Bruins juniors Jett Fay, Elijah Greenup lead scoring burst as team celebrates first win of 2022

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Barlow celebrated its first win of the season by downing crosstown rivals Gresham 40-14. With his crosstown rivals threatening to score a tying touchdown, Barlow's junior quarterback stepped under center and led his team on a methodical drive.

Emotions were running hot with 7 minutes left in the first half as Barlow football hosted Gresham. Though the Bruins held a 14-7 lead, there were chippy fouls and silly turnovers plaguing the proceedings, and the Gophers were threatening to tie the game and throw everything into disarray.

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Barlow junior quarterback Jett Fay led his team on a scoring drive that secured the victory just before half. That is when Barlow's Jett Fay stepped up and took his team down the field. First he slung it 46 yards to junior receiver Elijah Greenup. Then, after a near fumble turnover on a botched handoff, and two tackles for losses, Fay scored the back-breaking touchdown. On a designed rollout he sprinted around the right side of the offensive line 10 yards, stretching out for the touchdown. That score would spur the Bruins forward, as they clamped down on both sides of the ball to turn a close contest into a rout.

"It feels amazing to get the win, that is our rival," Fay said. "We have to keep this momentum going forward."

Barlow football was all smiles as they downed Gresham 40-14 Friday evening, Sept. 16, in front of a raucous home crowd.

"It is a relief to win," Jackson said. "I was glad to see us do good things offensively throwing and running the ball."

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Bruins junior Sentori Martino scored on the opening kickoff.  Barlow junior returner Sentori Martino opened the scoring account on the first touch of the game after taking the kickoff 90 yards to the house.

"I got to the 50 (yard line) and made a nice hard cut," Martino said. "A teammate cracked a defender and it opened it up to the endzone.

"It feels good to get the win over our rivals," he added. "There was a lot of chatter on the field and social."

It was sloppy early from both sides, with a pair of turnovers derailing both opening drives — first Barlow (1-2, 1-0 League) junior defensive lineman Matt Sixshade hauled in a tipped interception, then Gresham (1-1, 0-1 League) junior Andre Miller dove on a fumble after a botcher Bruin handoff.

Barlow finally found its groove offensively midway through the first quarter, as senior running back Harley Dodge sliced through the right side of the line and darted for a quick 43-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

"No more yards, no more," called out Gresham first-year Coach Cesar Martinez during the game. "Go out there and do your jobs."

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - The Gophers threatened in the second quarter, but couldnt make up the deficit. On the ensuing possession, the Gophers responded. Senior quarterback Jaxon Doving was slinging the ball around the field, often getting it into the hands of his favorite target Miller. Meanwhile star senior running back Jaden Mitchell capitalized by fighting through contact on an 11-yard, fourth-down tote that had him dance around the pylon to cut the lead to 14-7.

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gresham quarterback Jaxon Doving.  10: Gopher senior running back Jaden Mitchell was disappointed not to break the losing streak to Barlow. And a botched catch on the kickoff, recovered by junior Gerrit Fortner, had the Gophers with the ball threatening to tie the game. On another fourth-down play, Doving appeared to find Miller in the corner of the end zone for the tying score, but it was erased by an offensive pass interference, and a subsequent unsportsmanlike penalty pushed Gresham out of scoring territory.

"We felt good coming into this game," Martinez said. "This team is learning, getting better and we will continue to grow every day."

After that early scare, and Fay's rushing touchdown, Barlow hit a groove.

Greenup caught a 10-yard touchdown, his first of two, from Fay to make it 28-7. Gresham would answer with a 12-yard rushing touchdown from Miller, but that would be the final time the Gophers celebrated in the end zone.

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - The Bruins downed Gresham 40-14 Friday evening, Sept. 16. Late in the third quarter, Barlow freshman running back Caleb Perry, who was just called up to varsity earlier in the week, scored on a four-yard run up the middle.

"We have a lot of guys in our backfield who can contribute," Jackson said. "Every game we want to run the ball at people."

Greenup scored one final time at the start of the fourth quarter on a 49-yard bomb from backup quarterback Karter Wilcox. As the clock wound down, both sides put in their backups and settled for the outcome.

