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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Tigers take momentum on road for Friday night showdown in Sutherlin

Sutherlin has a score to settle with visiting Taft on Friday when the teams collide at 7 p.m. in Class 3A nonconference high school football action.

A year ago, junior running back Logan Gilleo scored on a 1-yard pass early in the second quarter before senior wide receiver Tyee Fisher caught a 5-yard TD pass that was questionably ruled in bounds just 13 seconds before halftime. The score gave the Tigers a 14-13 lead in their home opener that would hold up for what would become their only victory of the season.

The Bulldogs went on to finish 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the Special District 2 North before being eliminated by State semifinalist Vale in the first round of the playoffs. Taft finished 1-8 and winless in the SD2 West.

Taft head coach Jake Tolan and his troops

What a difference a year makes, then.

The Tigers are coming off a 14-6 season-opening home upset Friday of perennial power Harrisburg after falling to the Eagles 60-29 on the road in last year’s season opener. Sutherlin fell 50-26 to Hidden Valley Friday at home.

“Even when facing adversity, our kids were able to battle and come away with a much-needed win,” said Taft coach Jake Tolan, whose Tigers held Harrisburg to no offensive touchdowns and forced several turnovers in the home win.

JJ French

Antonio Saurez

The only points Harrisburg scored came when senior running back Gabe Knox returned a kickoff for a touchdown with 10:55 left in the first half to make it 7-6 after Taft junior JJ French scored the game’s first TD on a short pass from junior quarterback Antonio Saurez at the 11:12 mark of the second quarter.

Logan Gilleo is off to the races

Now a senior, Gilleo added a 60-yard catch and run for a score 5:37 before halftime, and junior place-kicker William Calderon added both PATs for the final 14-6 margin. Junior defensive back Darius Smith picked off two passes before the teams played to a scoreless second half.

Darius Smith celebrates a turnover with his teammates

“I am so proud of my team,” Tolan said. “They played well, believed in themselves and fought hard as a team. We made many mistakes that we can learn from and get better at, but overall I’m happy we were able to come away with a win.”

Taft used five turnovers to earn the one-point victory over Sutherlin in last year’s home opener at Voris Field.

Trenton Hall gets a piece of the action

Sutherlin is a traditional running team utilizing the Wing T,  a deceptive offense that typically lines up three backs in a row behind center with intentions of making every play look the same for the first few steps.

Sutherlin coach Josh Gary’s squad stepped down from Class 4A to 3A last season and ran at least 80 percent of the time behind senior quarterback Cade Meisner and running back Bryce Anderson. While Meisner and Anderson have graduated, Gary is expected to turn to the senior triumvirate of Jacob Merrifield, Brandon Carr and Mason Gill to power the offense Friday night.

“The highlight of our play was how well our defense played,” Tolan said of the Harrisburg win and the need to apply the brakes to Sutherlin.

Photos by Lon French

Trenton Hall says it all

Taft Roster

Coach: Jake Tolan

No.NamePositionGradeHeightWeight
Colby HelmsRB/LB115-10190
William CalderonK/DB115-7150
1Cayden EdmondsWR/DB105-8130
2Jordan HallWR/LB125-11165
3Kaden HindmanWR/S105-10170
4Trenton FisherWR/DB125-11135
5Brendan WelchWR/LB115-10175
6Austin WintersWR/LB105-10140
7Sam AllanWR/DB96-0140
8Josh RuizRB/DE106-1200
10Braxton BrockettRB/LB95-7130
11Fco RamosWR/S115-9160
12Gavin KocejaQB/DB95-10140
13Bear ReyesWR/LB95-7150
14Tristan BeachWR/LB126-0165
15Haden ChavezWR/LB95-8165
16Darius SmithWR/DB115-9170
17Afton DeanWR/LB106-0200
19Antonio SuarezQB/LB115-10175
20JJ FrenchRB/LB115-10175
21Alex CarrascoRB/LB95-4160
23Roman PenaWR/DB95-9135
24Trenton HallRB/LB125-11175
26Devin EvjenRB/LB95-8180
28Logan GilleoRB/LB126-0195
44Alec BosworthOL/DL126-1235
51Dylan RodriquezOL/DE105-9160
52Jose MagallanesOL/DL95-4150
53Micah DavisRB/DE125-11180
55Elin FitchOL/DE126-4185
56Jesse CarrilloOL/DL105-10220
57Jace PhippenOL/DL125-11230
62Damian HillOL/DL96-0250
66Tyrese HellmanOL/DL126-2240
69Raiden HansenOL/DL96-4290
70Oscar SanchezOL/DL95-10225
74Bash WelchOL/DL115-10305
77Dakotah SteenOL/DL106-4350
99Tony GarciaOL/DE125-11260

Sutherlin Roster

Coach: Josh Gary

No.NamePositionGradeHeightWeight
1Mason GillWR/DB126-3165
2Case WellsDB/RB125-8160
3Brandon CarrDB/WR125-11150
4Dylan SmalleyDB/QB115-8150
5Tehgan PaciniLB/QB116-1180
9Keith SorensonK116-0170
10Jacob MerrifieldDB/RB125-8160
14Colby OlsenLB/RB115-10180
22Logan HillRB/DB115-10170
25Adan DiazLB/RB105-5160
32Josh DavisLB/RB116-2225
34Wyatt BrinkDB/TE116-2160
51Hunter ElbertDL/OL125-11180
62Jason BakerDL/OL125-10190
63Byron BakerDE/OL126-2220
64Hunter StrongDL/OL126-0220
65Isaac HornDE/OL126-3235
72Kobey CrumpDL/OL126-0225
74Dayden JacobsDL/OL125-10270
75Caden MeabonDL/OL116-3210
77Isaiah BaezDL/OL115-9225
80Rylan PhilowDE/TE116-2180
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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