Evergreen defense leading the way

Evergreen opened the season with a solid win over Columbia River and now the Plainsmen will meet Heritage in Week 2.

Plainsmen 3-1 this season after allowing just 8.7 points a game in their three wins

Evergreen Plainsmen (3-1, 1-0 3A GSHL)

Week 1: Evergreen 26, Columbia River 13

Week 2: Heritage 34, Evergreen 7

Week 3: Evergreen 12, Hudson’s Bay 7

Week 4: Evergreen 9, Black Hills 6

Next: Prairie vs. Evergreen, 4:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium

Second consecutive defensive battle for the Evergreen Plainsmen. Second consecutive victory, too.

Evergreen has been fueled this season by the play of its defense. Here, defensive lineman Alex Rodriquez (79) bears down on a Hudson’s Bay ball carrier in a game earlier this season. Photo by Mike Schultz
Evergreen has been fueled this season by the play of its defense. Here, defensive lineman Alex Rodriquez (79) bears down on a Hudson’s Bay ball carrier in a game earlier this season. Photo by Mike Schultz

Setting the tone:

Black Hills’ first snap of the game went pretty much nowhere, and five Evergreen Plainsmen had surrounded the ball carrier.

On the next play, another nothing, and this time there were 10 Plainsmen in the pile before the whistle stopped the play.

Sure, it was only the first two plays, but that was pretty much the way it was the rest of the night. The Evergreen defense rallied to the ball and made play after play.

Clutch:

Can’t really report that the Evergreen offense was in go mode all night. Not with one touchdown and one field goal.

Still, we can report the offense is clutch.

A two-minute offense to end the first half gave Evergreen the lead. The Plainsmen went 58 yards on nine plays before Ely Del Angel kicked a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

Then, of course, the Plainsmen did it again with the game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.

Back to the defense:

In the second half, the Evergreen offense turned it over on consecutive possessions, yet the Evergreen defense was up to the challenge.

Nadil Hodzic had a tackle-for-loss on the first play of one Black Hills drive. Jerontae Burns chased down the quarterback on a third-down play.

Both possessions, Black Hills went for it on fourth down. Both times, the Evergreen defense got the ball back to its offense.

Clutch again:

Evergreen went 64 yards on 13 plays for the game-winner. Quarterback Triston Fich had a cool moment on a third-down play. There was no one open, yet he did not panic. He just kept the play alive, moving sideways, buying time, buying time, then he found his man (couldn’t see the number) for a first down.

Zyell Griffin had a 19-yard run to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Fich was in the end zone on a quarterback sneak.

Special Team:

Burns saved the Plainsmen on the ensuing kickoff.

The Black Hills returner got past the first wave, then was running from the middle of the field toward the sideline, looking for more running move.

Burns stopped him cold.

I don’t believe the returner would have gone all the way — too many Plainsmen appeared to have pursuit angles on him — but it would have gone for at least 15, 20 more yards.

Instead, Black Hills set up near mid-field, picked up one first down, then lost the ball on downs.

Evergreen ended the game in Victory Formation.

Coach Speak:

MVP on offense: Fich. The quarterback was 19 for 27 for 148 yards and scored Evergreen’s only touchdown.

MVP on defense: Dylan Goodpaster had eight solo tackles, including a sack, and also deflected a pass.

Thoughts on Week 5 vs. Prairie:

Prairie is better than its 1-3 record reflects, Evergreen coach Terry Hyde said.

We'd love to hear your comments!

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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