Warriors say aloha to Cards
The defending state champs rout Lincoln 35-12 in their 2011 opener
ALOHA - The Warriors were back on the attack.
The Aloha football team, playing its first game since winning the 2010 Class 6A state championship, kicked off 2011 in fine fashion, rolling past Lincoln 35-12 at Aloha High School on Friday night.
'It felt great. The offense was going,' said Aloha senior quarterback Cory Sinner, who completed 9-of-12 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another in his debut as a varsity starter. 'We stuck up 35 (points) real quick so I was feeling great. It was a good first game.'
'We had a great start tonight and I'm very proud of this team,' added junior tailback Thomas Tyner, who finished with 184 yards rushing and two TDs on 18 carries. 'Getting out today, Friday, in front of your whole community, it feels great.'
Aloha started fast on Friday too, stuffing Lincoln on just three plays to open the game, then marching 56 yards on seven plays to grab a 7-0 lead just 2 minutes, 16 seconds into the game. Tyner picked up 48 yards on three carries to get his team into the red zone, and Sinner took it from there, connecting with junior wide receiver Ray Ayo on a 14-yard touchdown pass. Lenana Meekisho added the first of his five extra points to make it 7-0.
The Warrior defense stepped up next, with senior cornerback Sheldon Prince intercepting a Johnny Williams pass and giving his team the ball back at its own 14-yard line. Tyner and his offensive line - Brayden Kearsley, Mike Kluge, Josh Pope, AJ McCollum, Ryan Papenfuhs, Dre Johnson, Joseph Romero, Calvin Liggins and tight end Bryson Sullivan - just flat ran over the Cardinals from there.
Tyner took a toss around right end for 18 yards, went over left guard for 12, and took a pitch around right end for 19 more. Meekisho added five more yards on a draw, Sinner hit Prince for 15, and Sinner then connected with senior Ryan Russo in the left flat, and he juked his way past two Lincoln defenders for a 22-yard TD with 3:52 left in the period.
'After that first touchdown to Ray, that really got me going and the whole offense picked up after that,' Sinner said.
The Warriors tacked on two more touchdowns in the second period to make it 28-0 at halftime, the first of those two scores set up when Sullivan stopped Cardinal quarterback Koleman Vance on a fourth-and-three try from the Aloha 4-yard line.
'It felt pretty good,' Sullivan said. 'We wanted to get out and hit another team and just see what we had and live up to our expectations.'
On the ensuing series, Tyner carried four times for 33 yards and capped the 95-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run to make it 21-0 with 4:10 to go in the half. Sinner also went 2-for-2 for 30 yards on the drive, while Russo ran twice for 14 yards.
Aloha's defense forced another turnover to set up their final score of the half, with Prince knocking the ball away from Lincoln receiver Spencer Rotenberg and Aloha's Dalton Morgan recovering the fumble at the Warrior 43.
From there, Sinner hit Russo for 27 yards to the Lincoln 30, ran around left end for 11, then went left again on a 19-yard scoring run and a 28-0 lead with 2:29 left in the half.
'We came out with fire and we wanted to hit people and we did that,' Sullivan said. 'We played really well.'
'The guys up front did outstanding,' Tyner said. 'The first couple carries they opened up big holes for me and they did a great job throughout the game.'
Aloha extended that edge to 35-0 on its first position of the second half, taking the opening kickoff and rolling 60 yards in 10 plays, with Russo picking up 27 yards on three carries and Tyner adding 30 more on four attempts, including a toss around left end for the 2-yard score.
The Warriors called off the dogs then and there, however, and wouldn't score again. Lincoln came through with two scores in the fourth quarter, the first on a 24-yard Vance-to-Rotenberg pass, the second on a 4-yard Andrew Ellsworth run, but it was far too little and far too late to make a difference.
In addition to Tyner's efforts, Russo finished with 105 yards in total offense, 46 on the ground and 59 more on three catches.
Aloha hosts Tualatin at 7:30 p.m. next Friday, while Lincoln hosts Southridge at 4 p.m. Friday at Jeld-Wen Field.
To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.