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Football notes: McKinnis clutch

Sandys linebacker has one of the years best performances


Sandy linebacker C.J. McKinnis III had one of the team’s best defensive performances of the season last Friday in a 42-23 loss to the Milwaukie Mustangs.

It started early when the sophomore intercepted Mustangs quarterback DaJuan Gant at their own 16-yard line. Sandy took over and quickly scored on a two-yard run by Kyle Bateman, tying the game at 16-16.

McKinnis gave his team another scoring opportunity by recovering a fumble near midfield with a minute left in the first half. Sandy, though, was unable to capitalize.

But maybe the linebacker’s biggest play of the game came in the third quarter when the Mustangs were facing a third-and-14 from Sandy’s 25-yard line and leading 30-23. Right after the ball was snapped, McKinnis was in the backfield, sacking Gant and setting up a near-impossible fourth-and-25 situation.

Unfortunately, the significance was erased when Gant connected with wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for a 35-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 36-23.

It was the turning point in the game, according to Sandy coach Greg Barton.

But after the play, McKinnis had some words for his teammates.

“I walked back to the huddle and said, ‘we worked too hard to stop,’ ” he said.

Later, trailing 42-23 with eight minutes remaining in the game, McKinnis was clutch again, recovering his second fumble to keep Sandy’s slim chances of winning alive.

But on the ensuing drive, the Pioneers would turn the ball over inside the red zone.