Beaverton-area players suit up in Les Schwab Bowl

Through four years of pitting themselves in the trenches, Aloha's AJ McCollum and Jesuit's Doug Brenner had some legendary all-out battles.

When McCollum was a sophomore defensive tackle he and the Warriors beat Brenner's Jesuit squad, 38-25. It was the first time in a quarter century that Aloha had bashed public enemy No. 1 in the Metro League. The program-altering victory acted as the driving force behind the Warriors' 2010 state championship, though Brenner and the Crusaders won three of the four head-to-head contests from TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha offensive lineman AJ McCollum helped the North offense rush for 164 yards during the Norths Les Schwab Bowl 21-14 win on Saturday.

Suffice to say there weren't a lot of pleasantries exchanged nor love lost between the two big men during that time. The overall loathing between the programs runs deep, and they don't particularly care for one another.

That all changed, however, at the Les Schwab Bowl on Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium when McCollum, Brenner and seven other former Metro stars joined forces on the North squad with one rallying cry resonating amongst themselves.

Win it for Reggie.

McCollum alleged the South team stole Reggie, a 10-foot-tall stuffed teddy bear that exhibited a striking resemblance to Brenner, earlier in the week from the North's dorm room at Pacific University. The North players discovered Reggie in a dumpster outside the dorms on the first day of practice and even put him in their “Harlem Shake” team video. When Reggie went missing one night, McCollum identified the South squad as the main culprits, and the ante for Saturday's contest went up.

The North's Metro stars vowed to put aside any harbored ill feelings toward each other to beat the South in memory of their furry friend. They came through, winning the Les Schwab Bowl, 21-14, with McCollum, Brenner and Jesuit offensive tackle Ryan Brown helping the North pile up 164 rushing yards.

“This was all for Reggie,” said McCollum. “We were playing for him. We're still looking for him.”

McCollum went into the week thinking he wouldn't get along with guys from Central Catholic and Jesuit — two of the schools he disdained during his Aloha career. However, McCollum ended up bonding with Brenner over bowling at Big Al's and highly competitive wing-eating contests between a pair of hungry dudes. McCollum even said it was cool playing for his Metro foes instead of trying to demolish them.

“When you're playing across from Doug, he looks like this big, cocky jerk, but when you get to know him, he's just this goofy kid with a smile on his face all the time,” said McCollum. “It's a lot nicer to get to know the kids before you judge them.”

“We realized it wasn't that hard to get along with each other,” added Brenner, who signed with the University of Oregon and reported to the Ducks' summer session on Saturday morning. “Playing with all the talent from across the state was just unreal. It was great to finally have some of these guys on my team. I think both teams played well, and I was just proud to be invited.”

The Metro standouts made their presence felt for the duration of the contest, ensuring the South wouldn't duplicate last year's three-touchdown rout of the North. Sunset's Bruce Jones started at defensive back and had five tackles and a pass deflection. Westview's Dylan Savage recovered a fumble around midfield with 4:30 left in the second quarter that led to a North field TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset defensive back Bruce Jones led the North squad with five tackles at the Les Schwab Bowl on Saturday. Jones will be a preferred walk-on at Oregon State.

“It was definitely a great experience, a lot of great players out here,” said Jones who's going to Oregon State University as a preferred walk-on. “The North team just dominated and wanted it more. This whole North team is my family now. We came together a lot more than the South squad. We just had the connection together and clicked.”

Aloha's Michael Klug ran down Sheldon's Taylor Allie for a sack with three minutes to go in the third quarter to force a South punt. Klug, a 270-pound defensive tackle, didn't give up on the play when Allie escaped the pocket and wrangled the Irish signal caller to the turf.

“When I get my hands on a quarterback, I'm going down with him. He's not getting out of my hands,” said Klug. “I was hustling all game long, and I got this bead on that lineman and saw the quarterback right there.”by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha defensive tackle Michael Krug celebrates his second quarter sack of Sheldons Taylor Allie at the Les Schwab Bowl on Saturday.

Southridge was represented well by a trio of all-Metro picks: outside linebacker Eric Scruggs, wide receiver Justin Calo and defensive back Alec Powell, who helped the Skyhawks win the league title last season. The Skyhawks extracted a small measure of revenge by beating Allie and Mike Ralston, two of the Sheldon players who were key in kicking Southridge out of the 6A state playoffs. They also made sure Tigard's Zach Floyd and Cain Adams didn't come up on the winning end for the South. Tigard knocked Southridge from the playoffs in 2011. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridge defensive end Eric Scruggs and Westviews Dylan Savage celebrate Savages fumble recovery in the second quarter of the Norths 21-14 win in the Les Schwab Bowl on Saturday.

“It was good to get back at those Tigard and Sheldon kids,” said Calo. “We lost to them during the regular season, so it was good to get 'em back in the final game. I'm always going to remember playing with my buddies at Southridge... beating Jesuit and Aloha...winning that Metro title was pretty exciting. It was a great year."

The all-star event offered Powell the opportunity to get back on the field for the first time since the state playoffs and get his confidence back. Powell had an off-season shoulder surgery in December on his torn labrum. He said after the Les Schwab Bowl, he's at ease about playing with Calo at Portland TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridge wide receiver Justin Calo helped the North team beat the South, 21-14 at the Les Schwab Bowl on Saturday.

“Just to be out here with so much talent on the field, it was the closest you could get to college, and to take the win home is amazing,” said Powell. “The competition was tough out there. They were stopping us, we were stopping them. It was like two unstoppable forces hitting each other, but we bonded throughout this week, so I think that's why we came out with the win.”

Calo and Powell will reunite on the gridiron at PSU in the fall.

“I'm just excited to get another opportunity to play football and get a better education,” said Calo. “I'm happy for all my teammates out there, happy we got the 'W.' It was a good game out there. The South played tough, but we played better. It was pretty intense, but I felt the North was a little bit faster than the South.”

McCollum met a crew of to-be Western Oregon teammates at the Les Schwab Bowl, including Gresham running back Devauntae Hoffman, who the Warrior center will be blocking for in the fall. McCollum and Klug said they can hardly wait to be part of the WOU culture and bring some of that Warrior pride to Monmouth.

“That whole atmosphere is just like Aloha, a family atmosphere, and I just can't wait to start at the next level,” said McCollum. “I have to give a shout out to my Aloha coaches and the community around them. They're the ones that got me here. I was raised by the community and the football team. There were a lot of memories I'll remember, and although I'm going on to the next level, it's still depressing that I won't be playing for my own community and the kids I grew up with.”

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