Plainsmen to meet Heritage in non-league battle Friday
Week 1: Evergreen 26, Columbia River 13
Week 2: Evergreen vs. Heritage at McKenzie Stadium, 4:30 p.m. Friday
Evergreen never trailed in the season opener, using big hits and interceptions on defense, and big plays on offense to take down the Chieftains.
Luke Allen had a first-half interception and long return that led to a touchdown for the Plainsmen. And late in the game, Nadil Hodzik intercepted a ball two yards into the end zone and returned it 56 yards. It was a two-touchdown game at the time, and had River scored, the Chieftains would have had a chance. This interception ended the game.
Eli Vaa-Leiataua had a strong first quarter. He had a tackle-for-loss of 6 yards, and on the next play he got a sack for a loss of 10. (Serge Rusnak was also there to collect the quarterback.)
The biggest hit I saw on video came from Dylan Goodpaster, who read that a swing pass was coming, made a direct line for the receiver, and crushed him just as he caught the ball.
And on the first series of the third quarter, the Evergreen defense showed tremendous numbers on one play. Eight Plainsmen, in fact, all got in on stopping the River ball carrier for a loss of 6 yards.
Zyrell Griffin made a nice catch on a long pass from quarterback Tristan Fich at the 1-yard line just before the end of the first half. Fich would score on a keeper.
In the second half, Griffin had a long kick return that would set up an Evergreen touchdown — in fact, it would set up his own touchdown on an 8-yard run.
Oh yeah, he also had a 57-yard TD run to open the game’s scoring. This guy is good.
What did Terry Hyde learn about his team in Week 1? “Resiliency. These kids have talked and preached about working together, the whole unity, family thing. They showed incredible resiliency and lived up to all of that talk.”
Coach’s pick for MVP of offense: Zyell Griffin had all the big plays. “Statistically, you have to go with Zyell,” Hyde said. The coach also gave a nod to his new starting quarterback, Tristan Fich.
Coach’s pick for MVP of defense: Linebacker Jacob Tillman, who just played an overall solid game.
Thoughts on Week 2: “We’ve got a 4A opponent (Heritage) coming off a big win,’’ Hyde said. “The week most teams grow the most is betweens Weeks 1 and 2. We hope we grow more than they grow this week.”