Tualatin's Luke Marion scored the go-ahead touchdown on an 83-yard interception return with 10:52 to play in the fourth quarter, helping rally the Timberwolves to a 32-13 Three Rivers League home win Friday over the Oregon City Pioneers.
Marion then caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Tualatin quarterback Blake Jackson with 6:02 to play and John Miller added a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:19 left as the No. 4-ranked Timberwolves improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
Oregon City kicker Christian Ferreyra boomed a 44-yard field goal with 3:04 remaining in the second quarter to cut Tualatin's lead to 12-3, and then connected on a 47-yard field goal with 5:47 to play in the third quarter the made it 12-6.
Oregon City quarterback Trey Martin then led a scoring drive late in the third quarter that ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Green, giving the Pioneers a 13-12 lead.
The Pioneers then got the ball back and were faced with a third-and-five at the Tualatin 17-yard line when Marion intercepted a pass intended for Jahleel Heath on the right flat and raced untouched to the end zone for the touchdown that put Tualatin on top for good.
"Unfortunately, we blew a protection right up the middle," Oregon City coach Dustin Janz said. "They got pressure on the quarterback and Trey had to make a quick decision. He threw it to his initial read, which was the wrong throw to make.
"It's not that he made a bad throw, but a throw that he wishes he could have back, because he just didn't have time to see the play that was there."
Oregon City also lost a fumble deep in Pioneers' territory setting up Miller's touchdown run that put the game out of reach.
"We went from having an opportunity to go up by eight to trailing by two scores within a matter of fewer than five minutes," Janz said. "It's frustrating, but at the same time you've got to give Tualatin credit. That's a good football team and you can't give them extra opportunities.
"Our kids were never overwhelmed. They kept at it and played great defense and made some plays when they were needed. Unfortunately, two offensive mistakes led to 14 points the other way, which kind of blew it open at the end."
For the game, Martin completed 20 of 41 passes for 184 yards with one touchdown and one interception, but Oregon City struggled on the ground, finishing with minus-13 yards rushing on 12 carries — a major concern heading into this week's game against defending 6A state champion Lake Oswego.
"That's something that has to be high on our priority list as we move forward," Janz said. "No matter where we've taken this offense and no matter what kids are in the offense, we've always found a way to run the football, and we've got to do that again.
"We've got a long ways to go to grow this thing, but there are kids that want to do it. That's what I love about our team is it's not from lack of trying or caring or wanting. It's just a matter of continuing to grow and develop and get comfortable in the new roles that a lot of these players have and then finding success."
Tualatin finished with 445 yards total offense, led by Jackson, the senior quarterback, who completed 16 of 23 passes for 262 yards with two touchdowns, and rushed for a team-high 42 yards on 15 carries and another score.
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