East County players shine on Bowl Night
Les Schwab Bowl
The quartet of East County all-stars took their turns making big plays to keep the North squad within striking distance, but a series of empty possessions in the fourth quarter doomed the team to a 33-28 loss to the South in Saturday night's Les Schwab Bowl.
Reynolds High receiver Kehdon Fletcher made it a one-possession game at halftime when he cut inside on a slant route and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Lake Oswego QB Tyler Laurent with less than a minute to play in the second quarter.
The South went up 33-22 late in the third quarter after Forrest Love caught a deep ball from Nate Overholt — four of the South's five touchdowns came on strikes of 30-yards or more.
The North responded with a 9-play, 80-yard drive that was in danger of coming up empty facing 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line.
That's when Fletcher had his number called again.
This time he faked the slant route and broke back to the sideline, catching the quick pass and tapping his toes inbounds to complete his second touchdown catch of the night to bring the North within 33-28 with 14:45 to play.
"We had a team banquet the night before where everyone had to share a fun fact about themselves," Fletcher said. "My fun fact was that no one in white could guard me."
Fletcher finished with three catches for 29 yards, while also seeing some action at free safety. He has signed to play at Southern Oregon in the fall.
The North all-stars would get four more possessions down the stretch, but were unable to cross midfield on any of them.
The North's last gasp came deep in its own territory with 0:33 on the clock. Three incompletions and a sack brought the game to a close.
Barlow running back Jobi Malary finished with 19 carries for a game-high 83 yards and was voted the game's Outstanding Back.
His highlight came midway through the third quarter when he put on a couple juke moves in the middle of the field for an 11-yard first-down scamper to put the North squad inside the 20-yard line.
Malary got another handoff on 3rd-and-1, but was stacked up at the line of scrimmage and hobbled off the field. He spent the rest of the game watching from the trainer's table.
"I'll be fine," he said after the game. "It's just a small ankle sprain."
The North's drive ended with a missed field goal.
Malary has signed to play at Portland State in the fall.
"This was so fun to play in. The South had some big boys flying around the field," Malary said. "I think it gave me a good look at what college will be like. Playing in college is something I've dreamed about ever since I can remember. I'm thankful. It's not an opportunity that everyone gets."
Barlow teammate Jared Eggleston also took home an award after being voted the Outstanding Lineman. He finished with a team-high seven tackles, three of them behind the line of scrimmage.
"I've been in the weight room all off-season getting ready for this game. Hard work pays off," Eggleston said.
He caught everyone's attention early in the game when he shed a block, grabbed Tigard running back Malcolm Stockdale by the jersey and tossed him for a 6-yard loss. On the next play, he ran Overholt out of bounds to force a punt.
Eggleston broke through for a sack on the final play of the first half.
He kept his motor running in the second half, dropping Stockdale for a 4-yard loss and stepping out of a crowd at center field to show his biceps in a game that featured a steady flow of trash talk.
"People were chirping all week," Eggleston said. "It's almost better when there's a little fire behind it you play better."
The defensive stop paid immediate dividends when Marcus Harris returned the punt 90 yards for a touchdown that pulled the North within 26-22 midway through the third quarter.
Eggleston also broke up a deep third-down pass to get the ball back late in the fourth quarter.
Centennial's Robesan Abraham finished with three tackles — two of them going for loss. He highlighted his night by getting in on a sack that brought up fourth down and led to a missed field goal by the South.
This year's result brings the all-time series dead even at 34-34-4 in the game that has been played since 1948.
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This story is slated for our Tuesday, June 18, print edition.
NORTH 8 7 7 6 — 28
SOUTH 20 0 13 0 — 33
SOUTH — Noah Page 34 pass from Nate Overholt (Ozzy Ramirez kick), 14:36
SOUTH — Page 72 pass from DeMontre Thomas (run failed), 5:26
NORTH — Keyvaun Eady 13 pass from Brad Norman (Eady pass from Jeff Nelson), 2:32.
SOUTH — Page 50 pass from Thomas (Ramirez kick), 2:14.
NORTH — Kehdon Fletcher 6 pass from Jackson Laurent (Jeff Nelson kick), 0:57.
SOUTH — Connor McNabb 1 run (run failed), 12:27
NORTH — Marcus Harris 90 punt return (Nelson kick), 10:05
SOUTH — Forrest Love 59 pass from Overholt (Ramirez kick), 2:44
NORTH — Fletcher 4 pass from Laurent (run failed), 14:55.
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