ball all the way to Tigard’s 11 yard line before the drive finally stalled on downs. The third quarter ended as it started, 34-22 Tigard, but two plays after Tigard took over early in the fourth quarter their big back scored his final touchdown of the game on another long run, making the score 42-22 following its successful PAT kick.

Tualatin took the following kickoff to its own 30, and after Hulse fired a bullet to Diggins for a 9-yard gain Tigard intercepted on the next play and returned it to the Wolves 14 yard line. The defense put up a good stand, forcing Tigard to run five plays before allowing the final touchdown of the game, moving the score to 48-22 following the missed PAT. Tualatin mounted one final drive, getting inside the Tigard 20 before giving up another interception, at which point Tigard ran out the clock for the 48-22 win. Tualatin made a good showing, especially in showcasing its multi-faceted offense, but Tigard’s exceptional running back proved too much to overcome as he ran for an impressive six touchdowns.

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