Tigard wraps up the Pacific Conference crown with 48-14 win over Forest Grove

by: DAN BROOD - ONE LONG RUN -- Tigard senior Zach Floyd (23) scored on a 51-yard run on his only carry of the night in the Tigers' 48-14 win over Forest Grove.TIGARD — The Tigers did it again.

And they’re pretty darn happy about it.

The Tigard High School football team were perfect in Pacific Conference play for the second straight season. And the Tigers wrapped up sole possession of the conference title for the second consecutive season in impressive fashion, as they rolled past Forest Grove for a 48-14 win in a regular-season finale played Friday at Tigard High School.

“This is the first checkmark,” said Robby Chabreck, who is part of a Tigard senior class that hasn’t lost a conference game in four years, covering play at the freshman, junior varsity and varsity levels. “This is one of our goals, but we have bigger aspirations.”

“This means everything to us,” Tigard junior quarterback Jett Even said of the league crown. “It means a lot to our school and our community. But now, we have to get ready for the playoffs.”

Forest Grove, which brought a two-game winning streak into Friday’s game, finished the regular season with a 2-5 league record and an overall mark of 2-7.

Tigard finished the regular season with a perfect 7-0 mark in Pacific Conference play while going 8-1 on the season.

“All of our hard work paid off,” said Tigard junior receiver Darren Rodrigues, who had a pair of touchdown receptions in Friday’s game. “We took it week-by-week and we went undefeated in league for the second straight year.”by: DAN BROOD - BIG-PLAY TOUCHDOWN -- Tigard receiver Darren Rodrigues is about to catch the ball and sprint for a 94-yard touchdown pass play.

“We’re extremely proud of our young men,” Tigard coach Craig Ruecker said. “They truly are a team. The prepared hard for the season and worked hard. To put two years together like this is a great accomplishment.”

Not only did Tigard wrap up its second straight perfect league season on Friday, but the Tigers likely gave their upcoming state playoff opponents something to think about, as well.

Tigard, well known for its potent running attack, showed that it also can strike through the air. Even, playing just the first half of Friday’s game, completed nine of 14 pass attempts for 208 yards and three touchdowns.

“That was fun,” Even said with a smile. “Darren, Kaz (Greene) and the guys all got open and they made the catches, and our line did a great job.”

“The last couple of games we’ve been trying to work on our passing,” Rodrigues said. “We wanted to even it out and be a dual threat.”

Tigard actually looked to be a triple threat in the first half of Friday’s game, which ended with Tigard holding a 41-0 lead. The Tiger offense, striking on the ground and in the air, had 313 yards of total offense in the first half while the Tigard defense limited Forest Grove to 48 yards in the first half of play.

“We started off slow on defense last week,” said Chabreck, who had an interception and a tackle for a loss in Friday’s game. “This week, we wanted to come out strong and focus on our speed.”

Tigard showed off its speed on both sides of the ball early in Friday’s game.

The Tigers, in their first possession of the game, quickly marched 65 yards in 10 plays, getting a 14-yard touchdown run by Greene to take a 7-0 lead with 8 minutes and 54 seconds left in the first quarter.

Chabreck then had his first interception of the season in the ensuing Viking possession. Three plays later, Greene scored on a 2-yard run to push the margin to 13-0.

The next time Tigard had the ball, it started a drive on its own 6-yard line. But the ensuing Tiger drive lasted just one play. On first down from the six, Even and Rodrigues teamed up for a 94-yard touchdown on a play-action pass play.

“I saw there was no safety there, and I said ‘this is a touchdown,’” Even said. “I was stoked.”

“I knew it would be open,” Rodrigues said. “Jett threw a perfect pass. It was just like last year when we were playing JV together.”

On Tigard’s next offensive play of the game, Zach Floyd ran 51-yards for a touchdown to up the Tigard lead to 27-0 with 8:28 left in the second quarter.

The Tigers got a 5-yard touchdown pass from Even to junior fullback A.J. Hotchkins and 7-yard TD strike from Even to Rodrigues later in the period to up their lead to 41-0 by halftime.

Tigard, with reserves playing in the second half, got a 19-yard TD pass from sophomore quarterback J.T. Greenough to tight end Aaron Andrus late in the third quarter.

Forest Grove got a 12-yard touchdown run by senior Jacob LeBrun and a 32-yard scoring run by junior Cody Smith in the second half to complete the scoring in Tigard’s 48-14 victory.

“I think this was the most fun game of the season,” Rodrigues said with a smile.

“This was great,” Chabreck said. “It was great seeing the younger guys get in there. Everyone contributed.”

In addition to Even’s big first half passing the ball, Greenough completed five of nine passes for 90 yards while playing the second half.

Floyd had one carry for 51 yards to lead a balanced Tigard rushing attack. Junior Manu Rasmussen added 30 yards on three carries. The Tigers, as a team, rushed for 218 yards on 28 carries.

Greene had three receptions for 86 yards and Rodrigues had two catches for 101 yards.

For the Tigard defense, junior lineman Jacob Mullen had a pair of quarterback sacks. Junior Nick Duron had a quarterback sack, Hotchkins had three tackles for losses and junior Justin Alvarizares had an interception.

For Forest Grove, junior quarterback Zac Collins completed six of 13 passes for 93 yards. Junior Ethan Thursant had three catches for 68 yards. Senior Steven Izquierdo was the Vikings’ leading rusher with 46 yards on 13 carries.

The Vikings will be back in action Friday when they play in a Class 6A play-in game.

The Tigers will play next Nov. 9 when they host a Class 6A state playoff game.

For a complete game story and more photos, see the Nov. 1 issue of the Tigard/Tualatin Times.

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