A look back: Heritage defense gets the job done

Heritage

Heritage Timberwolves

A look ahead: Timberwolves to face Evergreen in Week 2

Week 1: Beat Prairie 28-14

Week 2: vs. Evergreen at McKenzie Stadium, 4:30 p.m.

The Timberwolves got the best of the Falcons in the second half. Quarterback Michael Taras was impressive, and the defense got the job done.

Plays that stood out to me:

Heritage receiver Ammon Garrison provided more than one key play in the Timberwolves’ Week 1 win over Prairie. Photo by Mike Schultz
Heritage receiver Ammon Garrison provided more than one key play in the Timberwolves’ Week 1 win over Prairie. Photo by Mike Schultz

Prairie’s first possession of the game, the Falcons are driving, trying to get momentum for this game, for this season. Heritage needs a stop. It’s fourth-and-1, and the Heritage defensive line

blows up the play, allowing time for linebackers and defensive backs to pursue and get a tackle for loss. Heritage ball.

Quobe Altig-Johnson got into the Prairie backfield as the Falcons faked a handoff to the running back. Atlig-Johnson was not fooled and he forced a fumble. Prairie recovered, but it was a loss of 5 yards on the play.

In the third quarter, Heritage was driving, facing a fourth-and-3. Michael Taras finds Ammon Garrison for a first down. Next play, the two combine for a 25-yard gain. Heritage would score two plays later on a Taras touchdown run.

Neithen Stanley had an interesting double. A big play on defense, followed by a big play on offense. First, he had an interception. A few plays later, he caught a touchdown pass. He was in the air when he caught the ball, was hit by a defender, but got a foot down just before hitting the pylon for a touchdown.

Coach Speak:

What did Matt Gracey learn about his team in Week 1? “Our guys are a tough little group. We’ve got some good leadership in our senior level, and I was really, really proud of how the juniors and sophomores played.”

Coach’s pick for MVP of offense: Michael Taras. Finished with 313 yards passing and a touchdown, along with three rushing TDs. “That would make him our MVP I think. Yep.”

Coach’s pick for MVP of defense: Quobe Altig-Johnson ended up with 15 tackles, including three sacks. He forced that fumble noted above and also had a fumble recovery on a different play.

Thoughts on Week 2: Gracey figures a lot of fans believe Evergreen “surprised” Columbia River in Week 1. Gracey said he was not surprised. “What Evergreen did was control the ball and play a solid game. When you make mistakes against Evergreen, they capitalize on them.”

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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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