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East County backs shine in Oregon Bowl
Reynolds Highs Demontrial Spinks sets up the go-ahead touchdown in Saturdays all-star game
HILLSBORO In Saturdays Les Schwab Oregon Bowl, featuring the states top recently-graduated high school football players, the North squad came alive offensively in the second half to defeat the South team, 21-14. The North scored 15 points in the fourth quarter after being held to just six points in the first three periods to earn the come-from-behind victory.
A pair of Gresham-area athletes made major contributions to the Norths triumph on the offensive side of the ball. Former Gresham running back Devauntae Hoffman performed as well as anyone out of the backfield, especially in the opening half. Hoffman rushed for 75 yards on just seven carries in the first two quarters. His ability to break tackles kept multiple drives alive and helped the North to get into field-goal range. Hoffmans last run of the half was a 29-yard jaunt down the left sideline that gave the North a chance for a Hail Mary with one second left.
Coach told me to just get down and kill the clock, but I was thinking, if I get a chance, Im taking it to the house, Hoffman said. I hit the linebacker and spun out, then I was gone down the sideline. If the block came a tad later, it would have been to the house.
Hoffman was named Outstanding Back for the North in the win. He finished with 72 yards on 13 carries.
Wide receiver Demontrial Spinks, a former Reynolds standout, had the biggest play of the game for the North with the clock ticking down in the third quarter. With the ball on his own 20-yard line, Spinks caught a pass on the right hashmark for first-down yardage and then turned it into a lot more. He made three South defenders miss with a few jukes to get out into the open field before finally being wrestled to the ground by his facemask at the South 29-yard line. The catch went for 51 yards and the penalty moved the ball into the red zone.
At the time of Spinks catch, the South led 7-6. His huge reception gave proved to be the turning point in the game. The North punched it in for a touchdown a couple plays after Spinks grab-and-run, then converted a two-point conversion to take a 14-7 lead.
The South tied it up with a touchdown a few minutes later, but the North stole momentum right back with its second score of the quarter to take a 21-14 advantage. The North defense held tough on the last two South drives to earn the win.
Hoffman believes the days leading up to the game made the difference for the North. The team spent virtually the whole week as one, both on the practice field and at other events. Hoffman felt his squad came together and truly became a team in five short days.
We came here as enemies, but throughout the week we bonded, and bonded and bonded, Hoffman said. We could tell we had a better connection than the South did. It was a lot of fun. There were some great experiences, and a lot of great players that allowed other great players to be at their best.
David Douglas lineman Samson Ebukam got the start at defensive end and finished with two tackles.
Central Catholics Mitch Seeley knocked through a pair of field goals for the Norths only points in the first half.