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Tillamook dismantled the Milwaukie Mustangs 56-6 on Friday night to secure their sole place atop the Cowapa league heading into the playoffs against Woodburn next week.

The Cheesemakers jumped on Milwaukie early and never looked back, pushing the lead to 49 at the half, triggering a running clock after the intermission.

“Our urgency throughout the week of not overlooking an opponent was really important,” Tillamook Head Coach Kye Johnson said after the game.

After securing a share of the league title and a playoff home game with a thrilling, overtime win against Scappoose last week, Johnson said it was important for the Mooks to finish the season off strong against the Mustangs.

The game was preceded by the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Bob C. Jones field. Tillamook School District 9 Superintendent Curt Shelley addressed the crowd and thanked the assembled schoolboard, sponsors, construction companies and the community for their help with getting the new facility built.

The Cheesemakers started the game off strong, forcing a Mustang three and out before running back Judah Werner rushed for a touchdown, to put the Mooks up seven early.

Werner struggled with nagging injuries throughout the regular season but has found the end zone in consecutive weeks after missing the Mooks’ game against Astoria.

“I heal up quick I’d like to think,” Werner said after the game. 

The Mooks continued to apply the heat on their first defensive possession when Tyler Moncrief jumped a route, picking a Milwaukie pass and returning it for a touchdown.

The Mustangs went three and out on their ensuing possession and punted. 

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On the next Mooks possession, Werner broke free from more than thirty yards out, finding the endzone again.

“I just trust my linemen and know they’ll get the holes for me and all I have to do is find ‘em and then hit the gas and don’t stop,” Werner said.

Already up 20-0 with time remaining in the first quarter, the following Milwaukie drive set the Mooks up for an easy score when Werner blocked a punt inside the Cheesemaker five-yard line.

Seth Wehinger rushed for a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion put the Mooks ahead 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, running back Gilbert Whitlatch kept the Cheesemaker offense rolling with touchdowns on consecutive drives. The first one came shortly into the period on a play that started to break down.

“I had a defensive lineman on me, but I was able to shake the tackle and it was green grass from then on,” Whitlatch said.

Whitlatch scored on the Mooks’ next drive to push the margin to 42, before Moncrief found the end zone on the ground just before the half to send it to 49-0. 

That triggered a running clock for the second half, which proceeded quickly.

Moncrief rushed for another touchdown in the third quarter, making it 56-0, with a late Mustang touchdown setting the final tally at 56-6.

“I’m really proud of our group this year,” Johnson said after the game. “I’m proud of our players, I’m proud of our coaches.”

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Next week the Mooks will take on the Woodburn Bulldogs at home to kick off the playoffs.

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The teams faced off earlier this year at Woodburn, in a game the Cheesemakers won 28-7, sparking their current, seven-game winning streak.

It is the Cheesemakers third trip to the playoffs in four years, with kickoff time yet to be announced.

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