Tualatin gets a 14-0 victory over Forest Grove in league opener

by: DAN BROOD - INTO THE CLEAR -- Tualatin junior running back Eli Robinson, behind the blocking of senior Brock Hulse (72), has a hole to run through in Friday's win over Forest Grove.FOREST GROVE — The Timberwolves controlled the ball.

The Timberwolves controlled the clock.

The Timberwolves controlled Forest Grove.

And, in the end, the Timberwolves were in total control of the outcome.

The Tualatin High School football team, behind its ball-control offensive attack and swarming defense, powered its way to a 14-0 win over the Vikings in a Pacific Conference opener played Friday at Forest Grove High School.

“This was a pretty big win. I’m glad we got it,” said Tualatin senior Ryan Wisner, who had a touchdown catch on offense and a tackle for a loss on defense. “This was our first league game, and we wanted to make a statement. I think we did that.”

“This was a big win, and we’re definitely excited about it,” said Tualatin junior running back Eli Robinson, who rushed for 146 yards on 24 carries. “I think we had more push tonight.”

Forest Grove moved to 2-1 on the season with the setback. The Timberwolves upped their overall record to 2-1 with the conference-opening victory.

“Oh, this was great tonight,” Wisner said. “Now, our goal is to keep getting better.”

Forest Grove went into Friday’s contest scoring at an average of 42 points a game. But the Timberwolves also knew that the high-octane Forest Grove offense couldn’t score if it didn’t have the ball.

And, as it turned out, even when the Vikings did have the ball — which didn’t seem to be very often — the hard-hitting Tualatin defense was able to shut them down.

“Our goal tonight was to control the ball,” Tualatin coach Rob Hastin said.

Mission accomplished.

For the 48-minute contest, the Timberwolves had possession of the ball for a total of 32 minutes and 55 seconds while the Viking had just 15:05 in time of possession. Tualatin also ran 64 offensive plays, gaining 358 total yards, while Forest Grove ran 37 plays for 141 total DAN BROOD - GANG TACKLE -- Tualatin seniors Sasha Jarmer (44) and Luke Goessens bring down Forest Grove senior Gio Tayetto for a loss in Friday's game.

“We definitely had an offensive scheme tonight,” Robinson said.

“The line did a great job blocking,” Wisner said. “And the running backs ran hard.”

Tualatin set the tone for the contest in its first offensive possession of the game. The Wolves, after taking the opening kickoff, moved 65 yards in 13 plays, capping off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Brandon Shroyer to senior receiver Nick Hines on a fourth-and-2 play.

The touchdown drive, which ate 6:27 seconds off the clock, gave Tualatin a 7-0 lead with 5:33 left to play in the first quarter.

Robinson carried the ball seven times for 25 yards during the opening drive, which featured a pair of successful fourth-down conversions.

The Wolves put together another scoring drive in the second quarter. This time, they moved 70 yards in 12 plays, finishing the drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Shroyer to Wisner, who reached the ball over the goal line as he was being tackled.

“I was so happy I could score,” said Wisner, who now has three touchdown catches in the past two games.

The touchdown, coming with 1:38 left in the period, gave Tualatin a 14-0 lead at the end of the first half. And, it was a first half that saw the Vikings run just 14 offensive plays for 41 yards.

Tualatin’s defense then stepped up to make the crucial plays in the second half.

The Vikings, in their first offensive possession of the third quarter, moved the ball to the Tualatin 30-yard line, but Timberwolf senior linebacker Alec Trecker intercepted a Taylor Jensen pass to end that threat.

On the next Forest Grove possession, the Wolves came through in the clutch again, helping force the Vikings to give up the ball on downs at the Tualatin 14-yard line.

In the Vikings’ final possession of the contest, Tualatin senior safety by: DAN BROOD - GOOD CATCH -- Tualatin senior receiver Nick Hines (16) makes a grab during the first quarter of Friday's game at Forest Grove.Connor McCullough came up with an interception of his own to help wrap up the 14-0 victory and preserve the shutout.

“That was good,” Tualatin lineman Garrison Saina said of the shutout. “The coaches told us we were going to have to make some big plays on defense.”

“It’s good that we did this,” Wisner said of the shutout. “Everyone did their job.”

“We got some picks and stuffed their quarterback, and he’s pretty good,” Robinson said.

Tualatin, as a team, ran for 215 yards on 42 carries in the victory.

“Our running game was really important,” Saina said. “I think we did a good job on the offensive line. We played with more heart tonight.”

“The offensive line blocked really well,” Robinson said. “They definitely made some creases out there. And I felt pretty good.”

Shroyer completed 13 of 22 pass attempts for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for 41 yards on 11 carries.

Hines had seven receptions for 82 yards. Wisner added three catches for 44 yards.

For the Tualatin defense, Saina and junior Kaleb Olsen each had a quarterback sack while senior Luke Goessens, Wisner and senior Sasha Jarmer each had a tackle for a loss.

For Forest Grove, Jensen completed 14 of 25 pass attempts for 134 yards. Senior receiver Zac Collins had five catches for 59 yards and senior Ethan Thursam had five catches for 44 yards. Senior Gio Tayetto was the Vikings’ leading rusher with 20 yards on nine carries.

Tualatin will be back in action Friday when it hosts Hillsboro in a Pacific Conference game starting at 7 p.m. The Spartans, who scored a 23-22 win over Century in their conference opener, are 2-1 on the season.

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