Tualatin pulls away to score a 32-20 state playoff victory

TUALATIN — After a week off, the Tualatin High School football team may have been a bit rusty at the start of its playoff opener with Clackamas.

Maybe that’s the reason while the Timberwolves struggled with some early-game mistakes.

But the Wolves, who had a bye the week before, overcame those mistakes, and the Cavaliers.

They ended up putting things together on their way to scoring a 32-20 victory in the Class 6A state playoff game played Friday at Tualatin High School.

“It was a good battle. Clackamas played well,” Tualatin coach Rob Hastin said. “We had a lot of mistakes early, and that put us in a hole. But we cleaned it up in the second half and put it away. We overcame the challenge.”

Clackamas, the No. 4 team out of the Three Rivers League, finished its season with a final overall record of 5-6.

Tualatin, the Pacific Conference runner-up, improved to 9-1 on the season with the win.

The Wolves also advance to host Sprague in a state playoff second round game Friday, starting at 7 p.m., at Tualatin High School.

In Friday’s game with Sprague, the Wolves will likely be looking to play with more precision than they did in the postseason opener with Clackamas.

Tualatin had four turnovers in the contest. One of those turnovers, a fumble, gave Clackamas a 7-0 lead as Cavalier lineman Jon Kenion fell on a loose ball in the end zone early in the second quarter.

The Wolves answered back, getting a 36-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Brandon Shroyer to junior receiver Nick Hines. Calo Alves’ extra-point kick tied the game at 7-7 later in the period.

Shroyer accounted for the next touchdown with his legs, as he scrambled 67 yards for a score that gave Tualatin a 13-7 halftime lead.

“He’s making plays and he’s being a leader,” Hastin said of Shroyer.

Tualatin senior running back Andrew Schlottmann scored on a 1-yard blast to push the Timberwolf lead to 19-7 early in the third quarter.

But Clackamas kept fighting back. The Cavaliers got a 35-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Doonie Johnson to junior receiver Brody Haehlen, trimming the margin to 19-14 in the third.

Tualatin came back with a touchdown pass play of its own, with Shroyer and junior Cooper Brunner teaming up for a 37-yard TD strike.

Clackamas closed the gap again, getting a 17-yard TD pass from Johnson to Erick Johnson, making the score 25-20 in the final stanza.

But the Wolves wrapped up the win behind a 77-yard touchdown run by Schlottmann, making the final score 32-20.

“We came together and got a good win,” Hastin said.

For the game, Tualatin had 423 yards of total offense in the win, with 275 of those yards coming on the ground.

Schlottmann led the rushing attack with 140 yards on 13 carries. Shroyer added 96 yards on six carries.

Shroyer also completed eight of 19 passes for 166 yards and a pair of scores.

Senior Zachary Salton, senior Austin Green and Hines each had a pair of receptions.

For the Tualatin defense, seniors Derek Senger and Randall Tainer each had an interception.

Schlottmann recovered a Clackamas fumble.

Sprague, the No. 2 team out of the Central Valley Conference, brings a 9-1 overall record into Friday’s playoff game at Tualatin.

“They’re a good team that scores a lot of points,” Hastin said. “The key for us will be not making mistakes. We need to eliminated the turnovers and play good team football.”

Tualatin and Sprague last met in the 2010 state playoffs, when the Wolves scored a 51-9 win over the Olympians in a first-round state playoff contest.

Tualatin went on to reach the Class 6A state championship game that year.

The winner of Friday’s second-round game at Tualatin will advance to play either Jesuit or Thurston in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs.

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