On Further Review: Newcomer Taylor could be emerging star for Titans

Junior made big plays on defense and offense

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  • ON FURTHER REVIEW: News and notes from Week 1 of the high school football season

You may not have heard of Alishawuan Taylor.

Chances are, you will have by the end of the season. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior, who moved recently from the Chicago area, made his debut for Union in Friday’s 35-21 win over Hermiston, Ore.

And what a debut it was. In the first quarter, the outside linebacker blitzed off the edge and laid a big hit on Hermiston quarterback Andrew James. He also had a spectacular interception, tipping a hard-thrown pass over the middle into the air, then making a diving catch.

On offense, Taylor had two catches, including a 16-yard touchdown.

Union quarterback Lincoln Victor has plenty of weapons to choose from. Receiver Darien Chase and tight end Aiden Nellor are two of the area’s best at their positions.

But don’t be surprised in Taylor emerges as an impact player as the season goes along.

Eagle defense

It would have been understandable if the Hudson’s Bay defense had wilted in its opener against La Salle on Friday.

Playing in 90-degree temperatures, the Eagles’ defense got a heavy workload in the first half as La Salle held the ball for 19:24 of the opening 24 minutes.

But the Eagles came up with some big plays on defense to send Bay to a 31-28 win.

The first came in the first quarter when La Salle had a fourth-and-1 at the Bay.

“That was a big play there,” Bay coach Ray Lions said. “We stopped them there, and then we scored right after that. It was huge swing.”

Two plays after stopping the Falcons, Bay scored on a 97-yard reception by Carter Morse.

Opening the second half, and facing potentially more time on the field, the Eagles forced a fumble on La Salle’s first play from scrimmage. The Eagles recovered and scored four plays later to tie the game 14-14.

“We talk about fighting for every inch, and we found out how big that is tonight,” Lions said.

Baptism by fire

The Columbia River Chieftains are young. With only 10 seniors in uniform for Friday’s 26-13 loss to Evergreen, coach Christian Swain looked at the game as a learning opportunity.

“A lot of guys got baptized by fire tonight,” he said. “There were a lot of guys who had never played in a varsity game.”

Swain showed unwavering faith in his junior quarterback Matt Asplund, who saw his first significant varsity action Friday. Asplund threw 33 times and completed 17, though there were several catchable balls that were dropped.

“We asked a lot out of our quarterback tonight,” Columbia River coach Christian Swain said. “He’s going to continue to get better.”

Game management

Evergreen quarterback Triston Fich wasn’t flashy in his varsity starting debut. But the senior didn’t need to be.

He threw just 11 times in Friday’s 26-13 win over Columbia River, completing six passes for 87 yards.

But his impact went beyond statistics. He had zero interceptions. He made good reads on handoffs as Eli Vaa’Leiataua and Zyell Griffin rushed for a combined 127 yards.

“Triston did a good job of managing the game,” Evergreen coach Terry Hyde said. “He took control of the huddle. He made good throws when he needed to. He just had a good command of the game.”

Free points anyone?

There was a time during Camas’ 35-13 victory over Oregon 6A Central Catholic on Friday night when the score looked more like baseball instead of football.

The Rams, which played for the Oregon 6A state title last December, gave four points to Camas because of botched snaps on punts that resulted in a pair of safeties in the end zone.

After the first quarter, it was Camas 4, Central Catholic 0.

Only after Andrew Boyle’s 22-yard field goal with 10 minutes, 4 seconds left in the second quarter did it look like a football score at 7-0. Central Catholic replaced its long snapper after the second failed snap.