Battle Ground still optimistic

Battle Ground Tigers

The score was lopsided, but the Tigers had some good moments in Week 1

Week 1: Beaverton (Ore.) 47, Battle Ground 6

Week 2: at Tualatin (Ore.) 7 p.m. Friday

A bunch of new starters this season. The Tigers are looking to gain experience and improve. Coach Mike Kesler is optimistic, despite the final score of Friday’s contest.

Plays that stood out:

Battle Ground’s Aksel Fridriksson was his coach’s pick as MVP on defense for Week 1. Photo by Mike Schultz
Battle Ground’s Aksel Fridriksson was his coach’s pick as MVP on defense for Week 1. Photo by Mike Schultz

Lack of experience and depth posed a problem late in this game, but make no mistake, the Tigers were competitive early, led by its defense.

Beaverton went for it on fourth-and-1 on the first drive of the game. Big mistake against Battle Ground’s Austin Stewart. The defensive lineman crushed the ball carrier for no gain, giving the Tigers the ball.

Later, Aksel Fridriksson would end up getting a sack based on a couple of things: His motor. That never-say-die attitude just kept him moving toward the quarterback. Plus the coverage in the secondary. Took a while for Fridriksson to get there, but he did go past two linemen who tried to block him and then he got the sack.

And Jordan Sullivan got himself a linebacker’s dream type of sack. He blitzed, and no one saw him coming so it was just a beeline for the quarterback, who had no chance. Sack for the Tigers. Plus it was a fourth-down play.

Coach speak:

What did Mike Kesler learn about his team from Week 1? “They need to start getting a little more self confidence in what we’re coaching, and the confidence in themselves to get the job done. They were doing their own little thing out there. The inexperience is the biggest key.’’

Coach’s pick for MVP on offense: Tyrel Halme, running back, rushed for 90 yards.

Coach’s pick for MVP on defense: Aksel Fridriksson. “He gave 100 percent every time, and he made some big plays for us.” He also was forced into playing more of a linebacker than his normal spot on the defensive line.

Thoughts on the next game: “If we continue to get better at our reads, alignments, and assignments, I think we’re going to be fine.”

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.

Related posts