Tualatin clinches a Class 6A state bid with a wild 24-21 win over Century

TUALATIN — It’s official.

The Tualatin High School football team is going to the playoffs.

The Timberwolves wrapped up an automatic bid to the Class 6A state playoffs by scoring a 24-21 win over Century in a Pacific Conference game play Friday at Tualatin High School.

With the victory, the Wolves improved to 4-2 in conference play (5-3 overall), putting them in a tie with Glencoe for second place in the standings with one game left to play. The top four teams in the final standings earn automatic bids to the state playoffs. Tualatin can finish no lower than fourth place.

But earning that playoff berth didn’t come easy against a Century (2-4, 2-6) team that suffered its fourth loss by three points or less.

The Timberwolves took a 3-0 lead when senior Ryan Hyatt booted a 29-yard field goal coming with 6 minutes and 11 seconds left in the first quarter.

Tualatin senior quarterback Brandon Shroyer then completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Cameron Frey to up the lead to 10-0 with 9:48 remaining in the second quarter. The Wolves carried the 10-point lead to halftime.

There was no scoring in the third quarter, but things certainly got wild in the final stanza.

Century got on the scoreboard with a 4-yard touchdown run by Oscar Rojas, which trimmed the lead to 10-7 with 9:36 left to play in the contest.

Tualatin pushed the lead back to 10, at 17-7, when junior defensive end Kaleb Olsen recovered a Century fumble for a touchdown with 3:33 remaining in the game.

Persistent Century battled back again. The Jaguars cut the margin to 17-14 when Rojas scored on a 1-yard run with 1:48 left to play.

But Tualatin senior Connor McCullough returned the ensuing onside kick 51 yards for a touchdown, making the score 24-14 with 1:43 left to play.

Century wasn’t done. The Jaguars got a 1-yard touchdown pass from Marcos Hernandez to Spenser Erickson with 23 seconds remaining to make the final score 24-21.

The Wolves ran for 116 yards in the victory. Shroyer led the rushing attack with 54 yards on 13 carries. Junior Eli Robinson added 35 yards on 12 carries and senior Ryan Wisner had 27 yards on seven carries.

Shroyer also completed 10 of 20 passes for 93 yards. Senior Nick Hines was the Wolves leading receiver with four catches for 38 yards. Wisner had three grabs for 27 yards.

Tualatin will finish its regular season schedule Friday when it hosts Glencoe in a Pacific Conference game starting at 7 p.m. The winner of Friday’s game will finish alone in second place in the final conference standings.

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