The Tigers are alone in first place in the Pacific Conference with their 41-0 win over Tualatin
TIGARD The Tigard linemen say the backs ran with a lot of heart.
The Tiger running backs say the linemen opened up huge holes.
And, as for the Tigard defense, well it just spoke for itself loudly.
Put it all together, and you have a total team effort and an impressive win over a big-time competitor.
The Tigard High School football team claimed the inside track to the Pacific Conference championship by rolling to a 41-0 win over rival Tualatin in a league showdown played Friday at Tigard High School.
This means a lot to us, said Tigard senior running back Kaz Greene, who rushed for 237 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. We try not to put any game as being bigger than any other game, but this one meant more.
This one is going down in the books, said Tigard senior running back Zach Floyd, who ran for a pair of touchdowns and passed for another. For sure, this was a total team effort. Everyone played well. Weve been playing these guys since third or fourth grade. This was probably the last time we get to play them, so this really meant a lot for the seniors.
Tualatin, which came into the game unbeaten and tied with Tigard for first place in the league standings, moved to 5-1 on the season and to 3-1 in league play with the setback.
This hurts bad, said Tualatin senior lineman Dane Simonsen, who had a quarterback sack and a blocked extra point in the contest. We played hard to the end, but it didnt go our way. We didnt play the way we wanted to. We knew we had to be physical, and we didnt do it.
Tigard improved to 5-1 on the season and to 4-0 in Pacific Conference play with the victory, putting the Tigers all alone in first place in the league standings.
This is an amazing feeling, Tigard senior lineman Cain Adams said. I missed last years game with an (anterior cruciate ligament) injury and had to just stand on the sidelines and watch. I think I came back and proved something.
The Tigers may very well have proved that they are the team to beat in the Pacific Conference this year as they go for their second straight league crown.
Tigard certainly seemed to prove its point behind a running attack that accounted for 418 yards on 51 carries.
The elusive Greene, all 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds of him, spearheaded that attack.
I was determined to play well, Greene said with a smile. I didnt want to let my team down.
Floyd added 117 rushing yards on 17 carries and senior Benny Wick ran for 67 yards on nine carries.
They did a great job, Tigard senior lineman Janak Ward said. Its fantastic blocking for those guys. And we know we have to keep blocking downfield for them, because they can break it at any time.
Our backs run their hearts out, Adams said. We love blocking for them.
The Tigard backs give the credit right back to the linemen.
Those guys just create huge holes, Wick said of the group that includes Adams, Ward, senior Matt Franz, senior Ethan Lange, senior Blake Chamberlain, senior tight end Conner Olson and junior tight end Jake Biglow.
I think we have the best line in the state, Floyd said. I think they might have played their best game so far tonight.
Meanwhile, the Tigard defense limited the Timberwolves to 133 yards of offense in getting the shutout.
That meant a lot to us, Wick said of the shutout.
With both rivals fired up at the start of Fridays game, Tigard took a 6-0 lead when Greene, operating out of Tigards wildcat formation, scored on a 25-yard run with 5 minutes and 32 seconds left in the first quarter.
Greene and the Tigers struck again early in the second quarter, as the senior scored on a 75-yard scamper down the left sideline. Floyd added a two-point conversion run to up the Tigard lead to 14-0 with 9:03 left before halftime.
Floyd, playing at quarterback in Tigards wildcat attack, threw a 16-yard TD pass to Olsen with 31.6 seconds left in the second quarter to give Tigard a 21-0 halftime lead.
Floyd kept things rolling for Tigard at the start of the third quarter, as he returned the second-half kickoff 70 yards to the Tualatin 25-yard line. Three plays later, Greene scored on a 25-yard run to push the margin to 28-0 with 10:48 left in the period.
Later in the quarter, Floyd capped off an 11-play, 60-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown burst, making the score 34-0 with 1:21 left in the period.
Floyd capped off the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown run with 6:30 left in the game, making the final 41-0.
That was a great team effort, Tigard coach Craig Ruecker said. We played great defense, our offensive line dominated and our running backs made big plays.
Im feeling pretty good, Adams said with a big smile on his face.
Not only did Adams provide some strong blocking for the Tigard offensive attack, but he also had a pair of tackles for losses on defense.
Also for the Tigard defense, Wick, Lange, Biglow and junior Jacob Mullen each had a quarterback sack. Junior defensive end A.J. Hotchkins recovered a Tualatin fumble.
For Tualatin, senior Andrew Schlottmann had a strong night running the ball, as he rushed for 109 yards on 21 carries. Junior Cooper Brunner added 21 rushing yards.
For the Timberwolf defense, Brunner had an interception. Seniors Kenny Walther and Cody Summers each had a tackle for a loss.
Theyre a good team, but I dont think the score isnt indicative of how we can play, Simonsen said. We have to come out, work hard and make sure this doesnt happen again.
Both teams will be back in action on Thursday. Tualatin will host McMinnville and Tigard will host Hillsboro in Pacific Conference games starting at 7 p.m.
For a complete game story, more photos and a column on the game, see the Oct. 11 issue of the Tigard/Tualatin Times.