Union bursts its way into the state football playoffs

After lopsided win over Tahoma, Union to play host to Sumner on Friday

VANCOUVER — Don’t like calling any win an easy win in football. Sure, the score was lopsided. Sure, the win was pretty much assured by the middle of the second quarter. But it was not easy.

It’s just that good teams, through hard work and preparation, make it look easy. The result of the game comes from hard work throughout the week.

So in that regard, the Union Titans worked hard to have a less stressful Friday night.

The Titans made it to the Class 4A state football playoffs with a 41-14 victory over Tahoma in the Week 10 state qualifier. They were up 41-0 at the half.

Next:

Union will host Sumner in the opening round of the state playoffs, 7 p.m. Friday at McKenzie Stadium. The winner will advance to the state quarterfinals and host that game.

“They are really well coached on both sides of the ball. They got a relatively veteran group with a lot of playoff experience,” Union coach Rory Rosenbach said of Sumner. “They’re hungry. They felt like they had a shot last year. They were so close to the top last year. We’re going to have to play our best game.”

Yes, Clark County football fans remember Sumner from last year because that is the team that played Camas in the semifinals at a packed McKenzie Stadium. It was a three-point game late in the third quarter before the Papermakers pulled away for a 45-21 victory.

“They’re just really sound. It’s going to be a challenge for us,” Rosenbach said.

Sumner had no trouble in its Week 10 game, beating Hazen 42-7. Quarterback Luke Ross completed 14 of his 20 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns, according to the News Tribune.

Predictions:

Not from me. I know better!
But the folks behind Cascadia Preps are not wimps. They are not scared of predictions.

Two humans from Cascadia Preps have made their picks as well as the ScoreCzar computer for their final four teams. I’ll just let you know that one or two of them will be wrong after this week. Two have picked Union to make it to the semifinals. One has picked Sumner to make it to the semifinals. I’ll let you go to this new, awesome site for state-wide coverage of high school football to see their picks: www.cascadiapreps.com

Worthy of celebration but not too much celebration:

The schedule has worked out perfectly for the Union Titans. Recently, I noted how the Titans used the first seven weeks to get ready for Skyview, Camas, and then, they hoped, the playoffs.

Well, these last few weeks have also given the Titans a lesson on how to handle victories.

The Titans could not celebrate for too long after winning Week 7. They had to get ready for Skyview.

After taking down the Storm, they had to face Camas.

And after beating Camas, it was playoff time.

Now it is on to the first round of state. Union, which did not make the the playoffs the past two years, did earn the right to celebrate. Just not for long.

“It was exciting for our kids,” Rosenbach said of the win over Tahoma. “You celebrate Friday night, and Saturday morning you put it to bed and get ready for Sumner right away. You have so much respect for Sumner and you know they’re going to bring it. You can’t celebrate too long. The kids are starting to learn that.

“With Skyview and Camas, you don’t get to bask in the glory of your win. You just beat Skyview? Great, who’s next? Camas. After you get the win over Camas, it’s the playoffs. Win or go home. That helped us a little bit, having the same kind of mindset the last three weeks.”

Coaching staff’s MVPs:

Darien Chase was his usual incredible self in Week 10 with six catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Rosenbach said we cannot forget Lincoln Victor, though. The quarterback was “as efficient has he has been all season,” Rosenbach said. “I don’t think he made a poor decision.”

Victor was 11 for 14 for 188 yards and four touchdown passes. Plus he rushed for a touchdown.

On defense, Zion Fa’aopega ruled.

“He played his most complete game,” Rosenbach said, noting two sacks and his play against the run. “He’s becoming a complete defensive lineman.”

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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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