By Jeremy McDonald
MILWAUKIE, Ore.– The Salem-based Valley Capitals slowly came to life late in their Rose City Rumble Winter League, hosted by EForce, opener against ETA Silver starting with a West Salem Brooks Ferguson touchdown strike.
Ferguson’s touchdown strike with under three minutes left in the game was followed by a defensive stand and a Sprague’s Logan Smith touchdown pass to bring the Caps to within two, 16-14. But Smith’s late touchdown was as time expired, however it created momentum for Valley entering their second game against Peak at La Salle Prep High School.
“We just kept going,” Ferguson said. “I think we did great honestly, we got a lot of momentum in the second game. We got an early touchdown and quick interception. Our energy just flipped and we were clicking the next two games, it was great.”
Ferguson threw a touchdown pass and McNary’s Brayden Copeland added a Pick-6 as the Capitals jumped out to a 28-0 lead on the ETA Silver. There was a heavy mist, a heavy drizzle that had made the ball slippery starting back during the closing moments of the opening game Sunday morning in the Metro league.
But the squads quarterbacks adjusted, as did their receivers to make sure the plays happen.
“It was pretty difficult, we all had to take our gloves off and stuff,” Copeland said. “But they (Smith, Ferguson and Canby’s Mikey Gibson) did well with that ball. I mean they did great.”
The Valley Capitals defense overall had only allowed 23 points in three games on this day as they came down to the wire against ETA Iron. The Capitals coaches talked about in between the second and third games about sustaining energy and not tapering off.
It was the third game of the pods, end of Week 1 of the season, and with 2:30 left on the clock the Valley Capitals found the endzone and Copeland had sealed the 14-7 win on the final defensive play to ensure the 2-1 weekend for the Caps.
“I think it’ll be big entering next week, we just can’t give up when we’re down or even when we’re up,” said Copeland. “Every team has a chance to comeback, so it’s just to stick with it.”
“Today was a great learning experience. We got beat early so we had to come back and we fought back, it was great. The team played really, really well today,” Ferguson added.
West Salem’s Zachary Dodson-Greene’s ‘Breed’ team went 1-2 in the Pod 2 Sunday morning and North Salem went 0-3 in the Pod 4 triology of games in Milwaukie.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald