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Tigers tame the Tornado

Tigard totally dominates in a 42-0 state playoff quarterfinal victory


by: DAN BROOD - NO WHERE TO RUN -- North Medford junior quarterback Jacob Moore (3) is surrounded by Tigard's (from left) Jacob Mullen, Jake Biglow and A.J. Hotchkins.TIGARD — It’s said that nobody’s perfect.

That may be true, but the Tigard High School football team sure seemed to come pretty darn close to perfection.

The Tigers, turned in another high-efficiency attack on offense while totally stifling North Medford on defense on their way to posting a perfectly dominant 42-0 win over the Black Tornado in an OSAA Class 6A state playoff quarterfinal game played Friday at Tigard High School.

“We did well,” said Tigard senior defensive end Joe Lobbato, who had a quarterback sack and forced a fumble in the win. “We had a few mistakes, but we’ll try and clean those up. We want to get to the championship. That’s been our goal — to get there.”

“This means a lot to us,” said Tigard senior running back/cornerback Manu Rasmussen, who rushed for more than 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win. “Our goal each year is to be practicing on Thanksgiving. Now, we’re going to be doing that. This was definitely fun. We work so hard, and this is the reward every week.”

North Medford, the Southern Oregon Conference champion, finished its season with a final overall record of 10-2. Tigard, the Pacific Conference champion, improved to 12-0 on the season with the victory. The Tigers also advance to meet unbeaten Central Catholic in a Class 6A state playoff semifinal game.

by: DAN BROOD - ON THE GO --Tigard senior Manu Rasmussen is on his way to scoring on a 69-yard run in the Tigers' 42-0 state quarterfinal win over North Medford.That game will be played Saturday, starting at 4 p.m. at Portland’s Jeld-Wen Field.

“We’re very excited about that,” Tigard senior lineman Alex Anohkin said. “That’s going to be a great game.”

Maybe so, but, following the commanding performance against North Medford, it looks like the Tigers are likely ready for most anything.

In the quarterfinal victory, Tigard limited the Black Tornado to just 97 yards of total offense while rolling up 459 yards of its own. And, of course, the Tigard defense reveled in getting the shutout.

“That means a ton to us,” Tigard senior linebacker Jake Biglow said. “It’s always nice to get a win, but it’s really nice to know you can keep a team from scoring.”

“We work hard on defense,” Tigard senior fullback/linebacker A.J. Hotchkins said. “This was good.”

“Our defense got after it,” Tigard coach Craig Ruecker said. “We played hard and we played fast. Our kids played Tigard football. I’m very proud of our young men.”

North Medford, in its first offensive possession of the game, marched the ball 53 yards — providing more than half of its offensive output for the game — to the Tigard 29-yard line. But a bad snap prevented the Black Tornado to from even getting off a 47-yard field goal attempt.

The Tigers quickly took over from there.

Hotchkins scored on a 13-yard run up the middle to give Tigard a 7-0 lead with 5 minutes and 27 seconds left in the first quarter.

On the next Tigard offensive possession, Rasmussen sprinted 69 yards for a touchdown that pushed the margin to 14-0 with 1:03 still remaining in the first quarter.by: DAN BROOD - FLINGING IT -- Tigard High School senior quarterback Jett Even (right) lets the football fly during Friday's state playoff quarterfinal game. Even and the Tigers will play Central Catholic on Saturday.

The Tigers opened the second quarter scoring with a 17-yard touchdown run on a reverse sweep to the left side of the field by junior receiver Sam Inos.

In Tigard’s next offensive possession, a 26-yard pass from Tigard senior quarterback Jett Even to senior receiver Daren Rodrigues set up junior Tyler Walker’s 14-yard touchdown run, which gave the home team a 28-0 lead with 3:35 remaining in the second quarter.

The Tigers kept rolling in the second half. In their first possession of the third quarter, Tigard moved 80 yards in eight plays. A 19-yard pass from Even to junior receiver Brady McGetrick helped set up a 22-yard touchdown run by Rasmussen, who benefitted from a big downfield block by Hotchkins, to up the margin to 35-0 with 7:54 remaining in the third quarter.

by: DAN BROOD - GOING NOWHERE -- Tigard senior defensive end Joe Lobbato brings down North Medford's Micah Brown for a loss in Friday's state playoff quarterfinal contest. The Tigers won 42-0. Tigard turned to its passing game to get it final touchdown of the contest. A 42-yard pass from Even to McGetrick set up a 6-yard scoring toss from Even to Rodrigues, who was wide open on a play-action call, coming with 20 seconds left in the third quarter. The TD pass made the final score 42-0.

“This was great,” Tigard senior tight end/defensive end Nick Duron said. “We all did our job. We got the shutout. We want to do that every game, but it’s really nice to do it in the quarterfinals.”

On offense, Tigard, as a team, ran for 319 yards on 49 carries. Rasmussen led the rushing attack with 203 yards on 17 carries.

“The line did a great job,” Rasmussen said. “On the touchdowns, I didn’t even get touched.”

“We’re all brothers,” said Anohkin, who teams with seniors Nathan Wick, Janak Ward, Byron Hammick Jr., sophomore Conner Crist and tight ends Biglow and Duron on Tigard’s offensive line. “We love blocking for those guys. Everyone does their job.”

Junior Landon Floyd added 47 yards on six carries and Walker rushed for 38 yards on six carries.

by: DAN BROOD - TO THE HOUSE -- Tigard junior Sam Inos avoids North Medford senior Micah Brown on his way to scoring on a 17-yard run in the Tigers' quarterfinal win.Even completed eight of 10 pass attempts for 140 yards. Rodrigues had three catches for 48 yards.

For the Tigard defense, Lobbato had a quarterback sack, three other tackles for losses and a forced fumble. Duron had a sack and another tackle for a loss.

Senior Matt Hilliard intercepted a North Medford pass, freshman Tyler Cancellosi had a sack, Biglow recovered a fumble and senior Jacob Mullen had a tackle for a loss.

The Tigard defense also held North Medford to minus-6 rushing yards on 25 attempts. Three Black Tornado quarterbacks combined to complete nine of 24 pass attempts for 103 yards.



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