Molalla seventh and eighth grade football team plays for championship
Molalla's seventh and eighth grade team reached the championship game of the Tualatin Valley Youth Football League for the first time in five years.
And the Indians needed a goal line stand to get there.
"It came down to the fourth quarter," Molalla coach Steve LaVigne said of the Indians 18-14 win over Madison on Nov. 2 in the semifinals. "They were marching the ball on us and our defense ended up stopping them on the 5-yard line. It was a real tough game. It was probably one of the most intense games we played."
Molalla finished 5-3 during the regular season to earn the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Four of the Indians wins came in blowouts — 38-8 at Aloha, 39-0 versus Gladstone, 32-8 against Franklin and 36-0 over Roosevelt.
Molalla then lost to undefeated Lincoln 22-8 in the championship game on Nov. 9 at West Linn High School.
"It was a grind," LaVigne said. "I've coached 12-13 years and that was probably one of the best coached teams we've ever played, a good group of kids, great sportsmanship. I would love to play those guys again. They were a solid group of kids. It was just a battle from the snap of the ball through the fourth quarter."
The Indians actually recovered a pooch kick to open the game, but then fumbled the ball on their first possession.
LaVigne said most of the Molalla team has played together since they were third and fourth graders.
"I've coached these guys for a long time," LaVigne said. "They've just got great chemistry and great talent. We're not a big team, but we're lightning fast. Most of our kids are not afraid of sticking their helmet in. They all listen. They're just all great kids and respond well."
Molalla's line was led by Logan Roley and John Hayes. Quarterback Zachery Clinton, fullback Danny LaVigne, halfback Ben Olsen and receiver Cade Wynn were key players on offense.
Coach LaVigne expects his players to continue to big things once they get to high school, maybe as early as even next year.
"It wouldn't surprise me if I had probably five or six kids dress out for varsity," LaVigne said. "There are that many talented kids. It's stocked full of athletes. It's going to be fun group of years to go watch these kids go through and play."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.