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Tualatin clamps down second place


The Wolves come up with five turnovers in 24-3 win over Glencoe

by: DAN BROOD - GOT HIM -- Tualatin senior Ryan Wisner, with the help of his Timberwolf teammates, has a firm grip of Glencoe's Kainoa Hanchett.TUALATIN — It's sometimes said that defense wins championships.

Well, that may, or may not, be true.

But one thing's for sure — the Tualatin High School football team rode its dominating defensive effort to a big win, and a runner-up finish in the final Pacific Conference standings.

With second place in the final conference standings on the line, the Timberwolves — coming up with five turnovers and holding Glencoe to just 180 yards of total offense — powered their way to a 24-3 win over Glencoe in a Pacific Conference finale played Friday at Tualatin High School.

“This is a huge win,” said Tualatin senior safety Connor McCullough, who had two of the Wolves' four interceptions on the night. “It's great to get second place. We needed a win like this.”

“This is a real big win,” said Tualatin senior quarterback Brandon Shroyer, who threw for one touchdown and ran for another. “We wanted to protect our home field. To finish in second place means a lot to us. We had three big wins to finish the season.”

Glencoe, which came into the contest tied with Tualatin for second place in the conference standings, fell to 4-3 in league play and to 5-4 on the season with the setback.

The Timberwolves improve to 5-2 in conference games and to 6-3 overall with the win, their third straight.

“To get second place is amazing,” Tualatin senior Ryan Wisner said. “It's good. I'm very happy.”

“To finish in second means a lot to us,” Tualatin senior receiver Nick Hines said. “We had some difficult losses early on, so it was nice to finish strong.”

The Timberwolves' defense looked to be strong front the start of Friday's game. In fact, it was the Tualatin defense that set up the first score of the contest.

Tualatin senior linebacker Russell Graham made a one-handed, reaching interception of an Avery Elrod pass at the Glencoe 42-yard line with 3 minutes and 44 seconds left in the first half. That set up a 25-yard field goal by senior Ryan Hyatt, which gave the Wolves a 3-0 lead with 1:01 remaining before halftime.

by: DAN BROOD - IN THE OPEN -- Tualatin senior Connor McCullough pulls in a pass in Friday's game. McCullough also had a pair of interceptions for the Wolves in their 24-3 win over Glencoe.It didn't take long for the Tualatin defense to strike again. On the next Glencoe possession, McCullough came up with his first interception of the contest, and he returned the ball 35 yards to the Crimson Tide 5-yard line.

“I wish I would have got the touchdown,” McCullough said with a smile. “But I was glad we got in there.”

Tualatin did that two plays later, when Shroyer scored on a 4-yard run on a quarterback draw, giving the Wolves a 10-0 lead with 9.5 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Timberwolves then came up with another turnover to start the third quarter, as Tualatin senior Tyler Mitchell recovered a Glencoe fumble on the second-half kickoff. The Timberwolves weren't able to score on their ensuing possession, but they continued to keep momentum.

Special teams set up the next Tualatin score as, following a Glencoe three-and-out forced by the Tualatin defense, Hines returned a Crimson Tide punt 35 yards to the Glencoe 28-yard line.

Four plays later, Wisner scored on an 8-yard run around right end, upping the lead to 17-0 with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter.

“That was good,” Wisner said of the scoring play. “I was glad I was able to help the team.”

Glencoe was able to get on the scoreboard when senior Kainoa Hanchett booted a 22-yard field goal with 2:02 left in the period.

But the Crimson Tide wasn't able to get any closer.

Shroyer made sure of that.

First, on a third-and-10 play from the Tualatin 16-yard line, the senior ran 46 yards on a quarterback draw to the Glencoe 38-yard line. Three plays later, on third-and-six, Shroyer connected with Hines in stride down the right sideline for a 34-yard touchdown pass play that made the score 24-3 with 6:10 left to play in the game.

“That felt good coming off my hand,” Shroyer said. “I felt confident in him. We have good chemistry.”

“That was nice to get that. That basically clinched it for us,” Hines said of the scoring play. “That's how it usually goes with us. We're a good combination.”

by: DAN BROOD - TUALATIN TD -- Tualatin senior receiver Nick Hines (16) catches a 34-yard touchdown pass in Friday's win over Glencoe.From there, fittingly, the Tualatin defense put the game away.

On the ensuing Glencoe possession, McCullough came up with his second interception of the game, and his sixth of the season.

“He's a pick machine,” Shroyer said of McCullough.

“He's a magnet back there,” Tualatin coach Rob Hastin said. “He does a great job of knowing where to be.”

On the next Glencoe possession, Tualatin senior Nique Reid came up with the Wolves' four interception of the contest to put the game away.

“This was awesome,” Hines said. “It was a great all-around team win. It was probably our best all-around team win so far this season.”

“It was a great team effort,” Hastin said. “The kids were focused and determined. We really wanted to finish strong.”

In addition to his two interceptions, McCullough also had a pair of tackles for losses in the win.

Tualatin senior linebacker Sasha Jarmer had a quarterback sack and two other tackles for losses. Graham, senior Luke Goessens, Wisner and junior Kaleb Olsen each one one tackle for a loss.

For the Tualatin offense, Shroyer completed seven of 16 pass attempts for 90 yards and he also was the game's top rusher with 83 yards on 17 carries.

Wisner added 51 yards on 11 carries and Hines had four receptions for 64 yards.

For Glencoe, Hanchett ran for 45 yards on 15 carries. Elrod completed nine of 23 pass attempts for 81 yards.

The Timberwolves will next be in action Nov. 8 when they play in a Class 6A state playoff first-round game, most likely at Tualatin High School.

For a more complete story, and more photos, see the Oct. 31 issue of the Tigard/Tualatin Times.