Evergreen looks to rebound from loss to Prairie

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

Plainsmen to meet Fort Vancouver in Class 3A Greater St. Helens League action Friday

Evergreen Plainsmen (3-2, 1-1 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

Week 5: Prairie 28, Evergreen 23

Next: vs. Fort Vancouver, 8 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl

A strong first half was not enough for the Plainsmen to get a victory against Prairie.

Quick start:

The scoring summary shows Triston Fich with the first TD of the game. The Evergreen quarterback cashed in on a 1-yard run.

The summary does not say how Evergreen got so close.

Zyell Griffin had a remarkable 40-yard run. He ran to the left and appeared that he would be run out of bounds for a 10-yard gain or so.

Or so it seemed.

Instead, Griffin outran the pursuit angle of four defenders. The last pursuit angle got him at the 1-yard line.

Evergreen’s Dylan Goodpaster (7), shown here pressuring Hudson’s Bay quarterback Brian Perez (8) in a game earlier this year, made his share of big defensive plays in his team’s loss to Prairie last week. Photo by Mike Schultz
Evergreen’s Dylan Goodpaster (7), shown here pressuring Hudson’s Bay quarterback Brian Perez (8) in a game earlier this year, made his share of big defensive plays in his team’s loss to Prairie last week. Photo by Mike Schultz

No. 7 three times in a row:

The Prairie offense did not score on its first three possessions.

Evergreen’s No. 7 had a lot to do with all those nothings.

On a fourth-down play on Prairie’s first possession, Dylan Goodpaster pressured the quarterback into a bad throw. The receiver was open, but the quarterback did not get a good view. All he saw was Goodpaster coming right at him.

Prairie fumbled the ball on its next series, with the ball taking one of those weird bounces that we love about football. Goodpaster figured out the bounce for the recovery.

And on the third Prairie series, Goodpaster had a sack.

Evergreen’s never-say-die drive:

Fourth quarter, Prairie had taken a 12-point lead, and the Plainsmen needed to score.

Fich, the quarterback, scrambled for his life on the first play of the drive, and he ended up with an 8-yard gain.

That was followed by back-to-back completions for a total of 17 yards. Fich used his legs again, this time for 20 more yards on the next play.

Then things went awry for Evergreen for a bit. Three consecutive incomplete passes, setting up fourth-and-10.

Fich ran to his left while throwing, and I believe it was Griffin who made one of the best catches of the season. He had to leap high to get to the ball, and a defender was hitting his legs below him. Griffin not only had to catch it, but maintain the catch while falling to the ground. Oh, and he had to stay in bounds. He did all of that for a 14-yard gain to keep the drive alive.

After an incomplete pass, Fich hit Nadil Hodzic for a 9-yard gain, then found Hodzic again for a 9-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-23.

Evergreen missed on its onside kick, ending any hope of completing the comeback.

Still, the Plainsmen finished strong.

Coach Speak:

What did Terry Hyde learn about his team in Week 5? “This group plays hard and has a lot of fight. Even though there are many things to improve on, they keep playing hard.”

MVP on offense: “The offensive line and fullback,’’ Hyde said. “Alex Rodriguez, Alex Alexander, Nate Fuatagavi, Conner Ball, Rae Farr, Serge Rusnak. Third week in a row team has rushed for almost 300 yards.”

MVP on defense: Alex Alexander had nine tackles, forced one fumble, and had continues pressure on the quarterback, Hyde said.

Thoughts on Week 6 vs. Fort Vancouver: “Of all the teams within the county, I’m most impressed with Fort Vancouver,’’ Hyde said. “Every week, the Fort players are faced with what appears to be an uneven matchup. However, the players keep working hard at practice and keep playing hard in games. It’s so refreshing to see a group of young people enjoy the game and keep playing day after day.”

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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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