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Tigers run to rout of Warriors

Tigard scores 28 straight points in the third quarter


by: MATTHEW SINGLEDECKER - STAYING TOUGH -- Tigard senior running back Manu Rasmussen absorbs a hit from Aloha's Maurice McSwain in the first quarter of the Tigers' runaway 56-7 win on Friday.ALOHA — As the Tigard High School football team trotted back on the field for the second half of its non-league contest against Aloha, you could feel it coming.

Armed with a commanding 21-7 halftime lead, the Tigers turned in their best quarter of work to date in the third period. Behind the running of tailback Manu Rasmussen and an increasingly authoritative offensive line, Tigard buried Aloha with 28 unanswered points to open up a 49-7 advantage and eventually run away with a 56-7 clobbering in the game played Friday at Aloha High.

“We just put the pedal to the floor, got the game going again and put the game away,” Rasmussen said. “Our line was blocking great. The holes opened up and we got after it. All Metro teams are great so it feels good to come out here and get the win.”

With the victory, Tigard moved to 2-0 on the season. Aloha fell to 1-1.

Rasmussen was a shifty, slashing, beast who scored touchdowns of 18, 14, and 53 yards in the decisive third quarter on his way to 161 rushing yards on just 13 carries. The senior back and the Tiger big hogs up front asserted their collective will on the Warriors in the third, continually gashing Aloha with a methodical, yet explosive run game that chopped away any glimmer of an upset.

Tigard’s defense was likewise mettlesome in the second half. Senior defensive back Bruin Campbell picked off a floater over the middle and took it 18 yards to paydirt to push Tigard’s lead to 35-7. Campbell’s pick came after senior defensive end Nick Duron put the heat on Aloha quarterback Nick Kraustcheid off the edge and rushed the signal caller into a hurried attempt.

In all, Tigard forced five turnovers, sacked Kraustcheid four times and held the Warriors to only 182 yards of total offense. Duron put the Warrior signal caller on his back twice on the same drive in the first quarter.

“We’re a second half team,” said Duron. “When we came out of the locker room we were looking for more. We were hungry to get after them and that’s what we did. We get all white (jerseys) to the ball.”

The Tigers forced a trio of three-and-outs to begin the third which quickly gave the ball back to an offense that ran on all cylinders. Tyler Walker, Zach Crawford, Joe Lobatto and Ryan Cleveland provide the pressure along the defensive line.

“We played fast. We played physical, got after the quarterback and played hard,” Duron said. “We tried to keep the quarterback contained and not let him out the pocket. Our linebackers stopped the run very well, just a lot of contact.”

In the first half Aloha wide receiver Maurice McSwain caught six balls for 88 yards including a couple of pivotal third down catches that prolonged a duo of Warrior drives. McSwain’s 30-yard catch-and-scamper in the second quarter set up a three-yard touchdown run by Calvin Davis with 7:36 to go that cut Tigard’s lead to 21-7.

Recognizing McSwain was gifted enough to single-handedly torpedo their second preseason win, Tigard went into the locker room at halftime and devised a gameplan built around slowing the Warriors’ primary weapon. Subsequently, the Tigers bracketed McSwain with at least two defensive backs and sometimes put a safety over the top of him to prevent the deep ball. Tigard’s defensive backfield of Rasmussen, Campbell, Daren Rodrigues, and Samuel Inos took turns blanketing McSwain who couldn’t shake free from the constant extra defensive attention.

“Our coach is all about being fast and we showed it out there,” said Yarnell. “We had everything covered and just played well on the ball. There was no room for mistakes so we just made sure we had every aspect of their offense covered to where they couldn’t get anything off.”

Twice in the first half, Yarnell backpedaled into coverage and picked off Kraustcheid, killing a pair of promising Aloha drives with clever deception and gummy hands.

“Coach (Tyler) Harman always tells me to ‘look for work’ and anything that came through I just acted upon it,” said Yarnell. “It turned out pretty good. I read his motions and his eyes so I positioned myself and acted when the ball came to me.”

Tigard came out of the gate bent on atoning for their 36-34 loss to Aloha last year. The Tigers scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the game to open a 21-0 lead with 11:57 to go in the second quarter.

“We say we’re going to punch them in the mouth right when they come out,” said Yarnell. “We always look forward to defense. We’re not necessarily the biggest team but our motto is being fast.”

Quarterback Jett Even moved the chains authoritatively in the first half, dropping short dump offs to his trusty tight ends Duron and Jake Biglow or flinging pump-and-go’s down the sideline to Rodrigues and Campbell.

On the first drive of the game Even found Duron wide open over the middle for a 5-yard touchdown. Then, after an Inos interception, Even hit Campbell with a 59-yard bomb that set up a Bradley Imai 3-yard touchdown up the middle. Running back A.J. Hotchkins rumbled six yards for another touchdown at the start of the second quarter.

“Whatever’s working we stick to it until it stops,” said Rasmussen. “If something’s working we’re going to keep going at it. I like how we’re so versatile. We can throw, we can run. It’s hard for teams to gameplan against us.”

Tigard piled up 469 yards of total offense on the night with Even throwing for 169 yards to six different receivers. In the fourth quarter backup signal caller J.T. Greenough hit Kyle Baldes for a 6-yard touchdown pass.

The Tigers will open Pacific Conference play Friday when they host Glencoe in a game starting at 7 p.m. at Tigard High School. The Crimson Tide is 1-1 on the season.



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