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For Gophers the D is enough

MHC FOOTBALL - Barlow and Gresham bring top nonleague records into the MHC schedule
by: David Ball Gresham sophomore QB Devon Shields pulls away from a Clackamas tackler during the Gophers win last week.

Gresham football coach Todd Nagel was like a frustrated writer, tossing crumpled pieces of paper at a trashcan as he prepared for the 2011 season. In May, he found out that returning QB Clay Mott would not be returning after all. Instead, Mott informed him before spring practices that he would be playing fall baseball instead. He is an ace on the Gophers pitching staff in the spring, and also Nagel's teacher's aid during the day.

So, Nagel was left to draw up plan B. He would bring in junior Isaac Hinojosa-Diaz to direct the Gophers power running attack. Another crumpled piece of paper sailed toward the corner of the room when Hinojosa-Diaz broke his foot after running it over with a golf cart during the summer.

That left Nagel heading into camp with his QB position uncertain. The picture quickly cleared up, as sophomore Devon Shields showed the skills needed to get the job done.

'He has a great demeanor for the position,' Nagel said. 'We're asking him to manage the game and make some throws. Hopefully, we can run the ball enough to use play-action.'

That running game falls to speedster Devauntae Hoffman and big-bodied fullback Marcus Martinez. Both have carried much of the load during the Gophers 3-1 preseason effort. Receiver Hunter Busse and tight end Spencer Kelley have been the team's top targets in the passing game....

Look for the full MHC season preview with looks at each of the East County teams in the Sept. 28 edition of The Outlook.