Tillamook avenges championship game loss with big win at Estacada
By Will Chappell Headlight Editor,2023-09-24
The Tillamook Cheesemakers football team is heading into Cowapa league play with a 3-1 record, after beating the Estacada Rangers 48-22 in a week four road game.
The rematch of last year’s 4A state championship game championship game started off close, before the Cheesemakers came up with a string of huge, offensive plays to run away from the Rangers.
“I thought we did a really good job of battling through some early struggles,” Tillamook Head Coach Kye Johnson said. “I know our guys really wanted to play well in this game and we were probably a little overamped early.”
The Mooks’ huge offensive night was led by quarterback Tanner Hoskins who passed for 201 yards and a touchdown and did his best work on the ground, rushing for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
“I thought that was the best game he’s played for the Mooks,” Johnson said. “He led us through some early miscues and really did a good job managing the game plan this week.”
Tillamook received the opening kick and started working from their own 29-yard line. Andrew White rushed for 16 yards on the first play of the game before a false start penalty stalled the drive and forced the Mooks to punt.
Estacada’s offense came out strong, marching down the field on the ground, before converting on a rushing touchdown from 14 yards out on a fourth down play. The Rangers successfully went for the two-point conversion and took an 8-0 lead with just under half the first quarter remaining.
Tillamook’s offense responded on the next drive. After starting on their own 26 and picking up a quick first down, Hoskins uncorked a beautiful pass to Ryan Wilks that put the Cheesemakers on the Rangers’ nine.
A few plays later, running back Andrew White spotted a hole and rushed into the endzone from 11 yards out. Hoskins’s extra point cut the Estacada lead to 8-7 with just over four minutes to go in the quarter.
The Rangers answered back with another methodical drive on the ground, scoring on a goal line rush shortly into the second quarter and converting another two-point attempt to go up 16-7.
Tillamook took over near midfield after an unnecessary roughness penalty on Estacada on the kick return. An Eligio Maciel reception on a fourth down play just inside Ranger territory pushed the Mooks into the redzone and a bully ball Seth Wehinger rush gave Tillamook first and goal from the seven.
Hoskins kept the ball for his first rushing touchdown of the night on the next play and kicked the point after, bringing the score to 16-14.
At that point, the Cheesemaker defense locked in. After a blindside block on the kick return put the Rangers inside their own 20 to start, the Mooks held Estacada to a three and out.
Tillamook started the next drive in Estacada territory and White took a pass in the flat for 15 yards to get the drive going. Hoskins then capitalized on a slow-moving Ranger sub coming in from the sideline with a quick snap and handed the ball off to White who found a huge lane on the left side for a 29-yard touchdown scamper.
With the successful PAT, the Mooks took a 21-16 lead with six to go in the half.
The Rangers offense again met a brick wall on the next drive and was held to a three and out.
Moments later, with the Cheesemakers facing a third and 20 from Estacada’s 48-yard line, Hoskins made a huge play on a designed quarterback keeper, juking out one Ranger before taking it to the house.
The Mooks led 28-16 with two and a half minutes remaining in the half and another strong stand from the defense at midfield sent the game to the half with that score.
As the Rangers’ offense took over the ball to start the second half, it became clear that they were well and truly flummoxed by Tillamook’s defense. The outside rushes and sweep plays that had worked on their first drives of the evening were now going nowhere and they were held to another three and out and forced to punt.
“The initial looks we wanted to show them weren't working and we got into different fronts as needed and I thought that was a great adjustment by our players and coaches,” Johnson said.
Johnson explained that Wehinger had responded to an adjustment to his role after the first few drives by stepping up with “one of the best individual performances of the year on defense.”
Estacada was given a great opportunity to shift the momentum when Griffyn Boomer fumbled the punt return and it was recovered by the Rangers. But after picking up a first down, two holding penalties put them behind the chains, forcing another punt that pinned Tillamook at its own 15-yard line.
But Boomer bounced back from the fumble in a huge way, taking a short, second down pass and outrunning the entire Estacada defense for an 83-yard touchdown. Just under six minutes into the second half, the Mooks held a 35-16 lead.
With the game slipping out of their grasp, the Rangers’ offense mounted its first sustained drive since early in the second quarter, marching from their own 40 to the redzone. But after making it inside the 20, the Cheesemakers’ defense refocused and forced a turnover on downs by stuffing a fourth and three rush from the 11-yard line.
The Mooks were looking at a second and 13 from the Estacada 7 as the fourth quarter began, when Hoskins came up with the biggest play of the night. On another quarterback keeper, the senior found a huge hole and outran the Rangers’ defense for a 93-yard touchdown. The point after attempt sailed wide, but with 11:46 to play, the Cheesemakers had a definitive, 41-16 lead.
“We put a lot on his (Hoskins’s) plate to call the right checks and be dynamic both in the run and the pass game and he was all of that tonight,” Johnson said. “Really a great performance by him and most importantly it just allows all his teammates to be the best version of themselves too.”
Estacada’s offense finally found a groove again, converting on a fourth and goal from the one-and-a-half-yard line, and after a missed two-point conversion attempt, the score stood at 41-22 with just under six to go.
The Rangers attempted an onside kick, which Tillamook recovered, once again setting them up near midfield. The Mooks took a slow and steady ground approach and iced the game with a Wehinger touchdown rush from nine yards out with under two minutes left to play.
Estacada drove to Tillamook’s 14-yard line as time expired, with the final score 48-22.
This week, the Mooks kick off the defense of their 2022 Cowapa League Championship with a trip to Broadway Field in Seaside to face off against the 2-2 Seagulls.