Tigers stumble and fall vs. Grizzlies 23-13
After dominating rival McMinnville in the trenches through one quarter of play Friday night, Newberg took a 7-0 lead and appeared well on its way to erasing the memory of its 29-28 loss to Clackamas a week earlier.
Aside from a 15-yard second quarter touchdown pass from Grayson Oviatt to Tyler DeLashmutt, which gave the Tigers a 13-9 lead going into halftime, little went right for Newberg the rest of the night.
While the visitors were cutting up the Tiger defense with big plays in the second half, Newbergs offense just about completely stalled out, as McMinnvilles front seven strangled the running game.
The Grizzlies took the lead 16-13 early in the third quarter and that proved to be all the offense they would need, as they held the Tigers to just 40 yards of total offense in the second half and went on to win 23-13 at Loran Douglas Field.
We just didnt play very well, head coach T.J. Tomlin said. We had a good scheme. We had some things we could have done to them, but we just didnt execute. We had so many missed blocks, so many missed assignments, just little things.
Newberg was turned away on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line on its first drive of the game, but scored two plays later when defensive back Connor Powell collected a Mac fumble two plays later at the 6-yard-line and scooted untouched into the end zone to give the Tigers an early lead.
By that point Powell had already recorded one of his three pass breakups for the game and intercepted a pass, but he was far from threw making big plays.
After Newberg punted on its first three drives of the second half, Powell bailed out the defense by stripping the ball from a receiver who had just caught a pass inside the Tigers 20-yard line.
An interception on the ensuing drive gave the ball back to the Grizzlies, who marched 84 yards for a touchdown to all but end the contest.
He can be kind of scary, Tomlin said. Hes doing a really good job for us. He played a phenomenal game. Its frustrating because as well as he played and kept us in the game, weve got to have all 11 play. I felt at times that we were all here playing. Then there were time we would have one or two mental breakdowns. That just killed us.
The game included a pair of scary moments, the first coming late in the second quarter as wide receiver Colten Lemos suffered a serious knee injury after being spun to the ground by his face mask on a 7-yard run. He left the field on a stretcher, but waved to the crowd, drawing a huge cheer, before being taken to the hospital by ambulance.
McMinnvilles Victor Ostling was also carted away on a stretcher and taken to the hospital after breaking his leg in gruesome fashion in a pile up, as the Grizzlies (3-0, 1-0 Pacific Conference) attempted to sack Oviatt.
Andy Tautfest led Newberg, which will play at Glencoe Friday, with 99 yards rushing on 14 carries.
I think we can bounce back. I know we can bounce back, Tomlin said. We just have to focus on Glencoe now, try to put this one behind us.