Rematches highlight Round 2
It certainly has a deja vu feeling to it.
The second round of the Class 6A state football playoffs is highlighted by a pair of Three Rivers League rematches. The Sherwood, Tigard and Tualatin teams are all involved in those rematches — and they're pretty excited about it.
Tigard will host rival Tualatin and Sherwood will travel to Lake Oswego in state playoff second round games starting at 7 p.m. on Friday.
"We're looking forward to it," Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence said of the Bowmen's upcoming postseason game at Lake Oswego. "It will be a good game. But I think we feel good about our chances of winning this game."
The Bowmen will likely be using redemption as motivation in Friday's game, as they fell 27-16 to the Lakers in the teams' regular-season match-up, played back on Oct. 6 at Sherwood High School.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves don't have to think back very far to remember their game with, and loss to, Tigard.
The teams met back on Oct. 27, with the Tigers getting a 28-6 victory in a Three Rivers League finale that started at Tigard High School and finished at Tualatin High School. That's right, due to a power outage at Tigard during the first quarter, the game was moved to Tualatin and resumed there, after a 1 hour and 55 minute delay.
"That was a little on the crazy side," Tigard coach Craig Ruecker said.
The Wolves are hoping to take advantage of their chance for some quick payback.
"It should be a fun game," Tualatin senior running back Nathan Marx said following Tualatin's 36-8 win over Madison in a first-round state playoff game played Friday at Tualatin High School. "It's good to get to the second round, and, of course, we wanted to play Tigard again. It's a chance for redemption. We have to go out and play our game."
"Let's do it again," Tualatin senior running back/defensive back Lucas Noland said with a smile. "Yeah, we wanted this. Tigard is an incredible team. To get another shot at them is great."
In the teams' first meeting two weeks ago, the Tigers turned to their powerful running game, and swarming defense to get the win.
Tigard, in that contest, rushed for 259 yards on 56 carries, controlling the clock in the process. Tiger senior Jake Leavitt rushed for 77 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Senior Spencer Smith ran for 79 yards and junior Malcolm Stockdale ran for 72.
Meanwhile, the Tigard defense limited the Wolves to 122 yards of total offense.
But, those numbers don't seem to have the Tigers overconfident going into the rematch.
"Obviously, Tualatin is a good team," Ruecker said. "We have a lot of respect for them. We're going to have to play a really good football game to come out on top. We're going to have to play better than we did the first time. I'm impressed with their new coach (Dan Lever) and coaching staff. Their team plays hard and they execute."
The Wolves, like the Tigers, should be fired up for Friday's rematch.
"I'm looking forward to it so much," Tualatin sophomore receiver/linebacker John Miller said. "It will be a great game. Our goals will be to stop their run game and to be strong up front."
It looks like Tigard, on Friday, will still be missing one of its key players in senior receiver/defensive back Braden Lenzy, who shared both the Three Rivers League Offensive Player of the Year honor and Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Lenzy suffered a knee injury in a game with Sherwood back on Oct. 13, and he hasn't been back in action since. It was originally thought that this could possibly be the week that Lenzy would return to action. But, according to Ruecker on Tuesday, Lenzy will miss Friday's playoff game.
Tigard, the No. 1 team out of the Three Rivers League and the No. 6 seed for the state playoffs, brings an 8-2 record into Friday's playoff game. Tualatin, the No. 4 team out of the TRL and the No. 11 seed for the playoffs, is 7-3.
Sherwood, in its game at Lake Oswego will be looking to control the ball in it's game with the big-play Lakers.
"Ball control will be key for us," Lawrence said. "We want to keep the ball out of their hands."
With a running game featuring backs Zach Jenkins (who rushed for 68 yards in the teams' first meeting), Ian Stormont (who ran for 71), Ben Baxter, Jacob Reuter and Rustin Williams, among others, and an offensive line featuring Nic Garrison and Jayden Cuthbertson, the Three Rivers League Offensive Lineman of the Year, the Bowmen look to be capable of controlling the ball and the clock.
In the teams' first meet, Sherwood rushed for 285 yards on 59 carries. Sherwood also had 75 total offensive plays in the contest, compared with 48 offensive plays for Lake Oswego.
However, the Lakers gained 433 yards in those 48 plays, and had three touchdowns that covered at least 40 yards.
But Sherwood says it's going to make some adjustments from the first game.
"We've looked back at the film, and we feel real good about where we are going into this game," Lawrence said. "It will be a good game, and we're excited about it. We're looking to play like we did against Tigard (a 25-16 win on Oct. 13), with a lot of pride and emotion. And we know it's hard to beat a team twice."
Sherwood, the No. 6 team out of the TRL and the No. 17 seed for the playoffs, is 5-5 on the season. Lake Oswego, the No. 2 team out of the TRL and the top seed for the playoffs, is 9-1.
The winners of Friday's second-round games will advance to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs, likely to be played on Nov. 17.
The winner of the Tualatin-at-Tigard game will either play at West Linn or host McNary in the quarterfinal round. Sherwood, if it wins at Lake Oswego, will play at either Sprague or Jesuit in the quarterfinal round.