Heritage looks to improve to 3-0 on the season

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

Timberwolves get another home game after a schedule change:
Heritage to play Saturday at McKenzie

Heritage Timberwolves (2-0)

Week 1: Heritage 28, Prairie 14

Week 2: Heritage 34, Evergreen 7

Next: UPDATE:
West Valley (Yakima) vs. Heritage, 4 p.m. Saturday at McKenzie Stadium
Game has been moved from Yakima to Vancouver due to poor air quality in Yakima

Not only did Heritage win this one, the two teams also played a game that looked like a football score. The previous two games between these teams were 9-6 and 6-0.

Heritage quarterback Michael Talas (10) gets dragged down by an Evergreen defender Friday. Talas passed for 216 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. Photo by Mike Schultz
Heritage quarterback Michael Talas (10) gets dragged down by an Evergreen defender Friday. Talas passed for 216 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. Photo by Mike Schultz

Introducing Mr. Meadors: In August, the coaches at Heritage told me that Robert Meadors was going to break out, take over some games. Well, he did just that Friday.

Meadors caught six passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, plus he had one of the key interceptions on defense when Evergreen was trying make a game out of it.

Punt defense: Evergreen tried a fake punt on its first series of the game. Ammon Garrison was not faked out, though. Instead, he was all over his man, broke up the pass, and gave Heritage the ball.

This was early, but it was a sign of things to come for the Timberwolves. They were ready. They were prepared. And then they held Evergreen to one touchdown.

More defense. Much, much more defense: My defensive highlights notes are filled with Timberwolves. Skyler Scoggins had multiple sacks. Antonio Mata had a sack and another tackle-for-loss. Garrison had a sack to go with that fourth-down pass defended. Jorge Rubio chased down a ball carrier for another strong play for Heritage. And Andrew Thom lowered the boom with a crushing tackle.

Turnovers to points: The Heritage defense forced four turnovers, and three led to touchdowns for the Heritage offense.

Scoggins intercepted a pass in the first quarter, and five plays later Meadors had a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Taras for an 8-0 lead.

Later, as Evergreen was trying to make it a one-touchdown game, Mekhi Belcha recovered a fumble. Five plays later, Garrison caught a 29-yard TD pass from Taras to make it 28-7 Heritage.

And after Heritage recovered a muffed punt, Kahai Umiamaka made Evergreen pay with a 2-yard touchdown run for the final margin of victory.

Momentum changer: We end these notes with the person who started these notes: Meadors.

Heritage led 22-0 at halftime. In command, right? Right. Still, plenty of game to be played. Evergreen came out sharp in the third quarter, with runs of 11 yards, then 11 more, then seven and seven again. The Plainsmen were moving.

Then Meadors stepped in front of a pass for an interception.

The Evergreen defense would get Heritage to punt, and Evergreen scored on its next possession.

In other words, for a bit there, Evergreen had figured out the Heritage defense. Had the Plainsmen scored on that first series, then got the ball back right after, who knows what could have happened.

We do know Meadors made the play.

Coach Speak:

What did Matt Gracey learn about his team in Week 2? “We still have a ways to go, but even practicing indoors, I felt we got better. The senior leaders did a good job of keeping everyone in line. The sophomores and juniors are taking it seriously and improving. That’s a nice thing to see.”  

Coaching staff’s pick for MVP on offense: “That’s a tough one, man,” Gracey said. In the end, he called it a toss-up between Michael Taras (216 yards passing, 4 TD passs, 91 yards rushing) and Robert Meadors (6 catches, 132 yards, 2 TDs.)

Coaching staff’s pick for MVP on defense: Another two-for-one. Skyler Scoggins for all of his tackles, and Andrew Thom for “almost single-handedly” blowing up the Evergreen wall when the Plainsmen started to have some rushing success.

Thoughts on Week 3 vs. West Valley: “They are a good offensive team,’’ Gracey said. “Their quarterback, it’s like playing against Michael (Taras.)” Watch for West Valley’s QB to run if the the receivers are not open.
And another reminder, this is now a home game for Heritage at McKenzie Stadium. Kickoff is 4 p.m. Saturday. Game moved due to poor air quality in Yakima.

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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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