BATTLE GROUND — The wins over Hudson’s Bay, Woodland and Fort Vancouver were nice, but Friday’s victory had special meaning for the Battle Ground Tigers.
Of course, after a one-win season last year, any victory is meaningful.
“I think that’s our first league win in four years,” coach Larry Peck said following a 54-13 victory over Evergreen in Class 4A Greater St. Helens League action. “Getting over that hump is big; it’s mental.”
After leading 21-13 at halftime against Evergreen, the Tigers (4-1) dominated the second half, beginning with a 70-yard, six-play drive to open the third quarter.
By the time Justin Smalley scored on a 1-yard run with five minutes to play, Battle Ground had amassed 463 yards of offense, with 310 of it coming on the ground.
Senior Tyler Bergeron led the attack, rushing 23 times for 190 yards and one touchdown. He also scored on a 31-yard pass play from quarterback Ian Humphrey and added an interception on defense.
“Tyler is the consummate football player every coach would love to have,” Peck said. “He’s really made a huge amount of improvement this year.”
Bergeron said: “I’m going to give all my credit to my line. I did no work tonight; I had all the room in the world.”
Evergreen (0-5) kept it close for a half, thanks in part to a touchdown on an 80-yard kickoff return by Tequan Wallace.
But when quarterback Anthony Thomas left the game midway through the second quarter with a shoulder injury, he took the Plainsmen’s offense with him.
“We had about eight injuries,” Evergreen coach Charles Anthony said of the difference between the first half and the second half. “But Battle Ground’s a good football team; they did a good job tonight. It’s a well-deserved win for them.”
The key was a defense that held Evergreen to 24 yards in the second half.
“We wanted to go out and prove to the world we aren’t the little B.G. team of the past,” Bergeron said.
Still, the Tigers know that things will get tougher next week, when they play Skyview. Battle Ground’s four victories this season have come against teams that now have a combined record of 2-18.
“Obviously, we’ve taken a big jump to get here,” Peck said. “Next week we get our first chance to see how much we’ve improved.”
Next up: Evergreen (0-5, 0-1) at Kelso; Battle Ground (4-1, 1-0) at Skyview.
BATTLE GROUND 54, EVERGREEN 13
Evergreen 7 6 0 0—13
Battle Ground 7 14 13 20—54
E — Trent Foster 25 from Anthony Thomas (Timur Zhividze kick)
BG — Tyler Bergeron 11 run (Hayden Humphrey kick)
BG — Kevin Haynes 44 from Ian Humphrey (Hayden Humphrey kick)
BG — Bergeron 31 from Ian Humphrey (Hayden Humphrey kick)
E — Tequan Wallace 80 kickoff return (run failed)
BG — Ian Humphrey 1 run (kick failed)
BG — Ian Humphrey 1 run (Hayden Humphrey kick)
BG — Trevor Ingram 43 run (Hayden Humphrey kick)
BG — Michael Towner 19 run (kick blocked)
BG — Justin Smalley 1 run (Humphrey kick)
Rushing — Evergreen — Justin Straup 8-44, Anthony Thomas 4-42, Ray Donalde 10-32, John Veeder 1-1, Alex Scribner 1-1; Battle Ground — Tyler Bergeron 23-190, Trevor Ingram 4-38, Justin Smalley 6-30, Juan Arellano 2-18, Michael Towner 2-17, Ian Humphrey 2-10, Kevin Haynes 2-7, Colston Vukanovich 1-2, Matt Beraldo 2-2.
Passing — Evergreen — Anthony Thomas 2-5-34-1; Battle Ground — Ian Humphrey 6-9-153-0.
Receiving — Evergreen — Trent Foster 1-25, Javier Hernandez 1-9; Battle Ground — Kevin Haynes 2-66, Trevor Ingram 1-36, Tyler Bergeron 1-31, Jake Blackman 1-18, Jake Sachen 1-2.