West Linn-Oregon City ready to Battle for the Bridge a 98th time
It's time to "Battle."
The 98th annual "Battle for the Bridge" football game between West Linn and Oregon City — the longest uninterrupted high school rivalry series west of the Mississippi River — will be played at 7 p.m. Friday at Pioneer Memorial Stadium on the Oregon City High School campus.
In addition to bragging rights in the series — Oregon City holds a 50-46-1 lead in the series, although West Linn has won four straight (five counting the Lions' 34-13 playoff win over the Pioneers in the 2016 Class 6A quarterfinals) — there are playoff implications as well.
The Lions enter the contest as the state's sixth-ranked team and are currently fourth in the Three Rivers League with a 2-2 TRL record and a 5-3 overall mark. West Linn is coming off a 23-21 loss to Tigard last Friday.
The Pioneers come into Friday's game as the state's No. 12 team and winners of two straight contests. They are currently sixth in league, and carry a 1-3 TRL record and a 4-4 overall mark.
On offense, the Lions are led by Arizona State-bound senior quarterback Ethan Long (2,214 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on 59 percent passing.
Senior running back Dawson Jolley has rushed for 786 yards and nine TDs on 115 carries, while Long has added another 249 yards and six scores on the ground.
At receiver, the Lions are led by senior Cade Knutson (748 yards receiving and seven touchdowns on 45 catches) and junior Casey Tawa (693 yards and six scores on 49 catches).
For Oregon City, the Pioneers' offense is led by senior QB Colby Iverson (1,153 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 48 percent passing; 548 yards rushing and six TDs on 111 carries), senior running back Zakhayas Dennis-Lee (1,195 rushing yards and 18 TDs on 121 carries), senior running back Hunter Manassero (418 yards rushing and two scores on 104 carries) and junior wide receiver Calvin Green (355 yards receiving and five TDs on 28 catches).
Defensively, West Linn is led by sophomore linebacker Cole Peters (81 total tackles including 11 for loss and 3.5 sacks), senior lineman Brian MacClanathan (78 tackles including seven for loss, one interception and one fumble recovery), senior defensive back Max Jacobs (64 tackles including three for loss, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries) and senior linebacker Elijah Ntsasa (63 tackles including two for loss).
Orgon City's "D" is led by Dennis-Lee and Manassero at linebacker, and senior defensive back Brennan Shelly (two interceptions).
The Oregon City-West Linn series started in 1921.