Football -- Tigard plays at Canby while Tualatin will be home to face Newberg in the Conference-opening games

These are the ones that count.

And they start on Friday.

The Tigard and Tualatin High School football teams, and the other squads in the Pacific Conference, start vying for league supremacy when conference play opens on Friday.

Tigard will open Pacific Conference play with a 7 p.m. game at Canby.

The Timberwolves will start defense of the league title they won last year at home as they host Newberg at 7 p.m.

The other league opener has McMinnville playing at Forest Grove at 7 p.m.

'We're excited to get into league play,' Tigard coach Mitch Sanders said. 'We think we're going to have a good night.'

Tigard goes into Friday's league opener with an overall record of 0-4.

But the four teams the Tigers have played - Jesuit, Lincoln, Sheldon and Westview - are the top four teams in the Class 6A rankings and they have a combined record of 16-0.

'I hope playing a tough schedule like that helps us become better,' Sanders said. 'The team morale is good.'

Tigard will face a Canby team that has a 2-3 season record.

'They're effective on offense and they put together some long possessions,' Sanders said. 'We have to slow them down and every possession that we have will be critical.'

T.J. Gorman (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) and Andy Loscutoff (6-1, 180) are among Canby's top running backs. Senior Taylor Hunter (5-10, 160) is the Cougars' quarterback.

For Tigard, junior back Scott Grady has rushed for 445 yards on 57 carries for the season.

Tualatin, which is tied for the No. 7 spot in the Class 6A rankings, brings a 3-1 overall record into its home game with Newberg on Friday. Newberg has a record of 1-4 on the season.

'We're anxious to get started in league,' Tualatin coach Craig Hastin said. 'This is a huge game for us. Newberg threw the ball well against Wilson. I think it will be an offensive game.'

Timberwolf senior Kyle Johnson has 605 rushing yards on 99 carries so far on the season.

Tualatin, at least on offense, will again be without junior quarterback Mick Bies. Bies, who will still play at safety, has an elbow injury.

The Wolves will also be without wingback Phil Pauly, due to injury. Senior linebacker Jacob Bowe is questionable.

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