Featured Stories

Oltman plays like a star

by: Vern Uyetake, West Linn’s Sam Oltman dives for a touchdown, above, during the first quarter of last Friday’s Les Schwab Bowl. Afterward, Oltman gets a high five from North teammate John Sheffield of Lincoln.

Had the North team simply stopped scoring points in last Friday's annual Les Schwab Bowl, it's probable that West Linn's Sam Oltman would have won one of the awards handed out at the end of the evening, perhaps even the Most Valuable Player award.

But that wasn't to be as the North thoroughly dominated the South, taking a 49-7 lead before being forced to kick off to the South multiple times in a row, which allowed the South to eventually get the final score to 49-25.

Quarterback Kevin Riley of Beaverton took home the MVP award on the night, which was fitting as he and Westview's Cody Kempt each put on an aerial display throughout the evening. The North threw the ball on over 75 percent of its plays, which made for a particularly long game.

In fact, the first half alone took close to two and a half hours to complete and, by the end of the evening, the cheerleaders on both sides were happily counting down the seconds out loud.

For Oltman, it was a fitting end to his high school career. The senior and future walk-on at Oregon State University was the surprise of the Three Rivers League this season, finishing with one of the best statistical seasons in the state for a receiver. He ended up earning offensive player of the year honors in the league on a team that failed to qualify for the playoffs.

In the Les Schwab Bowl, Oltman again emerged as somewhat of a surprise star. He spent a majority of the first quarter in single coverage on the left side of the field but neither Riley not Kempt looked his way early on.

While the North moved the ball well on its first two possessions, the South actually scored first, returning an interception to the one-yard line and scoring two plays later.

Oltman finally received his first touch on the North's next possession. On fourth and six, Kempt hit him for a gain of 20 yards on a slant pattern over the middle. While the North couldn't score on that possession, it benefited from a turnover and posted a quick touchdown.

'I was a little worried in the first five minutes but, in the end I think we proved we were the better team,' Oltman said.

Late in the first quarter, the North received the ball again deep in the South's territory. Riley hit Oltman on a screen at the 18-yard line and he beat his defender and then dragged a safety the remaining few yards before reaching the ball over the goal line to give his team a lead it wouldn't surrender.

'It was great. I always wanted to score a reach-in touchdown. I never had one before that,' Oltman said.

Moments later, after another South turnover, Riley threw a jump ball down the left side for Oltman who out-jumped his defender and hauled it in for a 60-yard gain to the 1-yard line. That set up a touchdown on the next play.

At the half the North led 28-7 but the team wasn't about to call off the dogs yet.

Midway through the third quarter, Oltman caught another pass for a first down on a possession that eventually led to another touchdown. Leading 35-7 the North then proceeded to recover the kickoff and mounted another drive.

Oltman caught two more passes on the team's next possession, one at the 8-yard line on third down which led to a touchdown on the next play.

'It's pretty nice having two Division I quarterbacks throwing to you,' Oltman said.

After an interception return for a touchdown, the North posted its biggest lead of the game at 49-7. The South finally got on the board again a few minutes later and, as are the rules of the Les Schwab Bowl, the South received the ball again and racked up two more scores to turn what was an utter blowout into what looked like a respectable game on paper.

'It was awesome. I really didn't expect to do that well,' Oltman said.

For the game, Oltman had over 115 yards receiving and one touchdown. Next up in his career will be summer practices at Oregon State. Oltman will leave for Corvallis in early August.