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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Passing game shines for no-quit Tigers in opening defeat

PHOTOS BY LON FRENCH

david jin
Taft High senior quarterback David Jin threw for four touchdowns to three different receivers Friday night

While his defense probably felt like it was drinking from a fire hose, there was plenty for Taft head coach Jake Tolan to build on Friday following the Tigers’ lopsided road defeat to powerhouse Harrisburg to open the 2018 high school football season.

Jake Tolan
Taft High head football coach Jake Tolan liked his team’s season-opening effort against the Eagles

While the run-happy Eagles rolled to 35 unanswered first-half points and a 60-29 season-opening victory, Taft senior quarterback David Jin threw for four touchdowns to three different receivers to inspire a dedicated and determined effort from a team that went 2-7 overall and 0-5 in Class 3A West Valley League play last season.

“David Jin showed some really good things out on the field tonight,” Tolan said. “He made good decisions with the ball and had some key runs.”

And passes.

Tyee Fisher
Senior Tyee Fisher scored on a 16-yard pass from Jin

Sophomore wideout Fco Ramos was on the receiving end of two touchdown tosses from Jin, while senior Tyee Fisher and sophomore JJ French caught one each to help the Tigers slice the final margin in half.

“Our kids did a lot of things well tonight, and showed some huge improvement in comparison to last season,” Tolan said. “We will go into next week, look at the film and see how we can all get better.”

Improvement will start with conditioning, Tolan said.

“Harrisburg is a big, physical team that just wore my kids down,” he said. “I liked how we came out in the first quarter and competed. We were able to play right with them, but towards the end of the first, and in the second quarter, our kids started to get tired, and that’s when Harrisburg started to get big plays in their running game.”

Senior quarterback Jonathon Lettkeman scored five touchdowns, and junior running back Gabe Knox led a virtually unstoppable ground attack for the Eagles, who won the Class 3A State title just two seasons ago and have made five straight appearances in the State quarterfinals or better.

Fco Ramos
Sophomore Fco Ramos caught two touchdown passes

Taft committed just one turnover and Jin ran for big gains at key moments during the Tigers’ most meaningful drives. The first came when Ramos caught a 5-yard throw following an 18-yard gain by Jin just before halftime.

Jin and Ramos teamed up again from 14 yards out for the Tigers’ second touchdown to make it 35-13 just inside the 10-minute mark of the third quarter.

JJ French
JJ French scores on a 40-yard swing pass

Two 15-yard penalties helped Taft move downfield midway through the fourth quarter before Jin hit Fisher for a 16-yard score.

French then scampered 40 yards for a TD on a swing pass to finalize the Tigers’ scoring.

Tolan said his team will hit the weights and resume conditioning Monday in preparation for its home opener, Friday, Sept. 7, against Sutherlin at Voris Field.

The Bulldogs of the Class 3A Far West League defeated Class 4A Skyline Conference member Hidden Valley 16-13 Friday on the road. Sutherlin went 4-6, 1-4 in the Class 4A Sky-Em Conference last season.

Eagles soar past Tigers in football opener

Class 3A Special District 1 Standings

LeagueOverallPoints ScoredPoints Allowed
 Amity0-01-0517
 Clatskanie0-01-0460
 Madras 0-01-0537
 Rainier0-01-0586
 Willamina0-01-0340
 Yamhill-Carlton0-01-04213
 Blanchet Catholic0-00-1647
 Dayton0-00-11320
 Salem Academy0-00-13541
 Scio0-00-12021
 Taft0-00-12960
 Corbett

 

Taft Schedule

All games 7 p.m.

8/31Harrisburg, L 60-29

9/7 vs. Sutherlin

9/14Knappa

9/21 vs. Yamhill-Carlton

9/28 vs. Amity*

10/5 @ Clatskanie*

10/11Willamina*

10/19 vs. Dayton*

10/26 vs. Rainier*

*Denotes league game

 

Taft Roster

No.NamePositionGradeHeight
2Logan McLendonWR/DB125-8
3Kaden HindmanWR/S95-9
4Devon LindquistWR/S125-10
6Zane RowleyWR/DB105-4
7Chris LopezWR/DB125-9
8David JinQB/DB125-10
9Kameron KesslerWR/S126-1
11Fco RamosWR/DB105-7
14Tristan BeachWR/DB115-10
15Connor BaileyWR/DB115-10
16Darius SmithWR/DB105-9
19Antonio SuarezQB/LB105-10
20JJ FrenchRB/LB105-10
22Tyee FisherWR/S126-5
23Clay NelsonWR/LB126-0
24Trenton HallWR/LB115-9
25Kaden WhiteWR/DB95-7
28Logan GilleoRB/LB116-0
50Dylan RodriguezOL/DL95-8
53Micah DavisOL/DE115-10
54Eriq AquinoOL/DL126-1
55Elin FitchOL/DE116-3
56Malachi LaFrenzOL/DL126-2
57Jace PhippenOL/DL115-10
60Chris ByrumOL/DL125-8
61Victor CarrascoC/DE126-2
62Brendan WelchOL/DL105-9
66Tyrese HellmanOL/DL116-1
70Josiah LaFrenzOL/DL106-3
74Sebastian WelchOL/DL105-9
75Dakota SteenOL/DL96-0

Harrisburg Roster

No.NamePositionGradeHeightWeight
2Spencer GainesWR/DB116-1160
8Dax BennettQB/LB125-11190
11Chandler StraussQB/LB106-2185
12Jonathon LettkemanQB/DB116-0180
15Riley SuttlesWR/DB125-9155
20Jimmy HollandWR/DB115-8150
21Tristan HarrisWR/LB125-10180
22Joel WarrenWR/DB96-0150
24Gabe KnoxRB/LB115-9200
31Russell TalmadgeWR/DB105-8145
45Devin NelsonRB/LB125-11210
46Jonathan LettkemanRB/LB116-0170
50Joan TapiaOL/DL115-11180
54Wyatt PerryOL/DL116-2235
55Britt MurrayOL/DL96-3160
62Leithan BriggsOL/DL116-0200
63Brennan EricksonOL/DL125-10180
65Vincente VelazquezOL/DL95-7160
67Jackson SaundersOL/DL95-8170
71Elijah PateOL/DL126-0225
74Josh NasshahnOL/DL126-1210
78Brynden BevinsOL/DL125-10160
79Kaden EastmanOL/DL96-0170
82Paul McNultyWR/DB115-10140
88Trenton KirchoffWR/DB95-5110
89Josh HarrisWR/DB95-6120
Jim Fossum
Jim Fossumhttp://SilverandBlackToday.com
Homepage Executive Editor and former longtime Sports Editor of the near-200,000 circulation Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fossum brings 40 years of award-winning experience covering virtually every facet of print and digital journalism to Lincoln City Homepage. The former longtime reporter for the Newport News-Times and Lincoln City News Guard is also Editor-in-Chief and Senior Columnist for SilverandBlackToday.com, which covers the NFL's Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.

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