Week 1: Evergreen hopes the pain will be beneficial

Plainsmen lose heartbreaker in opener, look to respond

This one hurt.

The Evergreen Plainsmen had their chances. Rallied to take the lead, in fact.

But Heritage would get the Plainsmen in the final minute.

This one hurt, and it might continue hurting for a while. Evergreen was that close.

Eli Vaa-leiataua rushed for 184 yards on 22 carries to lead the Evergreen offense. Photo by Mike Schultz
Eli Vaa-leiataua rushed for 184 yards on 22 carries to lead the Evergreen offense. Photo by Mike Schultz

Evergreen Plainsmen (0-1)

Week 1: Heritage 21, Evergreen 17

Next: vs. Centralia, 7 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium

Interestingly, that hurt might be a help. The Plainsmen should remember what this one feels like. After all, a year ago, Evergreen lost by 24 points against this same team. This year, Evergreen had a lead in the closing minutes.

“We’ve got to finish,” Evergreen coach Terry Hyde said. “We put ourselves in position to win a game, and we have to finish. We had eight scoring opportunities and came away with, what? Three? We gotta finish. They made plays, and we didn’t.”

That will be the rally cry the rest of the season for Evergreen.

They know how to battle. The Plainsmen were down 14-0 and took the lead. Now they have to find a way got the win.

“What I took away from it more than anything, these kids aren’t afraid to compete. They’ll compete hard. That’s all you can ask of them,” Hyde said.

“It’s the first game. Lot’s to learn and lot’s to build on,” he added.
Eli Vaa-leiataua was having the game of his career before leg cramps took him off the field. The running back had 184 yards on 22 carries.

Defensively, Hyde praised the play of outside linebacker Rayn Preston. Evergreen held Heritage to 68 yards rushing.

“That’s a win for us,” Hyde said.

Zyell Griffin had a big pass-defense on a third-down play. Gedeon Macabeo and Tren Hemann each had tackles for loss among the other Evergreen defensive highlights.


About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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