Story and photos by Kadin Freauff, student reporter.
October 6, 2014
The Pioneers outlasted Gresham as they captured the win with a final score of 34-26.
Oregon City's defense set the tone early on. Gresham drove down the field with the endzone just eight yards out when the Gophers coughed up a fumble on the Oregon City eight yard line.
Senior defensive tackle Chris Mengis said, " We did really well, I can count five plays that cost us."
On the ensuing possession for the Pioneers, the offense could not get anything going early. Gresham could suffered the same fate on the offensive side of the ball. The first quarter was a scoreless quarter for both the Gophers and Pioneers.
Oregon City would draw first blood on a eight yard bullet from senior quarterback Thomas Hamilton to senior wideout Hunter Knighton. The Pioneers defense held their ground again as they forced Gresham to punt.
The Pioneers on the following drive established the run game. Junior tailback Connor Mitchell trucked his way to a score from 34 yards out.
More than eight minutes remained in the first half; the Pioneers held a commanding 14-0 lead.
Gresham established the run game before the half. The Gophers turned to senior halfback Sirgeo Hoffman, fed him the ball, and watched him take it to the endzone from 22 yards out.
At the half Oregon City led 14-6.
Hoffman was far from done. To open up the second half Hoffman found daylight and took it to the house from 68 yards out.
The Pioneer lead was now just 14-12.
Hamilton put the Pioneers offense on his back. Later on in the third quarter, Hamilton dropped a 47 yard dime to junior wideout Trevon Bradford to extend the Pioneer lead to 21-12.
The fourth quarter was a shootout.
Hoffman was the Gophers second half offense. This time he took it to the endzone from 12 yards out. Oregon City still held a narrow lead now just 21-19.
Senior quarterback Thomas Hamilton said, "The run game set up some big plays."
The Pioneers answered Gresham's score just 10 seconds later. Hamilton delivered a 48 yard strike to junior wideout Sam Maughan.
With 7:46 left in the game. Oregon City led 27-19.
Gresham would not back down on their home turf. Next possession the Gophers ran a reverse pass which would go for a 38 yard touchdown.
Now the clock read 7:34. Oregon City 28 - Gresham 26.
Hamilton carried the Pioneers to a second half offensive clinic. Hamilton connected with Bradford for a 65 yard score.
With 7:23 left in the game, Oregon City would hold the lead and win by a score of 34-26.
Oregon City 34 - Gresham 26.
Hamilton finished the night: 11-24 for 309 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
Connor Mitchell had a good night as well. The junior tailback finished the night with 24 carries for 106 yards and a rushing score.
Oregon City has a short week ahead as they will take on the undefeated Clackamas Cavaliers on Thursday October 9th at Clackamas.
Photos by Teresa Parker, OC GridIron