Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood will all be playing at home

by: DAN BROOD - MR. TOUCHDOWN -- Sherwood senior Keegan Lawrence, who has 28 total TDs on the season, and the Bowmen will host Churchill on Friday. It’s been a heck of a regular season for the four area high school football teams.

The four local squads — Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood and Horizon Christian — have a combined overall record of 29-7, with the Tigers and Bowmen going unbeaten on their way to claiming conference championships.

That’s all well and good.

But, now, things get really serious.

That’s because everyone’s season is on the line as they open state playoff action on Friday.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Horizon Christian senior tight end Isaiah Hall said following the Hawks’ regular-season ending 55-18 win over Willamina on Friday. “We need to step up even more and we need to keep getting closer as a team.”

“This is a fun time of year,” Tualatin coach Rob Hastin said. “Our guys are ready.”

Tigard, which went 9-0 in regular-season play on its way to winning its third straight conference title, will open the Class 6A state playoffs Friday when it hosts Gresham in a first-round game set to start at 7 p.m. at Tigard High School.

Gresham, the No. 4 team out of the Mt. Hood Conference, is 4-6 on the season. The Gophers beat Hillsboro 48-15 in a play-in game this past Friday to earn their state playoff bid.

Tigard, the No. 2 team in the final OSAA Class 6A power rankings, brings a high-powered attack into the playoff contest. The Tigers are scoring at a clip of 55.5 points a game while rolling to 536.4 yards of offense a contest.

Senior quarterback Jett Even leads the Tigard passing game. For the season, Even has completed 103 of 150 pass attempts for 1,913 yards with 23 touchdowns with just one interception.

Senior Manu Rasmussen is the Tigers’ top rusher with 1,329 yards and 24 TDs on 103 carries.

Tualatin, which finished up as the No. 2 team out of the Pacific Conference with an overall of 6-3, will host Centennial Friday at 7 p.m. in a first-round playoff clash.

Centennial, the Mt. Hood Conference runner-up, is 5-4 on the season.

“They’ve played some high-scoring games and they’ve played against some good competition,” Hastin said. “They’re a running team with a good quarterback.”

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have momentum on their side, as they won their final three games of the regular season. Tualatin, which has been battling some injury problems, should also benefit from having a bye this past week.

“It was a great time for a bye,” Hastin said. “It gives us a chance to get healthy. The guys have done a great job overcoming adversity.’

Sherwood, the No. 1 in the OSAA Class 5A power rankings and the defending state champion, brings a perfect 9-0 record into its first-round contest with Churchill, which will be played Friday at 7 p.m. at Sherwood.

The Bowmen are scoring at an average of 61.4 points a game while running for 479.2 yards a contest.

Senior Keegan Lawrence leads the Bowmen rushing attack, as he has ran for 1,475 yards on just 72 carries (a 20.4 yards-per-carry average) with 22 rushing touchdowns. He also has 269 receiving yards and five more scores.

Churchill is 4-5 on the season. The Lancers scored a 34-21 state play-in victory over Parkrose last Friday to earn their state playoff spot.

Horizon Christian, the No. 2 team out of the West Valley League, brings a 5-4 record into its Class 3A state playoff first round game against Rainier, which will start at 7 p.m. Friday at Rainier High School.

Rainier, the Lewis & Clark League champion, is 6-3 on the season.

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