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Warriors get right, race past Beaverton 56-14

Thomas Tyner returns from a concussion with 229 yards and five touchdowns; the Warriors break a five-game losing streak

ALOHA - Some people might have thought there was a warm front passing over Aloha on Friday night.

But this was no weather phenomenon - instead, it was the collective sigh of relief from the Aloha football team after the Warriors shucked off a five-game losing streak by crushing Beaverton 56-14 at Aloha High School.

The win lifted Aloha's Metro League record to 1-3 (3-5 overall) and kept alive the Warriors' slim hopes of finishing third in league play and earning one of the Metro's automatic berths to the Class 6A state playoffs.

To get there, Aloha must win its league finale - set at Sunset at 7:30 p.m. Friday - and get some help. The Warriors also need Southridge (3-1, 4-3) to beat Westview (2-2, 2-6) on Friday night, then would need to win a coin flip against Sunset and Westview to finish third.

'Getting healthy is the biggest thing, but we'll take it however it happens,' said Aloha coach Chris Casey. 'We just want to improve each week.'

As to the healthy part, Aloha took an important step in that direction on Friday night by welcoming back junior tailback Thomas Tyner. Tyner, who hadn't played since suffering a concussion against Lakeridge on Sept. 23, made his return a successful one - OK, very, very successful - carrying eight times for 229 yards and five touchdowns, four of them on runs of 37 yards or longer.

'We blocked very well at the point of attack and we blocked very well downfield, and Thomas obviously ran very well,' Casey said.

Beaverton, meanwhile, fell to 1-3 in league (3-5 overall) and closes its regular season with a home game against Jesuit at 7:30 p.m. Friday. With a win there, the Beavers could also give themselves a chance at that third-place tie and coin flip for the Metro's final automatic state playoff berth.

'They were good - more credit to them - but it makes a huge difference when you have a kid running the ball like that,' Beaverton coach Bob Boyer said. 'When (Tyner's) on the field, it's a completely different game.'

The Warriors hit the ground running Friday, taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on two Tyner TD runs, the first from 37 yards and the second from 5.

Aloha then sandwiched two more Tyner TDs around Beaverton's first score in the second period. Tyner broke off a 43-yard scoring run to make it 21-0 early in the second stanza, Beaverton answered with an 18-yard scoring strike from Kyle Eckrosh to Malik Fontleroy-Smith, but the Warriors came back before halftime with a 61-yard Tyner run to make it 28-7 at the break.

Eckrosh helped cut his team's deficit to 28-14 at the beginning of the third quarter on a 9-yard run, but Beaverton's offense made just too many mistakes to have a chance to win. While Eckrosh passed effectively - he went 14-of-28 passing for 126 yards with one TD and one interception - the Beavers rushed for just 94 yards, fumbled the ball seven times and lost six of those to Aloha.

'Offensively, there were just too many self-inflicted injuries,' Boyer said. 'We just had too many drops.'

Aloha added two more TDs in the third and two more in the fourth, with Tyner going 69 yards and quarterback Cory Sinner scoring from 1 yard out in the third, and CJ Eytel going in from 2 yards and Richard Belog from 6 in the fourth.

Casey was also proud of his team's defensive effort in forcing seven turnovers and limiting the Beavers to 220 yards in total offense.

'Our defense attacked all game long,' Casey said, praising the efforts of Ray Ayo, Anthony Ward and Justin Howard. 'The all really played well on defense, and our defensive line played extremely well.'

For Beaverton, Brandon Cornwell carried nine times for 29 yards and Eckrosh 11 times for 29 yards, while Fontleroy-Smith made eight catches for 71 yards.