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Sept. 25, 2021

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Union puts linemen in the spotlight during 48-6 win over Evergreen

Lineman Grimsted throws a TD pass, and Fuertes runs for a score

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
2 Photos
Evergreen and Union prepare for the snap during Union's 48-6 win over the Plainsmen on Saturday, March 27, 2021 (Tim Martinez/The Columbian)
Evergreen and Union prepare for the snap during Union's 48-6 win over the Plainsmen on Saturday, March 27, 2021 (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

On the last game of the season, Rory Rosenbach tries to get his most tenured offensive linemen a touchdown.

For the Union coach, that was Jack Grimsted and Minaia Fuertes.

“Jack and Minaia are sort of equally tenured,” Rosenbach said. “So I said, ‘OK, let’s try to do one of each.’ ”

So Grimsted threw a touchdown pass and Fuertes had a pounding 7-yard touchdown run as the Titans wrapped up 4A/3A Greater St. Helens League play with 48-6 win over Evergreen on Saturday.

“Coach Ro set it up,” Grimsted said. “We just go out there and finish it the best we can.”

With the ball on the Evergreen 10 in the first quarter, Rosenbach gave the ball to linebacker Therman Bibens, who ran 8 yards to the 2. Rosenbach tried to give Bibens the ball again, but the snap was high, resulting a 7-yard loss.

Then the snap went to Grimsted, who swept to his right then lofted a pass to Bibens for the score.

“(The snap) was a little shaky,” Grimsted said. “I had to go up and get it. You have to be an athlete sometimes.”

The plan was to get Bibens a touchdown run, because his father, Therman Bibens Sr., played for Evergreen in the 1990s and he scored a touchdown for the Plainsmen. On Saturday Therman Bibens Jr., got a touchdown against Evergreen and it was a touchdown reception.

“We said, ‘you just can’t tie your dad Therman. You have to one-up your old man,’ ” Rosenbach said.

On the Titans’ next possession, the ball went to Fuertes, and the 6-foot-5, 340-pounder barreled into the end zone.

“We call that Tokyo drift and the play is called ‘Undertaker,’ ” Fuertes said. “I got my hair. I got the flow like The Undertaker. So we call it Undertaker. I ran the ball in, and it felt good.”

After crashing into the end zone, Fuertes popped off his helmet and spread his arms out wide in celebration.

“The helmet is coming off,” Fuertes said. “I’m showing them The Undertaker. … It was every lineman’s dream to get a touchdown. We don’t get the spotlight much.”

Rosenbach said: “I was glad we were able to that for those guys. They left a lot of blood, sweat and tears on this field. For them to get to have that, it was pretty cool.”

The Titans also scored in more traditional ways. On the first play from scrimmage for Union, Alex Gehrmann hit Tobias Merriweather for a 33-yard touchdown.

Gehrmann was a perfect 9 for 9 passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Backup quarterback Troy Helenihi hits Marques Cantu for a 67-yard touchdown pass play.

And as it turns out, Saturday might not be the last game for the Titans, who originally had a bye in the 4A/3A GSHL schedule next week.

Rosenbach said the Titans plan to play Marysville-Pilchuck next Thursday in Marysville.

“I found out on the drive to the stadium today,” Rosenbach said. “I guess if you make enough phones calls over the last two months, eventually they figure out you’re looking for a game.”


Union    28           7              13           0—48

Evergreen           0              0              6              0—6

First quarter

U — Tobias Merriweather 33 pass from Alex Gehrmann (Sonny Pitts kick)

U — Therman Bibens 9 pass from Jack Grimsted (Pitts kick)

U — Manaia Fuertes 7 run (Pitts kick)

U — Jaydon Jones 11 pass from Gehrmann (Pitts kick)

E — Tejuan Conde 2 run (Ely Del Angel kick)

Second quarter

U — Marques Cantu 67 pass Troy Helenihi (Pitts kick)

Third quarter

U — Aidan Olson 12 pass from Gehrmann (kick failed)

U — Vinh Luong 1 run (Pitts kick)

Individual statistics

RUSHING — Union: Therman Bibens 2-8, Aidan Olson 2-30, Gehrmann 1-3, Fuertes 1-7, Jones 1-18, Helenihi 5-4, Luong 2-34, Noah Devore 1-(minus-2), Tyson Fuehrer 2-10, team 1-(minus-7). Evergreen: Kyle Norton 20-62, O’Shay Jackson 12-25, JJ Woodin 3-51, Conde 2-4.

PASSING — Union: Gehrmann 9-9-0-190, Grimsted 1-1-0-9, Helenihi 2-4-0-84, Fuehrer 1-1-0-14. Evergreen: Woodin 9-18-2-46, Jayden Crace 1-2-0-3.

RECEIVING — Union: Merriweather 2-46, Cole Rebman 2-64, Cantu 4-126, Jones 1-11, Bibens 1-9, Olson 2-27, Jake Page 1-14. Evergreen: Conde 4-23, Jordan Peters 3-23, Jackson 1-(minus-5), Jonathan Landry 1-6, Kaiden Garcia 1-2.