Tigers still undefeated play Irrigon next

<p>Stanfield High School freshman Dylan Grogan runs the ball in for a touchdown Friday night during the team's game against Union High School.</p>

The Stanfield Tigers football team beat the Union Bobcats, 74-26, Friday night at Stanfield to improve to 4-0 on the season. It was the highest offensive output for the Tigers so far this season.

Head coach Steve Sheller credited the play of his offensive line and thought the group did an excellent job of creating open running lanes for his team’s running backs.

“We always tell our kids, football is a game of blocking and tackling, and we blocked really well,” Sheller said. “Our guys up front are really starting to take ownership, and they want to be known as a great offensive line.”

Sheller said his offensive line is smaller in size than it has been in the recent past, but the lack of size is offset by the unit’s overall quickness.

Running back Bryce Linker dominated running the ball Friday, and the senior earned the praise of his head coach.

“He’s as good as any running back in our conference and possibly the state,” Sheller said.

“We’ve really got a great crew of running backs, including Thyler Monkus and Dylan Grogan.”

Even with the undefeated record Sheller believes there is plenty of room for improvement, especially on the defense.

“The defensive side of the ball is where we feel we have some work to do,” Sheller said. “We played decently against Union, but we can get a lot better on defense.”

There are only two returning starters from last year’s defense.

“We have a very young team, but the kids are really starting to understand the concepts,” Sheller said. “We’re learning and improving as the season progresses. That’s the most important thing.”

The Tigers travel to take on Irrigon this Friday in an important league match-up. Irrigon comes into the game with a 4-1 record overall.

“We are going to come to practice this week with an approach to get better every day,” Sheller said. “Obviously, our defensive strategy will play a major role in practice this week.”

Sheller likes how his team has performed thus far but knows tougher tests await the Tigers.

“Our guys don’t think they’ve been tested yet, but we know we have some great challenges still to come,” Sheller said.

“We close out the season with Irrigon this Friday and then four more league games. That’s where the test is going to be.”

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