Oregon City scores on its final four drives to down Gresham 40-14

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Greshams Devin Tapec fights through traffic on a kickoff return against Oregon City. The second half started in the right direction only to see Gresham’s comeback bid sputter in its 40-14 loss to Oregon City to open the season Friday.

Trailing 13-7 at the break, Gresham took the second-half kickoff and moved the ball across midfield. Senior QB Devon Shields went around the right side to pick up a 3rd-and-3, and plunged through the middle to convert a 3rd-and-1.

Gresham’s traditional power game was clicking. Knock the other team back, pick up a handful of yards and move the chains. Eventually, you’ll reach the end zone.

That plan went out the window when the Gophers faced 3rd-and-9.

Shields dropped back to pass, but never had time to set his feet as a swarm of red helmets crashed in from the left side. Linebacker Kiahve Dennis-Lee was the first to make contact, leaving Shields on the turf and bringing Gresham’s punt team onto the field.

Oregon City’s offense picked it up from there, finding the end zone on its final four drives to break the game open.

Pioneers QB Jonathan Wilson got it started by converting a 3rd-and-8 with a strike through the heart of the Gophers’ defense. He hit receiver Trevon Bradford in stride over the middle for the first down, and Bradford did the rest going 47 yards for the score.

Oregon City increased the margin to 27-7 in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter when running back Conner Mitchell raced around the left end for an 8-yard TD.

Gresham put up its final firework of the night when running back GG Brown dodged a tackle at the line of scrimmage and sprinted 80 yards down the middle for an answering touchdown.

Needing points in a hurry, the Gophers attempted an onsides kick. But Oregon City recovered and needed just minutes to find the end zone again. Anthony Corvi stomped his way through the middle 4 yards to put Oregon City in command 33-14 with less than 10 minutes to play.

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