SALEM, Ore.– West Linn presented a challenge that South Salem knew of entering Saturday afternoon’s game at South Salem High School.
The Saxons Youth Football, with their talented secondary and Hatimu Letisi on the line, they were fully aware of the capabilities of the Lions squad lining up in front of them; but the push by the West Linn line on both sides of the ball made sure that South Salem were on their toes early in Saturday’s Tualatin Valley Youth Football League game.
“That’s one good team,” said Letisi. “They were amazing blockers, their coaches really taught them well and they were one outstanding team. They have better stamina than us. We worked our butts off, tried our best and it didn’t come out the way we thought it would but they’re a really good team.”
Stamina is one thing they could work on entering their Week four match-up versus Clackamas next Saturday back at South Salem High School said Letisi with the Lions jumping out to a 21-0 lead on the Saxons. The little things like stamina, missed opportunities on both sides of the ball plagued South Salem in the opening half of their tough 42-6 defeat to West Linn, but as halftime came, an opportunity for a momentum swing entering the second half.
Just as the Lions marched down the field, the Saxons held West Linn to a field goal attempt with one second remaining in the half.
The 35-yard attempt was blocked and returned to the house by Mason Priest to give some pep in the step of South Salem entering the final two quarters of the game down 21-6 at intermission.
“I really thought we were going to get that…we were going to come back from that because that’s what normally happens. You start losing the game and then you come back into the game with a big play and it just hypes everyone up,” said Priest. “So I thought we had it, but we didn’t. We’ll get them in the Championships.”
The Saxons came out strong to start the second half, but slowly the Lions began to pull away for good against South Salem in the win as fatigue began to sink in.
“We can work harder in what would be our next game and just keep on working harder. Believe and not give up,” said Letisi. “This isn’t us. We can play better, we’ve done better, we can do better and we will work our best against Clackamas next week. If it doesn’t come out the way we want it to, we’ll beat the next team and we will keep working harder until we get to them.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald