Viks outlast Glencoe in finale
Forest Grove beats Glencoe 27-19 and clinches a home game in the play-in round of the playoffs
Needing a win on Friday to shore up its postseason resume, Forest Grove went out and got it with a 27-19 come-from-behind triumph over Glencoe, clinching fifth place in the Pacific Conference and earning the Vikings a home game in the play-in round of the Class 6A state playoffs, which begin this week.
Forest Grove (3-6, 3-4) trailed 19-14 midway through the third quarter, but rallied to go ahead on Kyle Vanderkin's 43-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jesse Zamora with 1:50 remaining in the period. The Vikings got some insurance in the fourth quarter on Jon Dober's 15-yard scoring run, and the defense shut down Glencoe (2-7, 2-5) the rest of the way.
Dober carried the load for Forest Grove offensively, rushing 26 times for 188 yards and the clinching touchdown. Since returning from a leg injury three weeks ago, Dober has sparked the Vikings with 427 yards of total offense and provided consistency at the running back position, where the Viks have struggled with numerous injuries.
Zamora completed 9 of 17 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns, both to Vanderkin, who finished with three catches for a team-high 73 yards. Chris Wertz added four receptions for 67 yards.
After giving up two early touchdowns and falling behind 13-0 in the first quarter, Forest Grove responded 33 seconds before halftime with a 19-yard scoring pass from Zamora to Vanderkin that made it a one-touchdown game at the break.
The Vikings took a brief one-point lead on Zamora's 1-yard quarterback keeper in the third quarter, but Glencoe answered on its next possession with a 3-yard scoring run from Ryan England that put the Crimson Tide ahead 19-14.
Forest Grove refused to roll over, however, scoring late in the third quarter to go ahead 20-19, then getting some extra breathing room on Dober's touchdown jaunt with 8:30 left in the fourth.
The rest was on the Forest Grove defense, which shut out Glencoe the rest of the way and allowed just 28 passing yards all game. Senior linebacker Jake Bennett was all over the field on Friday, finishing with 15 tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery and four pass deflections. Wertz also had a sack, while Dober and Jake LeBrun each had a tackle for loss.
The win, coupled with McMinnville's 40-14 victory over Newberg, slotted the Viks into the league's No. 5 position for the state playoffs, where they will open at home on Friday against Clackamas (1-8, 0-5), the last-place finisher from the Three Rivers League.
The winners of the 11 play-in games this week will be re-seeded into a 32-team bracket - along with the 21 automatic qualifiers - for the official start of the Class 6A state playoffs on Nov. 11.
Friday's game against Clackamas is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Forest Grove.