OREGON CITY, OR — Oregon City almost saw its big lead slip away — two times.
After leading by 17 twice, the Oregon City Pioneers had to hold on for a 31-28 over West Linn in the annual “Battle for the Bridge” on Friday night at Pioneer Memorial Stadium. More than 6,000 fans attended the game, which was part of the 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the U.S. Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports.
The Pioneers led 24-7 at halftime and 31-14 in the third. But Dean Swanson returned a kickoff 91 yards to make it 31-21 then after a punt, quarterback Hayden Coppedge hit Elijah Molden for a 43-yard score to bring the Lions within 31-28. However, Clay Reece picked off his second pass to end the comeback attempt.
Conner Mitchell ran the ball 40 times for 237 yards and three TDs to be named the Great American Rivalry Series Most Valuable Player. QB Jon Hall added 126 yards and a TD for Oregon City.
Coppedge threw for 351 yards and two TDs for West Linn.
The Pioneers hold a 50-42-1 lead in the all-time series, which started in 1921 and is debated as the longest-running west of the Mississippi River.
Both teams are back in action next Friday night, as Oregon City (6-1) is at Clackamas and West Linn (3-4) travels to Canby.
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- Oregon City vs. West Linn 2013