By Jeremy McDonald
MILWAUKIE, Ore.– Every rep counts towards preparing for Las Vegas here in a month for the boys of the IBC GymClub as they came down to the wire against the Breed-squad from EForce.
Canby’s Chance Miller had scored a receiving touchdown from McNary’s Jack McCarty and turned a Pick-6 to hand GymClub a 21-7 lead. But as the Island Boy Camp-based team was beginning to pull away, Breed pulled them back in. Tying the game up at 21 a few minutes later.
After having played in Vancouver, Washington last weekend and the competition this weekend, the three tough games at La Salle High School Sunday morning proved beneficial for what is to come.
“We struggled the first two games today and we knew we had to come out. That was the best team we played with today, so we matched their energy and came out strong,” Miller said. “We got Vegas coming up so we got to keep on practicing, working hard and building that chemistry.”
That chemistry will be clutch, especially entering next weekend’s game where they’ll travel once more to play in some more 7-on-7 action as they work on their bond together. Miller made a Odell Beckman Jr.-like catch on the sidelines with the game clock under a minute, setting up a Celtic-connection between McCarty and Gunner Smedema as time expired for the 28-21 victory for GymClub over Breed to close out the Sunday trilogy of games 1-2.
“It’ll help us chemistry-wise because a lot of those guys come from here and there, just started to know each other and get a feel for each other’s games. Once we get those tournaments before Vegas, we’ll come together and we’ll do a lot better,” Smedema said.
Salem’s Valley Capital squad saw their defense settle in another 2-1 weekend as Sprague’s Cole Elmore and West Salem’s Brooks Ferguson led the defensive charge from their linebacker and safety positions respectively.
“I felt like we did pretty good, we can always improve. There’s multiple things that went wrong, but overall Brooks made so many plays for us out there and I’m happy with the outcome,” Elmore said.
After splitting their first two games, the Capitals had a 30-minute break. Taking advantage of the quick break, Ferguson stepped up in the clutch while splitting time with the Olympians Logan Smith and the Cougars’ Mikey Gibson at Quarterback Sunday at safety with two interceptions and two pass break-ups against Grind Time.
The second interception sealed the victory for Valley coming out of the break against the weird four-receiver set as a diamond to one side Grind Time threw their way.
“It was good, we just got to do better. We might be a little bit older but we played hard, we played really hard. It was a good way to end the day,” Ferguson said. “That (break) was nice, getting some team time in and getting to know each other. This team is coming together, it’s great.”
“We were able to adjust (to their offense). We went to quarters and went to all man (coverage) and it worked out ok,” Elmore adds on adjusting to the diamond formation.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald