By Robert Husseman • Sports Editor • 

Gubrud leads South at Les Schwab Bowl

McMinnville’s Gage Gubrud showed much of the ability Grizzlies football fans saw at Wortman Stadium in Saturday’s 2014 Les Schwab Bowl football all-star game.

Gubrud, one of two quarterbacks on the South squad matching up against the North, gave the fans at Hillsboro Stadium reason to cheer. He made plays with his arm and his legs. He kept plays alive when they broke down. And after the North squad built a 10-0 lead early, Gubrud led the South on drives down the field.

The South trailed the North 24-21 when Gubrud and the South offense took the field late in the fourth quarter. On a 4th-and-5 play, Gubrud threw a pass that was intercepted by North defensive back Maurice McSwain. McSwain returned the ball 35 yards for a touchdown, the final scoring play in a 31-21 North victory.

“I had a chance to win us the game," he said. "I saw his eyes, too. I read his eyes – he was going to jump it. I just made a bad decision.”

Gubrud finished his day with seven completions on 20 attempts for 55 yards, with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Connor Mattison of West Salem in the second quarter and an 11-yard touchdown pass to Springfield’s Taylor Travess in the fourth quarter. Gubrud also rushed the ball eight times for 31 yards.

“I was underthrowing some guys and throwing low, and that’s on me,” he said. “It’s just what happens when you don’t have that much time with guys running routes. You’ve just got to do what you did and live with it.”

He lost a fumble on a rushing play toward the end of the second quarter, which the North capitalized upon for six points. His two turnovers were among 12 by both sides; the two teams also combined for 16 penalties. The North and South looked very much like all-star teams that had five practices to congeal into a cohesive unit.

“I came into it thinking, ‘We’re just out here for fun, guys. Whatever,’” Gubrud said. “All of a sudden, we’re chipping, getting pissed at each other, people from other teams. It’s just like a real game.”

Gubrud was participating in his second all-star game in as many weeks, after competing in the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Series for basketball the week before. He will walk onto the Eastern Washington University football team as a quarterback; Eastern Washington plays its first football game on Aug. 23.

Seventy-four senior football players from across the state participated in the Les Schwab Bowl, practicing together and participating in off-field activities. Gubrud said he was forced into a wing-eating contest at Buffalo Wild Wings – part of the planned entertainment for the football players – and defeated Roosevelt High School lineman Semise Kofe.

“Very memorable week. Got to meet a lot of really cool guys,” Gubrud said. “I couldn’t ask for anything else. It’s crazy how close you can become.”

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