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PREP FOCUS: Portland Christian still in the running

by: BETH MUMFORD - Portland Christian's Nathan Mumford looks for yards after catch on pass reception from quarterback Steven Mumford.Playoff-bound Portland Christian still has hopes of gaining a share of the Class 2A Northwest League football title.

The Royals fell to 3-1 with their 31-21 loss at Knappa last week, but 4-0 Knappa plays Friday night at Gaston (3-1) in the regular season's final week.

Portland Christian has a 7 p.m. Friday home game — at Gladstone High — against Vernonia (1-3).

The Royals were 8-0 overall going into the Knappa game. This season, they have outscored their opponents 357-91, and they rank sixth in the state in the Oregon School Activities Association computer system that determines postseason pairings.

Knappa (4-4 overall) is 15th in the OSAA rankings, and Gaston (5-3) is 12th.

The top three teams from the Northwest League qualify for the 16-team state playoffs that start Nov. 9, so Portland Christian is guaranteed a berth.

Senior quarterback Steven Mumford has completed 83 of 146 passes (56.8 percent) for 1,300 yards (162.5 per game) and 16 touchdowns, with two interceptions.

His top target has been sophomore Nathan Mumford, who has 32 catches for 545 yards and six touchdowns.

by: BETH MUMFORD - Portland Christian's Curtis Farmer runs for a touchdown. Portland Christian seniors Ty Zimmerman and Curtis Farmer have 13 receptions apiece; Zimmerman has 201 yards receiving, with Farmer at 193 yards. Both have two TD catches. Junior Jesse DeLucia (10 receptions, 127 yards) has three scoring catches.

Five players have rushed for 121 yards or more, with Farmer in the team lead. He has 650 yards (8.6 per carry) and nine touchdowns. Junior Chris DeBusman has scored seven TDs and rushed for 332 yards (5.1 average).

Top tacklers have been DeBusman (76 total), junior Paul Pepelaskov (62), senior Austin Wisenbaker (59), junior Dryden Rachinski (44) and junior David Guild (40).

Wisenbaker has eight of the team's 25 sacks.

Nathan Mumford leads the Royals with seven interceptions. Pepelaskov has four picks.

Also on defense, sophomore Emile Wolpert has a team-high four fumble recoveries.

Senior Nathan Helgerson has kicked four field goals and 26 extra-points.

by: BETH MUMFORD - Portland Christian's Chris DeBusman heads for the end zone.by: BETH MUMFORD - Paul Pepelaskov of Portland Christian nabs an interception.