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Tigard could be in for a very special season

by: DAN BROOD - GOOD TIME -- Tigard students celebrate following their team's win over Tualatin on Friday.TIGARD — This just in.

The Tigard High School football team is really good.

No, make that really, really, really good.

The Tigers proved how good they are on Friday when they rumbled to a 41-0 win over rival Tualatin in a Pacific Conference showdown played in front of a large, loud crowd at Tigard High School.

It’s not just that the Tigers won, but it’s how they won.

The showed their unique combination of speed and power. It’s a combination that will cause opposing teams fits the rest of the season.

In addition, every Tigard player I talked to after Friday’s game insisted that the victory was the result of a total team effort.

That team effort, not to mention the combination of speed and power, could take the Tigers a long way this season — maybe as far as possible, if you know what I mean.

Like it did this past Friday, Tigard has already shown that it can step up and take on talented foes.

Even in the team’s one loss this season, 36-34 to unbeaten Aloha earlier this season, Tigard proved it could battle the best.

The Tigers were literally inches away from winning that game, where each squad scored five touchdowns, as a last-second, potential game-winning field goal drifted barely wide left of the goal post. Also, while ultra-special Aloha senior Thomas Tyner rushed for 381 yards in that contest, Tigard actually outrushed the Warriors as a team.

Later, in a league game with high-scoring Century, the Tigers literally blitzed their way past the pass-happy Jaguars in the second half to get another crucial victory.

The Tigard players also seem to have their heads on straight. Following the big league win over the rival Timberwolves, Tiger players were already talking about having to get prepared for their next opponent — that would be winless Hillsboro.

Meanwhile, as for the Timberwolves, while Friday’s loss may have stung badly, it could also benefit the young squad in the long run.

As the Tualatin team walked off the field at Tigard High School Friday night, the Timberwolves looked upset, they looked mad, but most of all they, looked determined.

You could see it in their eyes.

They were hurt — they were going to do their best not to ever let it happen again.

And I’m betting they had a very spirited week of practice. That should pay off for the Wolves as they face three key league games to finish up the regular season.

Tualatin will host McMinnville tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. On Oct. 19, the Wolves will face Century at Hillsboro Stadium and, on Oct. 26, Tualatin will finish its league slate by facing Glencoe at Hare Field.

Tualatin, McMinnville, Century and Glencoe are all tied for second place in the Pacific Conference standings going into the final three weeks of the league season.

*****

Rivalry games are always fun, especially when league-title implications are involved.

There are two other such games this week.

Tonight (Thursday), Horizon Christian travels to Dayton for a 7 p.m. West Valley League game with the winner claiming sole possession of first place in the league standings.

While Horizon and Dayton may not have an established rivalry on the football field, there definitely is a rivalry between the two schools, as they have met in the Class 3A boys basketball state championship game in each of the past three seasons.

Then, on Friday, the intense Sherwood-Wilsonville rivalry takes center stage, as those two Class 5A state powers will meet at 7 p.m. at Wilsonville High School. The teams go into the contest with identical 4-0 marks in Northwest Oregon Conference play, with the winner almost assuredly going on to claim the league crown.

*****

Another thing that makes rivalry games special is the atmosphere.

That certainly was the case in last Friday’s game at Tigard. It was a standing-room only crowd, with a big amount of gusto from both sides.

That was especially true of the Tigard students, who always seem to take things to a higher level when it comes to enthusiasm.

“Our fans are great,” senior Tigard senior running back Kaz Greene, who rushed for 237 yards and three touchdowns in Friday’s game. “They were out here at 4:30 p.m. We could feel their energy, and that helps a lot.”

Dan Brood, who still fondly remembers his senior-year football game against rival Enumclaw, is the sports editor at The Times.




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