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West Linn sends rival Pioneers packing

by: Vern UYETAKE, West Linn wide receiver Justin Monahan dives for extra yards on a pass completion near the end of the first half against the Pioneers of Oregon City. Moments later on the last play of the half Monahan caught a 28-yard pass in the end zone, giving the home-team Lions a 28-0 lead. The Lions won 42-7.

WEST LINN - West Linn turned the longest continuous high school football rivalry west of the Mississippi into a rout Friday night, keeping the Oregon City Pioneers winless this season while solidifying its own standing near the top of the Three Rivers League.

The Lions' relentless defense forced six turnovers in the contest and rolled to a 42-7 victory that closed out their league schedule. West Linn was far from perfect, however, committing four turnovers on its own.

Kyle Quinn scored from two yards out on West Linn's second possession, his first of three jaunts to the end zone on the night to give the Lions their first lead. Quinn finished the game with 135 yards on 16 carries.

Justin Monahan added a pair of touchdowns to the effort for West Linn, one on each side of the ball. On the final play of the half, Lions' quarterback Mychal Zito threw a jump ball to Monahan in double coverage. Monahan made the catch in traffic at the one-yard line and fell backwards into the end zone, giving West Linn a 28-0 lead at the half.

Then, late in the third quarter, Monahan picked off his second Oregon City pass of the night and made a nifty 40-yard return into the end zone. It was the third time this season that Monahan has had multiple interceptions in one game.

The Pioneers finally got on the board in the fourth quarter on a 31-yard run by quarterback Jake Nelson.

For the game, Zito was 18 for 23 for 210 yards with one interception. West Linn receiver Erik Koczian had nine catches for 113 yards. Oregon City's Mitch Wagner rushed 12 times for 64 yards.

West Linn hosts McKay in a non-league contest next week and can still clinch a share of the Three Rivers League title if Lakeridge knocks off Lake Oswego. If the Lakers win, the Lions will finish in second place. Oregon City hosts Clackamas next Friday.