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Wildcats strike early, Vikings are own worst enemy in blowout defeat in Forest Grove.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Forest Grove's Cameron Ulloa goes up to make a leaping interception over Wilsonville's Payton Dart during the Vikings' game against the Wildcats Friday, Oct. 4, at Forest Grove High School.Some games are best left forgotten.

Seemingly from the tip, the Wilsonville Wildcats took control of the game, while the Forest Grove Vikings did everything they could to give it away.

Wilsonville quarterback Jayce Knapp hit junior receiver Josh McKenzie on a 60 yard post route for a touchdown on the game's fourth play from scrimmage, and on the subsequent drive, Forest Grove fumbled on their first play, giving the ball back to the Wildcats who punched it in three plays later to take a two score lead en route to a 47-6 win Friday night, Oct. 4, at Forest Grove High School.

Knapp unofficially completed 13 of his 17 pass attempts for 208 yards and two touchdowns, while throwing two interceptions. But in all, while the Wildcats had four different players hit pay dirt, this night was less about what Wilsonville did, and more about what the Vikings didn't — nearly from the word go.

"There were some big mistakes early," Forest Grove head coach Perry Herbst said. "I think we were ready for this and we're excited about it, and we just got going a little too fast in our head at the start.

"Then we calmed down and were able to play defense and stay in the game, but then we made another mistake out of the half and it hurt."

After a near defeat last week at Hillsboro, No. 7-ranked Wilsonville (4-1, 3-0) was pleased to get back on the field and work out some of the kinks that gave them problems against the Spartans. But despite the lopsided score on this night, Knapp knows there still a lot work to be done in order to get where they're aiming to go this season.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Forest Grove's Christopher Doyle runs through the Wilsonville defense during the Vikings' game against the Wildcats Friday, Oct. 4, at Forest Grove High School."I think we definitely have a lot to improve on, me included," the Wildcat quarterback said. "I don't think I had a very good night, but I think overall, while happy with the outcome, there are a lot of details in plays that we need to clean up."

Guenther too pointed to his team's imperfections after the game, but also understood that Forest Grove played a role in what was ultimately a tougher game than the final score would indicate.

"We came out on top, and we'll take it," the coach said. "Those guys play hard. They're big and they like to hit you, and that's what they did in the first half. In the second half we had to settle down, do our stuff, and good things happened."

Starting at their own 22 yard line, Wilsonville used three straight Lucas Graves' runs to move the ball to the 40. On first down, Forest Grove blew a coverage, leaving McKenzie open streaking up the seam before Knapp hit him in stride for the game's first score. After the Vikings' fumble on the ensuing possession, Chad Overholt scored easily on a three yard run to put the Wildcats ahead 14-0 with 8:34 left in the first quarter.

Wilsonville would add a 25 yard field goal just before the end of the first quarter, but despite the early hole the Vikings wouldn't quit, holding tight until halftime trailing just 17-0.

"We competed with those guys and I thought we were right there, even with the mistakes," Herbst said. "Then we started the second half, and you saw what happened."

After receiving the kickoff to start the third quarter, the Viks fumbled the snap on the very first play, turning the ball over and immediately taking what little wind was left from the Forest Grove sails.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Forest Grove quarterback Jarod Miller hurls a pass during the Vikings' game against the Wildcats Friday, Oct. 4, at Forest Grove High School.The Vikings (3-2, 2-2) actually ended up surviving the turnover after Knapp was intercepted in the end zone by Reilly McLoud. But after a three-and-out forced another Forest Grove punt, Wilsonville went 24 yards in four plays, culminating with a second Overholt touchdown to put the Wildcats ahead 24-0.

Forest Grove managed to score on their next possession, going 76 yards and capping the drive with a Miller to Cameron Ulloa 13 yard touchdown pass, which after a failed 2-point conversion attempt pulled the Viks to within 24-6. But that's as close as the home team would get the rest of this night, for Knapp answered with an 11 yard scoring pass to Payton Dart on the very next possession, and things got ugly from there.

Overhold scored for a third time when he recovered a Forest Grove fumbled punt snap to make it 38-6, then after backup quarterback Chase Hix ran one in from three yards out, the Wildcats capped the scoring when a second fumbled punt snap led to a safety, mercifully ending the contest 47-6.

Things got a little chippy as the game wound down in the fourth, but while ugly and the precursor to two Vikings players being ejected from the game, Guenther thought little of the drama, merely chalking the extracurricular activity up to "boys being boys."

"You never want games to end that way, but sometimes when scores get like that, things like that happen," the Wilsonville coach said. "That's football."

Now Wilsonville will prepare for a matchup with Scappoose, while Forest Grove will regroup before what will be a big game with Hillsboro next week.

"We'll prepare this week in practice and we'll work hard and get things fixed," Miller said. "We just have to refocus, watch and see the things we did wrong and fix them. We'll prepare for Hillsboro and take it one game at a time. That's really all you can do."

Forest Grove's game with Hillsboro will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at Forest Grove High School.

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