West Linn Lions lose Battle of the Bridge rivalry second year in a row

The West Linn Lions (3-4, 1-2 Three Rivers League) took on the Oregon City Pioneers (6-1, 2-1 TRL) in the annual Battle of the Bridge rivalry, the oldest high school football rivalry west of the Mississippi, but the results were not favorable towards the Lions. The Pioneers narrowly escaped with a win, beating West Linn 31-28.

Oregon City struck first with a 21 yard touchdown pass to Hunter Knighton, junior, from quarterback Jon Hall, junior, to put the Pioneers up 7-0. West Linn responded with a touchdown of their own from Hayden Coppedge, senior, to Cam Schmitz, senior to tie the game at 7-7.

During the second quarter, Oregon City was forced to kick a field goal from 20 yards out and kicker Alex Canchola, senior, booted the kick through the uprights as the Pioneers were up three, 10-7. Oregon City began to pull away when running back Connor Mitchell, sophomore, ran in from 11 yards out for a touchdown. Mitchell scored again, this time from 43 yards away and by halftime, the Pioneers led 24-7.

Both teams were shut out in the third quarter and if West Linn had any hope of winning, it would have to come late in the game.

The Lions finally responded to the scoring barrage with a three yard touchdown run from Chance Mazzia, junior, as West Linn tried to shrink Oregon City’s lead. The Pioneers responded by a three yard touchdown from Mitchell as Oregon City was up 31-14. The momentum shifted towards West Linn when Dean Swanson, sophomore, returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown as the Lions attempted to pull off a stunning comeback. West Linn pulled to within three with a 43 yard pass from Coppedge to Elijah Molden, freshman, but it was not enough and the final buzzer sounded resulting in a 31-28 Oregon City win.

The Lions will take on the Canby Cougars (3-4, 1-2 TRL) who are without senior linebacker Sam Bodine. Bodine suffered a compound fracture against Oregon City in week five. Canby is coming off a 28-14 loss to the Lakeridge Pacers.