Day After Report: Battle Ground 33, Union 29
Friday’s Battle Ground-Union football game was kind of like three separate games for the host Tigers.
The first game favored the Tigers. It started with the opening kickoff and lasted until there was 5:15 left in the second quarter when quarterback Gunner Talkington ran one yard for his second touchdown of the night, giving Battle Ground a 27-0 lead.
At that point in the game, the Tigers had amassed 305 yards of offense and 15 first downs.
Then for almost the next two quarters, things dried up for the Tigers’ offense.
From 5:15 left in the second quarter to 7:20 left in the fourth quarter, the Tigers had five first downs and 85 yards of offense, and 46 of that came on one pass play from Talkington to Max Randle.
The Tigers didn’t score a point, while Union rallied to take a 29-27 lead. In that span, Talkington was sacked five times for a loss of 32 yards.
And then came Game 3 for the Tigers, starting with 7:20 left in the game.
“I think we just came out a little flat, and they just punched us in the mouth,” Talkington said of the switch in momentum. “But we got after it. And it’s just a head-to-head battle.”
Batte Ground changed its approach, changing from having Talkington throwing and moving to the ground game.
The Tigers gave the ball 11 times to Bailey Buckner during the final 7:20 of the game and he gained 68 yards.
“We just said to stay together, and we had people yelling at each other,” Buckner said. “We were bickering at each other. We just had to stay together as a team.”
The only pass Talkington attempted in that final span was the 9-yard touchdown pass to Buckner that gave the Tigers a 33-29 lead with 5:56 left.
The other pass the Tigers attempted during that stretch was by Randle, who took a lateral from Talkington and completed a 19-yard pass to Tommy Renfroe to extend the Tigers’ final drive as they ran out the clock.
UNION’S THREE GAMES
By contract, look at Union’s three games over those same three time periods of the game.
In game 1, Union had 69 yards of offense, no points and three first downs, and 31 of those yards came on one play.
In game 2, Union had 278 yards of offense, 29 points and 11 first downs.
In game 3, the Titans had -2 net yards of offense and no first downs.
Battle Ground plays Skyview on Thursday night at Kiggins Bowl. As both teams have suffered defeats to first-place Camas, the game could determine second place in the 4A Greater St. Helens League.
And that’s important as only two 4A GSHL teams will advance to the Week 10 playoffs.
“It’s a big game,” Talkington said. “So we’ve got to come out with our hair on fire and be ready to play.”
Battle Ground is 1-1 in the 4A GSHL tied with Union. Skyview is 0-1.
Union’s playoff future may hinge on the outcome of the Skyview-Battle Ground game. If Skyview wins, Union could set up a potential three-way tie for second with a win over Skyview on Oct. 21.
If Battle Ground wins, Union’s playoff hopes may require wins over both Skyview and Camas, or a lot of help from Heritage.
“You know, there are now easy nights in this league,” Battle Ground coach Larry Peck. “You’ve got to be ready to play every week.”