Tigers upend the Timberwolves 13-7
Newberg gets the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter and holds on to beat Tualatin for the first time since 2002
Whether it was senior running back Andy Tautfest embracing a coach, junior defensive lineman Bryce Schubert pointing his fingers to the sky or junior quarterback Oviatt Grayson jumping into the arms of his linemen, three weeks of frustration boiled over in relief and celebration as the final seconds ticked off of Newbergs 13-7 upset over Tualatin at Loran Douglas Field.
For some on the sidelines and in the stands, it represented release from a decade long drought as the Tigers hadnt tasted success against the Timberwolves since a 28-16 win in 2002.
Weve had some losses and our turning point was this game, Tautfest said. Of course it had to be Tualatin, who has spanked our butt before. But we said, Were not letting that happen today. Were turning our season around and were going. I cant even explain in words how awesome it was for it to be Tualatin.
Following an all too familiar script, Tualatin opened the game by driving the length of the field for a touchdown on its opening drive of the game, but the Newberg defense did not play along, keeping the Tualatin offense under wraps the rest of the evening.
The Tigers finally leveled the game on a Tyler DeLashmutt touchdown reception in the second quarter, but seemed more than happy to grind out the game in the wet weather.
Our kids felt like we were better up front, so we just kept doing our thing, Tomlin said. They tried to beat us at our own game, so we just tried to see if we could do it and we ended up on top.
Newberg turned a first-and-goal situation at the Tualatin 10-yard line into third-and-goal from the 13, but Tautfest responded with a gritty run off left tackle to get the ball down to the one. He punched the ball in for a touchdown on the next play, but the extra point was wide, leaving the door open for the Timberwolves to escape with a victory if they could solve the Tigers defense.
Newberg nearly watched that happen on the ensuing kickoff as a miscommunication led to an onside kick, which was tipped by a Newberg player, then caught on the run by a Tualatin player who had a clear path to the end zone and the winning score. The Tigers, however, were let off the hook by the referees, who inexplicably blew the whistle immediately after the Newberg player tipped the ball, which had not yet travelled the necessary 10 yards.
Still, the Timberwolves found themselves in a good position inside Tigers territory, but were turned away when DeLashmutt intercepted a fourth-down pass with less then four minutes to play.
The Tigers ran the ball three times from inside its 20-yard line to force Tualatin into exhausting its timeouts, then punted, again setting up the Timberwolves with a short field.
The defense, however, was once again up to the task, stuffing a running play, getting a sack and breaking up two passes to end the drive and the game.
Tautfest finished the game with 154 yards rushing on 19 carries, accounting for most of Newbergs 235 yards of total offense.
Theyre a good team and theyre always a good team, so for us to get a team like that is awesome for us, the community and this program, head coach T.J. Tomlin said. Hopefully we can build on that and just keep going.