Tigard powers its way past Barlow
The Tigard High School football team was clutch on offense.
Tigard was clutch on defense.
And the Tigers got a big win to show for it.
Tigard, stepping up throughout the contest, powered its way to a 35-3 win over Barlow in a non-league game played Friday at Barlow High School.
With the victory, the Tigers improved to 2-0 on the season. Barlow moved to 1-1 on the season with the setback.
Tigard, in Friday's game, was able to score on its second offensive possession of the contest.
Junior quarterback Drew Carter swung a pass into the flat for senior running back Josh Burns, who converted third-and-12 with a scamper up the sideline. He almost scored on the play, but his toe landed out of bounds at the 10-yard line.
Burns would score a couple plays later when he took a handoff and bounced it around the left side, brushing off a potential tackler at the 2-yard line on his way over the goal line. Senior Hunter Gilbert added a 2-point conversion run, giving the Tigers an 8-0 lead with 5 minutes and 31 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
Tigard would up its lead to 14-0 before its offense came back onto the field.
Facing third-and-4, Barlow went to the air only to have Tigard senior defensive back Max Lenzy jump the sideline route for an interception, dodge a couple tacklers along the sideline and return the ball 24 yards for a touchdown coming with 3:57 remaining in the opening period.
In addition to Lenzy's pick-six, the Tigard defense came up with a goal-line stand late in the first half.
The Bruins converted three consecutive third-down plays and had the ball inside the Tigers' 10-yard line with 0:24 left in the second quarter.
Barlow tried to pick up their first points on the ground, sending halfback Nick Collins around the right side only to have Tigard junior defensive back Hewitt Sullivan latch onto his leg and hold on until teammates could come finish the tackle near the sideline.
Next, the Bruins tried through the air.
Jaren Hunter lofted a tall pass toward the front pylon for 6-foot-3 receiver Durham Sundberg. Despite giving up five inches in height, Sullivan fought his in front of the receiver and nearly pulled off an interception. Instead, he tipped the ball with two hands and it fell incomplete as both players fell backward to the turf.
Barlow settled for a 25-yard field goal by Abi Hoffman, its only points of the game, and went into the locker room still down two scores, trailing 14-3.
Tigard would then pull away in the second half. A 39-yard touchdown pass from Drew Carter to senior tight end Andrew Carter upped the margin to 21-3 with 2:47 left to play in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Tigers got a 1-yard touchdown run by Gilbert and a 42-yard touchdown pass play, from Drew Carter to Burns, to wrap up the scoring in Tigard's 35-3 victory.
For the game, Drew Carter completed nine of 18 pass attempts for 171 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.
Burns led Tigard's rushing attack with 70 yards on 11 carries. Gilbert added 36 yards on 14 carries. Burns also had two receptions for 55 yards. Andrew Carter, junior Mathew Otness and senior Cole Scott had one catch apiece.
For the Tigard defense, senior Johnny Nomani had a quarterback sack. Senior Bryce Goetz, Scott, Andrew Carter and junior Owen Hagen each had a half a sack. Junior Aden Murphy was in on eight total tackles.
The Tigard defense limited Barlow to just 19 yards rushing and 112 yards of total offense.
The win marked Tigard's fourth victory over the Bruins, without a loss, since the 2017 state playoffs.
The victory also came in a homecoming, of sorts, for Tigard first-year head coach John Kemper, who is a Barlow High School graduate.
The Tigers will be back in action on Friday, when they host Canby in a Three Rivers League opener starting at 7 p.m. at Tigard High School.
The Cougars, who are 0-2 on the season, with close losses against Lincoln and South Medford, also have a first-year head coach in Jimmy Joyce. Kemper and Joyce were roommates when they played football together at Linfield College.
David Ball, of Pamplin Media Group, contributed to this story.
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