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OC rules in seventh grade football


The young Pioneers go 9-0, trouncing Southridge in the division title game

by: SUBMITTED - A TEAM TO WATCH! This group of seventh graders has gone 27-2 in youth football over the past three seasons, including 9-0 this year, when they hammered Southridge 31-13 in the championship game of the Tualatin Valley Youth Football Landry-Valley Division playoffs. Pictured are: (first row, from left) Zakhayas Lee, Colby Iverson and Dakota Miller; (second row) ball boy Davis Bell, Daniel Sytsma, Matthew Pavey, Redden Turner, Michael Bedell, Carter Bell and ball boy B.J. Phillips; (third row) Colby Dixon, Hunter Davis, Kevin Fullmer, Jacob Phillips, Truman Davis, Michael Young and Brock Duyck; and (back) Dawson Drews, Erich Nova, Luke White, Kelsen Hennessy, Isaiah Cook, Jordon Carnahan and Thomas Presnall.A group of seventh graders from Oregon City is fast-gaining a reputation as a powerhouse in Oregon youth football.

The Oregon City-Red seventh grade youth football team this year went 9-0, handling Southridge 31-13 in the title game of the Tualatin Valley Youth Football Landry-Valley Division, after defeating West Linn 37-26 in the semifinal. The title-game loss was the first loss of the season for Southridge.

Success isn’t new to the young athletes on the Oregon City team. Many of them played together on fifth and sixth grade teams that went 9-1 in 2011 and in 2012, defeating Lake Oswego in a division championship game last year, after dropping a division title game to the Lakers two years ago.

“They did a good job [this fall] both running the ball effectively and throwing the ball effectively,” said Oregon City head coach Mark Bell. “The whole offense, everyone did their part, the line and the backs.”

Bell said his charges played their best football of the year in the title game with Southridge.

“Defensively we were stopping them on downs and making them punt,” Bell said. “The kids were wrapping up and making tackles on play after play.”

Oregon City-Red averaged 42 points a game. In regular season play the young Pioneers defeated Lincoln (36-26), Sunset (32-18), Tigard (43-34), Sherwood (41-20), Barlow (46-27), Lake Oswego (45-30) and West Linn (64-44).

“We were fortunate to win every game, because we were down at halftime and getting beat in several of them,” said Bell. “These kids are competitors. They don’t quit. They keep playing hard and figure out a way to come back and win games.”

Bell said that quarterback Colby Iverson is a dual threat, equally effective at passing and running with the football.

“Colby is a good, tough inside runner and a good passer,” Bell said. “He was accurate and he had really good receivers.”

Running back Zakhayas Lee “ran hard, with really good speed and exceptional vision...., “ said Bell. “Truman Davis excelled as lead blocker.”

Bell said that Davis, Lee and Carter Bell were all very capable receivers.

“Our offensive line — Kelsen Hennessy, Brock Duyck, Jacob Phillips, Jordon Carnahan and Daniel Sytsma — played well as a group,” Bell said.

“Jacob was our center. We’d go with the shotgun 70 percent of the time, and Jacob would rarely miss.”

And Bell said that Iverson was money as the Pioneers’ PAT kicker, noting that in youth football PAT kicks count two points, while PAT passes and runs only count for one point.

Bell said that lineman Isaiah Cook, defensive back Erich Nova and linebacker/defensive back Michael Bedell excelled on defense.

Others on the standout team included: Dakota Miller, Matthew Pavey, Redden Turner, Colby Dixon, Hunter Davis, Kevin Fullmer, Michael Young, Dawson Drews, Erich Nova, Luke White and Thomas Presnall.

The team was coached by Mark Bell, Dean Hennessy, Dane Iverson and Matt Phillips.