Fourth-ranked Amity High seized advantage of a turnover for a touchdown and defensive breakdowns on three isolated plays in the first half Friday to remain undefeated with a 34-18 West Valley League home football victory Friday over Taft.
“We feel that we allowed them to have a little more success in the first half than they should have,” Taft coach Jake Tolan said. “They threw a couple of pass plays against us for touchdowns, but that’s just what a team like Amity does. They run the ball, and then they’re pretty effective with their play-action.”
A ball that squirted away from Taft quarterback Jack Stempel and returned for a touchdown on the Tigers’ third play of the game opened the scoring for the Warriors. Throw in the two play-action TD tosses and a long run for a TD and four plays spelled doom for the Tigers, 3-3, 2-2.
“They kind of had some of our secondary guys bite on the run and slipped the receiver or a tight end behind our coverage and he was able to score,” Tolan said. “We had some penalties in the first half that gave them some good field position, so, from my standpoint, it was like we kind of gave them 26 points on four plays.”
Taft’s first-half score came on a long pass from Stempel to junior Josh Salsbery.
Taft, down 26-6 at half, stopped Amity on its opening drive of the second half and marched downfield almost exclusively on the ground for a score. Stempel scored on a run from just inside the 10, and Dylan Gold ran across from the 1-yard line for another Taft score.
“As a coach,I was really proud of the drive coming out of halftime,” Tolan said. “It was a very physical drive where we ran the ball quite a few consecutive times, moved the ball, and ended up getting points off of it.
“We outplayed them in the second half. We didn’t make too many mistakes in the second half, either. It was kind of nice to play a good second half and, hopefully, we can carry that momentum into Santiam Christian on Thursday.”
The top three West Valley League teams make the playoffs. Santiam Christian is currently third and Taft fourth.
Class 3A West Valley League
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