Tualatin defeats Mac football
By ROBERT HUSSEMAN
Of the News-Register
McMinnville quarterback Gage Gubrud had all day to throw, and a wide-open receiver, Darby Ramos, in the left flat.
The Grizzlies, down 40-21 to Tualatin with just over seven minutes of game time remaining, needed every yard they could get in hopes of a comeback. Gubrud’s pass was on target, but Ramos fell down while squaring up to the pass.
Ramos tipped the ball into the air, where Brandon Shroyer of Tualatin came up with it. Shroyer ran the ball back 30 yards to the McMinnville 4-yard line; Timberwolves running back Eli Robinson scored the last of his three touchdowns on the next play.
“I don’t know how many tipped passes that they caught that could’ve gone our way that we didn’t get any of,” Mac coach Robin Hill said.
The Grizzlies lost their third Class 6A Pacific Conference game of the season with Friday night’s 47-21 defeat at Wortman Stadium. Tualatin (4-3 overall, 3-2 Pacific) is now tied for second place in the conference, having bumped Mac (4-3, 2-3 Pacific) down to a tie for fifth place.
Shroyer, starting at quarterback and defensive back, was especially effective. He threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns and turned a 2nd-and-27 situation into a 44-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. On defense, the Tualatin senior intercepted Gubrud twice.
“He must have broken who knows how many tackles,” Hill said. “We didn’t tackle very well as a team.”
Robinson, a junior, carried the ball 16 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns for the Timberwolves.
Tualatin used its running game to great effect on its first three offensive possessions, racking up a 21-0 lead as Robinson, Shroyer and Ryan Wisner gave the Grizzlies a variety of looks.
“That’s the offense they used to run,” Hill said. “They had that double slot (formation), which is the stuff they used six, eight, 10 years ago. They ran it really well considering that they haven’t run it this year.
“It was something we didn’t prepare for, and they adjusted really well and executed at a high level. We paid the price for it.”
Mac forced a three-and-out on Tualatin’s next possession, then Cristian Medina put the Grizzlies on the board with a 3-yard touchdown run. Wisner fumbled the ball into McMinnville safety Cameron Marcom’s hands on the Timberwolves’ next drive, and Gubrud found Ramos in the far corner of the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown pass. Ramos would finish the game with five catches for 74 yards and that score, all coming in the first half.
With two seconds remaining in the first half, Tualatin opted to attempt a Hail Mary. Shroyer’s pass – from well behind the line of scrimmage, the McMinnville 35-yard line – bounced off a Grizzlies defender and into the arms of Timberwolves senior Nick Hines.
“It was tough to see that, but we just couldn’t let it affect us in the second half,” Mac senior Grant Rubado said.
It didn’t in the third quarter, as no scoring plays occurred, but Gubrud threw his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter to Tualatin’s Connor McCullough. Shroyer connected with running back Cameron Frye on a 22-yard touchdown pass to extend the Timberwolves’ lead to 33-14.
McMinnville faced 3rd-and-10 from its own 26-yard line when Hill dialed up a hook-and-ladder play. Zach Rhoads took the pitch from Andrew Clevenger for a 28-yard gain. Tualatin’s defense was not set on the next play, and Gubrud found Rubado in the middle of the field for a 46-yard touchdown.
Gubrud finished the evening 236 yards passing (16-of-37), but the intercepted returned by Shroyer and a fumble by Zach Silver on Mac’s next possession stifled any chance of a comeback.
The Grizzlies can claw their way up the standings Friday at 7 p.m. with a visit to Glencoe (4-3, 3-2 Pacific).
“They’ve got to rally and come back,” Hill said. “We still have a lot to play for.
“I know these kids. They’ll battle back.”