Heritage doesn’t mind low expectations

ClarkCountyToday.com reporter Paul Valencia takes a look at the video from Heritage’s Week 1 victory and looks ahead to Week 2.

Timberwolves feel they are the only ones who believe they have a chance to beat Union

Heritage Timberwolves (2-2)

Week 1: Heritage 28, Prairie 14
Week 2: Heritage 34, Evergreen 7

Week 3: West Valley (Yakima) 57, Heritage 16

Week 4: Redmond 38, Heritage 20

Next: Heritage vs. Union, 7:30 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium

A couple tough breaks early led to a surge of points for Redmond as Heritage fell to 2-2.

First-quarter woes:

Heritage had good drives going in the first quarter. The first drive ended on a dropped pass on fourth down. The next one, Heritage reached the red zone, but again lost the ball on downs.

Those are the things that make a coach say, “Who knows?” or “What if?”

Good plays, then tough luck:

The Heritage defense forced a punt on Redmond’s first drive. (There was a great tackle-for-loss, but the silver numbers often blurred with the lights at McKenzie Stadium and I was not able to identify the Heritage player who made the big play.) However, the Timberwolves were called for roughing the punter to extend the Redmond drive.

Heritage’s Skyler Scoggins (18) is shown here making a play on defense earlier this season against Evergreen. Scoggins added some key plays in last week’s loss to Redmond. Photo by Mike Schultz
Heritage’s Skyler Scoggins (18) is shown here making a play on defense earlier this season against Evergreen. Scoggins added some key plays in last week’s loss to Redmond. Photo by Mike Schultz

Same possession, and Redmond had first-and-goal from the 6-yard line. Quobe Altig-Johnson did a great job staying home as Redmond tried to bootleg the quarterback. Altig-Johnson got the sack for a loss of 13 yards.

After Redmond gained four yards on second down, Heritage got another sack. Believe it was No. 18 Skyler Scoggins who got to the quarterback for a loss of 10 yards, putting Redmond in a fourth-and-goal situation from the 25-yard line.

Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, Redmond converted with a touchdown pass.

A forced punt, then a penalty to keep the drive alive. Two great sacks. Yet Redmond still scored. Rough start for the Timberwolves.

Touchdown T-Wolves:

Heritage’s first touchdown was set up by a 47-yard run by quarterback Michael Taras. One of the key blocks downfield came from wide receiver Robbie Meadors.

Meadors was rewarded later in the drive, when Taras found Meadors with the touchdown pass.

Coach Speak:

What did Matt Gracey learn about his team in Week 4? “Youth shows. Second straight week we’ve come across a team that is far more seasoned, with a lot of experienced players. Our kids are playing hard. But when you have first-year varsity players and young kids, you make mistakes. We told them, ‘We still love you guys. We just gotta cut out the mistakes.’ I don’t think the scoreboard showed how well we played, but it was quite indicative of how large our mistakes were, if that makes any sense.”

MVPs on offense: Coach Gracey called it a group effort, not a single person. Did note the offensive line made adjustments and had a really strong second half, led by sophomore Solofua Vercher.

MVPs on defense: Two defensive tackles, Antonio Mada and Andrew Thom. “Those two are not prototypical D-linemen,’’ Gracey said. “They’ve got a good level of nasty and use their athleticism really well.”

Thoughts on Week 5 vs. Union: “The nice thing about Week 5 is there is absolutely zero pressure on us,’’ Gracey said. “Everybody and their dog expects us to lose. No matter what we do, no one thinks we can beat Union except us. I’m excited for it. Let (the Titans) feel the pressure. It’s the best feeling on earth when there are no expectations. All we’re trying to do is get better and build. They have to win.”

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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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