The West Linn Lions (4-6, 1-4 Three Rivers League) took on the Southridge Skyhawks (6-3, 3-2 Metro League) in the first round of the OSAA football state playoffs. West Linn fell to Southridge 28-20, ending the season.
“Even though we were an underdog we learned that if we really set our minds to it and played together as a true team we were able to play with one of the best teams in the state,” Louie Germain, senior, said. The entire team came together as a family and throughout the season and playoffs.
“I really felt like we’ve become a family and I made a lot of really close friends,” Cameron Schmitz, senior, said. “We were right there with Southridge and we could have beat them.”
Southridge was on the board first when running back Devin Martinez, senior, scored on a six-yard touchdown run to put the Skyhawks up 7-0. The Lions responded with a touchdown of its own when quarterback Hayden Coppedge, senior, threw a six yard touchdown pass to Kurt Moon, junior, and West Linn knotted the score at 7-7.
Martinez added another touchdown to the night when he ran in from 48 yards out as Southridge went up 14-7.
The only score in the second quarter came when Coppedge connected to Moon for another six yard touchdown pass. The point after touchdown kick was blocked and the score at halftime was 14-13 Southridge.
Martinez continued his dominance on the ground as he scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, one from a yard out, and another on a 29-yard dash. The Skyhawks were up 28-13 when the fourth quarter rolled around.
With about four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Coppedge connected with his younger brother Cody, sophomore, for a short gain. Cody was hit hard inside the ten yard line and laid on the ground motionless. After about a 25 minute stoppage, Coppedge was carted off the field and placed into an ambulance to be transported to the local hospital.
After Coppedge’s injury, the Lions responded with a one yard touchdown pass to Nicholas Yokubaitis, junior, and West Linn was closing in on the Skyhawks’ lead, down eight.
The Lions were able to gain possession with just under a minute to play on their own 20 yard line. Coppedge connected on a few passes for short gains but was sacked on fourth down to end the game.
“Walking off that field was easily one of the hardest things I’ve done,” Germain said. “We built such a strong bond and it was hard leaving it all behind earlier than we would have hoped.”
“It was really surreal walking off the field knowing I’ll never get to play with that group of guys again. I’m really going to miss it,” Schmitz said. “I was also really proud of the younger guys for filling in where we needed them. I’m just really going to miss it.”
“I’m proud that we went out fighting and we never gave up,” Germain said.