Jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com COTTAGE GROVE, Ore.– Some would say redemption is the best way to prove to yourself that you are able to do it and Santiam found a way to redeem their 2A State Final loss to Monroe in their 44-13 win over the Dragons Saturday afternoon.
The Wolverines set the pace early with two onside kicks that resulted in 22 first quarter points, but the halftime break was kind of a breathe of fresh air with Monroe looking to build off of their touchdown in a quarter in which they shutout the Santiam offense at 22-7 entering the second half.
“It was very important for us, we got comfortable and we just needed to recollect ourselves and get back into the game and be ready for us,” said Brody Davidson, who had 101 yards to Trevor Tinney’s 181 yards in the game on the ground.
“We were just trying to kick and not to let them get to Zach Young. Just keeping him from running it back for a touchdown,” adds Trevor Whitmire on the two onside kicks.
Tinney exploded for two third quarter touches as the Tinney Train did some Luck of the Leprechaun footwork to put the Wolverines up 37-7 after three to have 165 rushing yards after three in stopping the Dragon offense defensively.
“We executed the game plan our coaches gave us and we just fought hard and kept our energy level up,” said Whitmire , who tallied 9 tackles in the game.
The Wolverine had 11 tackles for losses and four sacks, three belonging to Tinney alone as they kept Zach Young to 50 yards total on 12 carries and challenged Monroe to beat them in more ways then with Young.
And as Brody Davidson added his second touchdown of the game in the fourth, it was an emotional win and moment with this squad returning where their nightmares of how last year ended can be rewritten next Saturday for the 2A State Title with their crowd chanting from the stands, “We Are Santiam”.
For the kids on the field, they knew what was said in the papers. They remembered the stares from Monroe as they warmed up, there was no way they were going to lose this game Saturday afternoon.
“We were excited,” said Jesse Sendlinger, who had two catches for 22 yards and an interception in the game. “We knew all the professionals voted for them, there was like 13 to one, everyone thought they were going to win. We knew we weren’t going to lose, we knew if we came out and played our game it’ll be just how it turned out.” And now that they’re back here, they got a chance to officially release the demons from last year’s finals game next Saturday in the Title Game.
“It’s amazing, this is my second year going back to the ‘Ship. We didn’t cut it last year, we hope to cut it this year and we’re going back as a team,” said Davidson.
Sendlinger adds that if they play their game, they’ll be fine next week against Kennedy with them being at full strength.
“If we play hard, we’ll have Garrett (Wallen) back which is going to be a big, big help. Play like we did tonight, come out strong. Play our game all four quarters and just play a good game,” Sendlinger said.
Game time is at noon back at Cottage Grove High School Saturday.