The Tigard High School football team, coming off a perfect 9-0 regular-season performance, just may be even turning things up a notch for the postseason.
Well, that certainly seems to be the case — if the Tigers' playoff opener is any indication.
Tigard jumped out to a 56-0 halftime lead on its way to scoring a 56-20 win over Century in a Class 6A state playoff first-round game played Friday at Tigard High School.
With the loss, Century, the No. 6 team out of the Pacific Conference, and the No. 32 team in the final OSAA power rankings, finished its season with a final overall record of 2-8.
Tigard, the Three Rivers League champion, and the No. 1 team in the power rankings, improved to 10-0 with the victory. The Tigers also advance to the second round of the state playoffs, where they'll host Mountainside in a game set to start at 7 p.m. Friday at Tigard High School.
It didn't take long for the Tigers to get on the scoreboard in Friday's playoff opener with Century. After the Tigard defense forced a quick three-and-out in the first possession of the game, Tiger senior Max Lenzy returned the ensuing Jaguar punt for a touchdown. Senior Jackson Cleaver added the first of his eight extra-point kicks for the night, giving Tigard a 7-0 lead just 34 seconds into the contest.
Tigard's first offensive possession of the game ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Drew Carter to senior running back Hunter Gilbert, making the score 14-0 with 8:46 left in the first quarter.
Carter and Gilbert then teamed up for another touchdown pass play, this one covering 66 yards, upping the margin to 21-0.
Lenzy then struck again. This time he returned an interception, on a ball deflected by Tiger senior lineman Bryce Goetz, 23 yards for a touchdowns, upping the lead to 28-0 with 5:25 remaining in the opening period.
In the second quarter, Carter threw three touchdown passes to senior tight end Kamryn Hosley. The first of those scoring passes covered 17 yards. Then, following a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown by Gilbert, Carter threw a 15-yard TD pass to Hosley. The duo then hooked up for a 23-yard touchdown pass play, which gave the Tigers a 56-0 lead with 21 seconds left to play in the second quarter.
For the game, Carter completed nine of 12 pass attempts for 205 yards and five touchdowns. Hosley had four catches for 90 yards and three touchdowns. Gilbert had four receptions for 100 yards and two TDs.
Gilbert also led the Tigard rushing attack with 56 yards on just three carries. Senior Abraham Villasenor added 39 yards on nine carries. Junior Hewitt Sullivan had 37 yards on four carries.
For the Tigard defense, Sullivan and senior Cole Scott led the team with five total tackles apiece. Senior Johnny Nomani had a tackle for a loss. Scott and senior Erik Schulz shared another tackle for a loss. Sophomore Karson Boschma forced a fumble, which was recovered by sophomore Keenan Speer-Johnson.
For Century, sophomore quarterback Tyler Mahlman completed 11 of 23 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions. Senior receiver Chance Sparks had eight catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns.
Mountainside, the No. 5 team out of the Metro League, and the No. 16 team in the power rankings, brings an overall record of 7-3 into Friday's second-round playoff game at Tigard. The Mavericks beat Clackamas 17-7 in the first round for their very first state playoff win.
The winner of Friday's second-round game at Tigard will face either Barlow or Sheldon in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
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