Story and photos by Ethan Fitzgerald -- Staff Writer/Student
On a wet and rainy Friday night, the opening event of homecoming weekend for Oregon City started off with a splash as the Pioneers beat the Clackamas Cavaliers by a score of 42-36.
As the rain hit the field hard prior to kickoff, the Cavaliers wasted no time when the ball finally landed in their hands, resulting in good kickoff return that turned into a fast seven points, with ten minutes to go in the first quarter.
Without much hesitation, the Pioneers answered back quickly on a 20-yard rushing touchdown by senior Mitch Thompson, tying the score 7-7, with nine minutes left in the first quarter. Following Thompson’s first score of the game, he came back with his second of five touchdowns by scoring on a 36-yard run nearing the end of the first quarter.
One week after being carted off the field with an ankle injury, and without practice during the week, Thompson said after the game: “I’m sure [my ankle’s] a little swollen, but it was good enough to play.”
Following his 353 yards-rushing-night, along with his five trips into the end zone, he simply said, “It feels amazing.”
The Cavaliers were the only ones to find the end zone in the second quarter, scoring on a 1-yard goal line rush with 10 minutes to go in the quarter.
In an eventful second half, Thompson got the ball rolling with a 59-yard touchdown at the 11 minute mark in the third quarter.
Following the score, the field goal kick was no good, resulting in a score of 20-14, in favor of the Pioneers.
Shortly after his prior score, Thompson again found the end zone on a 5-yard run, making the score 27-14, with seven minutes in the third quarter. The Cavaliers matched the score on their next possession on a 36-yard rushing touchdown, resulting in a six-point lead for the Pioneers.
To wrap up the scoring in the third quarter, quarterback, junior Jon Hall, connected on a 5-yard touchdown pass to junior Matt Oades, resulting in a score of 35-21 after a successful 2-point conversion pass from Hall to junior Clay Reece.
The fourth quarter proved to be a test for both teams down the stretch as the Cavaliers scored twice, but were unable to stop red-hot halfback Mitch Thompson as he scored his fifth touchdown on a 55-yard run, resulting in the final score 42-36, in favor of the Pioneers.
After the game, Head Coach Kevin Strasser said, “It’s a good win, but we had too many mistakes on defense and too many penalties. Things like that we have to clean up, otherwise we’re not going to go as far as our potential can take us.”