"Last week we lost a close one against a talented team, so we were all ready for this outcome," Jackson said.

Bragging rights
PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Barlow celebrated its first win of the season by downing crosstown rivals Gresham 40-14.

When Gresham and Barlow football play, there is excitement in the air. The stands were packed nearly an hour before kickoff, standing room only, and many fans had to park in cow fields converted into temporary lots a few miles from the stadium.

There were several VIPs who attended the game. The Barlow Class of 1982 had a reunion, with photo ops and old yearbooks to pore over. And the Gresham-Barlow School District staff and school board attended to soak up the festivities and support the kids. That included Superintendent James Hiu, who was doing his best to remain neutral.

"Sure, let's go with that," said Hiu, who served as Barlow's principal for six years, with a wry grin.

"When Barlow and Gresham play, the whole community wins," he added. "This is a great rivalry — bragging rights and pride on the line."

Former fire chief and state rep Greg Matthews also has split loyalties. The Gopher alum has four Bruins in his family, his wife and three kids, and serves as the game-day announcer for Barlow.

"I guess you could say I now bleed blue and gold," he admitted sheepishly. "But when I don't have a kid on the field, or my wife isn't within earshot, I'll still cheer on the Gophers."

"Tonight is what Friday night football is all about," he added.

For his part, Coach Jackson doesn't play into the rivalry, an attitude born from 33 years of experience.

"Someone has to stay steady out there," he said. "Gresham is a way better ballclub than we saw last year, so this was a good team to beat."

For the Gopher seniors, there was disappointment in the outcome.

"I feel like the rivalry means a lot," Mitchell said of his final time playing Barlow. "Coming from 10 years of not winning, I felt like we should have been the ones to stamp that out."

Like his counterpart, Coach Martinez downplayed the rivalry. Instead he focused on the continual growth of his burgeoning program.

"We made a lot of progress, but you got to be able to step up against a great team," he said.

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Barlow junior Luke Fahner led the team out of the locker room — last year he was playing for Gresham.  Perhaps no one has better perspective on the rivalry than Luke Fahner — he has worn both jerseys. The junior defensive end transferred from Gresham to Barlow over the summer.

"I played with those guys my whole life," Fahner said. "It's weird, but it feels better to be on this side, I can tell you that much."

Historic rivalry
PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - Barlow football beat Gresham 40-14 Friday, Sept. 16.

The very first game between Gresham and Barlow football kicked off during the 1969 season. It was just a year after the new school had opened across town from Gresham High, which had been playing ball since the 1910s, and the result was a 13-0 defensive shutout for the experienced Gophers.

Those early years were dominated by Gresham, as Barlow looked to find its footing in athletics. That stretch included the lowest-scoring performance in the series, a 7-0 Gresham win in 1980.

The first Bruins win came nearly a decade later, as they downed the Gophers 21-15 in the 1978 season. Barlow's third-ever victory over Gresham came in 1987 with a double overtime 27-26 showing — one of only two games between the two schools that have gone for extra time.

During Gresham's state championship run in 1982, Barlow fought hard, losing a close 21-17.

Overall Gresham has a 31-23 edge in wins over Barlow, though recent history has tilted toward the younger program. The Bruins won the series from 2001-2008. In 2019, Barlow had its largest victory over Gresham ever, 62-6, and the team won the 2020 COVID Cup 28-0.

Last year Barlow beat Gresham in a 48-0 drubbing with first-year head coach Tracy Jackson, and now 2022's win makes it nine in a row for the Bruins.

More photos

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gresham junior receiver Andre Miller.

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Barlow celebrated its first win of the season by downing crosstown rivals Gresham 40-14.

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gopher senior running back Jaden Mitchell was disappointed not to break the losing streak to Barlow.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - Barlow football beat Gresham 40-14 Friday, Sept. 16.

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - A gaggle of Gophers take down the Bruins runner.

PMG PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gopher senior running back Jaden Mitchell was disappointed not to break the losing streak to Barlow.

— Angel Rosas contributed to this story

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