Tualatin able to power past Bowmen
SHERWOOD — Sherwood certainly plays a physical style of football.
That's no secret.
But, guess what, the Tualatin High School football team doesn't mind getting physical, either.
The Timberwolves were ready to match the Bowmen blow for blow.
Oh yeah, they threw in a few big, clutch plays as well.
And that just might have made the difference when the powerhouses clashed.
Tualatin, in a hard-fought, physical contest, was able to power its way to a 27-12 win over the Bowmen in a Three Rivers League war played Friday at Sherwood High School.
"It was a battle," said Tualatin sophomore running back Kainoa Sayre, who rushed for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win. "They're a tough team. The coaches told us that they're a physical team, but we had to out physical them — we had to run harder and hit harder."
"That was awesome," said Tualatin junior quarterback Kyle Dernedde, who had 172 yards of total offense, in addition to kicking a pair of field goals in the contest. "All week, we were motivated. I'm so proud of our guys. We competed hard all 48 minutes. We really wanted it."
"That was a physical game," said Tualatin senior Chris Freese, who had a key interception in the victory. "They're a strong team. We played physical. It feels really good to beat them. It's the first time since I've been here."
Actually, it's the first time Tualatin has ever topped the Bowmen on the gridiron.
And, with the win, the Timberwolves improved to 4-2 in TRL play (6-2 overall), putting them in a tie with West Linn for third place in the league standings.
"It's huge," Freese said of the victory. "This will help us in the rankings."
"Oh my gosh, words can't describe how fun this was," Dernedde said.
With the setback, Sherwood moved to 2-4 in TRL games (3-5 overall), putting the Bowmen in sixth place in the league standings.
"It was a great battle," Sherwood senior defensive back Takumi Kammerzell said. "We competed. Both teams played hard. We battled, and kept it close. But that's been our season. We play tough, but we give up a couple big plays."
"It was rough," Bowmen senior tight end Sterling Goldstein said. "It was a good game, and a fun one to play in. We just have to work on some little things. But they're a good team, and respectful."
Sherwood, coming off a big win over league-leading Tigard the week before, got off to a strong start in Friday's game with Tualatin.
The Bowmen, the first time they got the ball, marched their way up field. A 22-yard pass from senior quarterback Wyatt Zettlemoyer to Goldstein helped set up a four-yard touchdown run by junior fullback Ian Stormont.
The extra-point kick was off the mark, leaving Sherwood with a 6-0 lead with 4 minutes and 50 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
The Bowmen looked to have a chance to add onto their lead, as they moved the ball deep into Tualatin territory early in the second quarter. But, on a third-and-10 play from the 11-yard line, Zettlemoyer found himself under heavy pressure put on by Tualatin sophomore John Miller as he rolled out to pass. Miller hit Zettlemoyer as he threw the ball, and Freese intercepted the pass.
"John Miller hit him and I was in the right place to intercept it. It felt great," Freese said. "That was a huge momentum thing."
It certainly was.
Following the turnover, the Wolves quickly moved the ball up field. A 24-yard pass from Dernedde to senior Jackson Willig and a 25-yard run by Sayre set up a 31-yard TD run by Tualatin junior Dominique Loggins. Dernedde's extra-point kick gave the Wolves a 7-6 lead with 8:40 left before halftime.
Tualatin tacked on a 31-yard field goal by Dernedde, coming with just 5.2 seconds left to play in the second quarter, to take a 10-6 halftime lead.
The Wolves kept their momentum going in the third quarter. Following a 28-yard pass from Dernedde to senior receiver Nick Savage, Sayre scored on a five-yard run around left end, upping the lead to 17-6 with 5:28 left to play in the period.
But the Bowmen weren't done fighting.
Sherwood junior Ryan Scroggin powered his way into the end zone from two yards out, trimming the margin to 17-12 with 8:50 left to play in the game.
Momentum now seemed to be on the Bowmen's side.
Tualatin, on its ensuing possession, was pushed back by three penalties — a problem that plagued the Wolves all game — and a tackle for a loss by Sherwood senior Rustin Williams. That left the Wolves facing a third-and-38 situation on their own 13-yard line. But, on the next play, Dernedde broke free for a 73-yard run, moving the ball all the way to the Sherwood 14-yard line.
"It was a quarterback draw," Dernedde said. "It wasn't something that was necessarily in the playbook, but we improvised."
The Bowmen defense, getting a quarterback sack by junior Carter Atkins, kept the Wolves out of the end zone, pushing them back again. However, Dernedde booted a 42-yard field goal, upping the Tualatin lead to 20-12 with 4:24 remaining.
Sherwood, again trying to battle back, answered with a 37-yard run by senior Zach Jenkins, as the Bowmen moved the ball to the Tualatin 30-yard line. But they ended up turning possession over on downs.
Three plays later, Sayre sprinted 69 yards for a touchdown with 1:37 left to play, capping off the Wolves' 27-12 victory.
"I have to thank the offensive line," Sayre said of Tualatin's big plays. "They make it all possible."
Our linemen are unbelievable," Dernedde said of the group, that includes senior Gerald Saina, senior Jarius Jackson, senior Ryan Mitton, junior Dane Norlin and senior TJ Myerson, among others. "I love those guys, and respect them so much. I wouldn't trade them for anyone."
Tualatin, as a team had 385 yards of total offense in the win, with 269 of those yards coming on the ground. Sayre picked up his 108 rushing yards on just eight carries. Loggins added 62 yards on five carries. Dernedde ran for 56 yards on five carries and senior Nathan Marx had 31 yards on nine carries.
"Dernedde completed 12 of 20 passes for 116 yards. Savage had three catches for 52 yards. Willig had two catches for 28 yards, junior Jake Anderson had two catches for 23 yards and junior Kyle Kamp had two catches for 13 yards.
For the Tualatin defense, Freese and Miller each had an interception. Saina had a quarterback sack and senior Lucas Noland and junior Garrett Boespflug each had a tackle for a loss.
"We've been practicing against the Wing T for the last three weeks," Freese said.
Tualatin did commit 13 penalties for 128 yards in the contest.
Sherwood, as a team, had 343 total yards, with 309 of those coming on the ground.
Junior Ben Baxter led a balanced Bowmen rushing attack with 83 yards on nine carries. Jenkins had 80 yards on just four carries. Williams had 54 yards on 10 carries and Stormont had 43 yards on 12 carries.
Zettlemoyer completed five of 13 pass attempts for 34 yards.
For the Sherwood defense, Atkins had a quarterback sack, senior Nic Garrison and Williams each had two tackles for losses and Kammerzell had one tackle for a loss.
"I was proud of how we played," Kammerzell said. "We know how good we can be. We just need to put four quarters together."
"This was definitely a trenches game, especially after it started raining," Goldstein said. "This game will make us better."
Both teams will finish their Three Rivers League schedules next Friday. Tualatin will travel to Tigard and Sherwood will play at Newberg in games starting at 7 p.m.