Brady Leach and the Knappa Loggers roll to Oregon State Highschool 2A Championship

Well, the headline in the Portland Oregonian says it all…


What a game it was! Everyone in Oregon High School Football figured that the defending champs, Culver, with their superstar senior quarterback (who wears gold shoes….what was that about pride going before something…) was going to roll over the poor little loggers from out on the coast. But, well, err, that’s why we play the games people.

So with our own nephew/cousin Brady Leach a starter going both ways, Jeff, Christian and I figured it was time for a road trip to the Beaver State for a little afternoon high school football.  Now Jared would have come too. In fact, he wanted to come.  But as you all know his young wife Lynn is great with child.  And one thing we all know in the MacBean family is that when one of our women folk is great with child the only thing we say to them is, “Yes sweetheart. Not if you don’t want me to dear. Is that pillow comfortable? Would you like me to get up and give you this chair? And of course I’ll stay in town for your baby shower if you want me to.”  What a trooper. Good thing Aunt Karin was at the shower too and had promised to just keep filling Jared’s cup with many beers.

The morning was drizzly in Seattle as we left, but by the time we got to the stadium in Hillsboro (about 15 miles SW of downtown Portland) it was a lovely high overcast dry fall day.   The field was dry, the temperature was a comfortable 55°, and there was no wind. In other words, perfect conditions for a football game that would decide which school was the best.

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At about 2:15pm, the Knappa Loggers and the Culver Bulldogs took the field for their epic struggle.  OK, maybe that’s just a little too much hyperbole. In any case, Brady was a rock at the end of the defensive line and a tough tight end going the other way on offense.

Brady Leach State Champion 005The Loggers had a plan for this hot shot quarterback who had been running all over the other teams all across Oregon.  His basic trick was to take every snap, drop back as if to pass, getting the defense to rush in to try to sack him.  Then he’d use his considerable skill as a running back to beat them in the open field, and with all the defense pulled in…he’d run for big yards around the ends.  There was just one problem for Culver, Knappa Assistant Coach Dennis Leach has learned a few things as a high school and college football stand out. And he’s been teaching the Knappa kids a few new tricks.   So they were ready for this quarterback’s trick. Dennis trained them to rushed in about one yard…and then wait in a picket line.  The QB didn’t have anyone to throw to, as his receivers were blocking down field expecting their QB to be running. When he started to run, there was always a line of Loggers waiting for him.  They were able to score the first TD, but after that the Logger defense shut him down.

Brady played well, but then just 20 seconds before halftime he suffered a terrible sprain to his ankle. It was clearly painful.

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Through out the first part of the second half Brady was running up and down the sideline on his newly taped up ankle, trying to loosen it up. And he finally made it back in the game in the 4th quarter.

It was the first ever state football championship for Knappa, and when the game was over the family and friends who had driven down from the coast swarmed the field to hug the boys and bask in the excitement and fun of winning the whole enchilada.

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