The Taft 7-12 football team faced tough odds when they traveled to Amity this past Friday night.
The Tigers faced the No. 2 ranked team in the state on Oct. 4, a week after playing the No. 6 ranked team in state the week. The top ranked Warriors wasted no time piling on the points as they put up 36 on the Tigers throughout the night.
“For us to be able to compete with top teams like Amity we need to be more consistent on offense and sustain drives,” head coach Jake Tolan said. “Teams like Amity are going to get their points. We need to be able to score touchdowns and finish drives if we expect to compete with teams at the top of the 3A division.”
And scoring touchdowns was something the Taft offense was unable to do all night, as the Warriors pitched a shutout, winning 36-0. The Tigers now drop to 2-3 on the season as they prepare for another league matchup this week against Clatskanie. Their opponent this week holds a 3-2 record and is coming off a big victory last week against former state champion Rainier.
“We know Clatskanie is coming off of a big win against Rainer last week, so they will be bringing in a lot of confidence,” Tolan said. “This is not going to be an easy task and our team will have to play its best game of the year if we want to beat Clatskanie.”
Although they are facing a tough opponent, Tolan said they do have one advantage over the Clatskanie Tigers, home field advantage, where they are 2-0 so far this season.
“We do play much better at home and I believe that will give us extra confidence and motivation to play much better this Friday,” Tolan said.
As Taft has now passed the halfway point on the season, Tolan said they have yet to play a full game with everyone healthy. He knows his team has the talent to compete, it will just depend on whether they reach their full potiential by the season’s end.
“My kids continue to work hard in practice and strive to get better every day,” Tolan said. “We have some very important games ahead of us in our schedule; must win games you could say if we expect to reach our goal of making the playoffs.”
The road to the playoffs starts Friday, Oct. 11 with a game against Clatskanie, scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.