Tualatin holds off Beaverton fourth-quarter rally
Kyle Johnson runs for 255 yards as the Wolves win 23-16
BEAVERTON -- Tualatin's first-ever game with Beaverton proved to be a memorable one. But a late, furious Beaverton rally almost made it a game that the Wolves would want to forget.
Tualatin, in the very first meeting of the two perennial powerhouses, rolled, in dominating fashion, to a 23-0 halftime lead Friday night. But Beaverton, coming back strong, scored a pair of late touchdowns to make the final score 23-16 in the season-opening non-league high school football game played Friday at Beaverton High School.
'We just didn't finish,' said Tualatin senior running back Kyle Johnson, who rushed for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 31 carries. 'We have to learn to execute at the end. Beaverton showed a lot of heart and we didn't respond. It's good to learn this lesson at the beginning of the season.'
The Wolves controlled the game in the early going, getting points from their offense, their defense and their special teams in the first half.
Junior Jesse Clemente got Tualatin off to a roaring start as he returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.
Johnson added a spectacular 64-yard touchdown and a 5-yard score later in the half. Timberwolf junior Woody Toms sacked Beaverton quarterback Austin Porter in the end zone for a safety that helped the Wolves to their 23-0 halftime advantage.
Johnson ran for 139 yards in 15 carries in the first half while the Tualatin defense limited Beaverton to just six yards of total offense in the opening two quarters.
Beaverton started its rally on defense when, with 10 minutes and 36 seconds left in the game, junior cornerback Joel Gross stole the ball from Tualatin running back Phil Pauly and raced 80 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. Gross added a two-point run to make the score 23-8.
Later in the period, Porter led a 73-yard scoring drive, culminating with a fourth-down, 3-yard TD toss to David Mabry. A two-point conversion pass from Potter to Josh Ahn cut the lead to 23-16 with 3:07 remaining.
Beaverton got the ball back, on its own 18 with 1:15 left to play, but the Beavers were unable to get a first down and Tualatin ran out the clock to get the win.
'We can build from this,' said Beaverton senior receiver Tyler McBee, who had seven receptions for 71 yards. 'Once we got going, we just started clicking.'
Potter completed 14 of 23 pass attempts for 124 yards.
Tualatin junior quarterback Mick Bies suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter. It was thought to be a sprain to his right (throwing) shoulder, but he was scheduled to go in for X-rays.
Tualatin 7 16 0 0--23
Beaverton 0 0 0 16 --16
Tual. - Jesse Clemente 91 kickoff return (Glauber Mazzo kick)
Tual. - Kyle Johnson 64 run (Mazzo kick)
Tual. - Safety, Woody Toms sacked Austin Potter in end zone
Tual. - Johnson 1 run (Mazzo kick)
Beav. - Joel Gross 80 interception return (Gross run)
Beav. - David Mabry 3 pass from Potter (Josh Ahn pass from Potter)
For a complete game story, statistics and photos, see the Sept. 7 issue of the Tigard/Tualatin Times or the Beaverton Valley Times.