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Vikings win in dramatic fashion

Forest Grove comes up with a late defensive stand to hold off Centennial and advance to the second round of the playoffs

Forest Grove football coach Dwight Jensen called a time out late in his team's state playoff game against Centennial and asked one simple question.

'Coach asked us which defense was going to show up,' linebacker Brian Gietzen said. 'Was it going to be the one that played well all year, or the one that had shown up tonight?'

Jensen's ploy worked, and the Vikings came up with a season-saving defensive stand in the final minutes to preserve a 24-21 victory that sent Forest Grove into the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1985.

Forest Grove enjoyed a resurgent season on the gridiron in 2010. The Vikings made the most out of life in the remodeled Pacific Conference, winning seven games and earning the program's first state playoff bid in three years by beating Reynolds in a play-in game in October.

The season came to an end with a loss to conference rival and No. 4-ranked Tualatin in the second round of the playoffs, but the stage has been set for future success under Jensen, who will start his third year with the Vikings this summer.

Forest Grove returns two all-conference starters next season and will be looking to improve on last year's fifth-place finish in the conference, which now includes Glencoe, Hillsboro and Century.