On Sept. 30, the Lewis & Clark football team won a game 37-31 against George Fox University. This was the first victory against George Fox since they restarted their football program in 2014, and the second one in our football history, the first being in 1946.
Wide receiver and running back Elijah McGee ’24 was one of the key players involved in securing this revolutionary win.
“That win was one of the best feelings in my life,” McGee said. “Not having beaten that school since around 1950 or something like that, it was like we were a part of history for this school. It was very rewarding because the amount of work we have to put in just to win one football game is more than most people could imagine.”
McGee was an essential offensive player, leading the team in four catches for a team high of 74 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns. He and quarterback Trey Morris ’24 worked together, executing many passes and connections.
Morris was paramount in leading the team to victory. An article from the LC website describes this game as the best game of Morris’s collegiate career. He secured three touchdowns and two field goals in his five drives after coming onto the field in the fourth quarter.
“Our defense would hold George Fox to 6 points for the rest of the game including two overtimes which was huge. Secondly, our offensive line showed up big, opening up holes, and allowing for playmakers to do their thing. Lastly, the playmakers that we have on the offensive side make everything go,” Morris said. “We have one of, if not the, best receiving groups in the entire conference, and people are getting to see it.”
Running back Elijah Washington ’24 also pointed to some of these crucial moments when reflecting on the game.
“Some key moments included big stops on defense and pivotal drives on offense, including a huge interception by Daryl Scott in double overtime and an amazing play by Trey Morris and Elijah McGee to win the game on the pursuing offensive drive,” Washington said.
Washington was another major contributor to the victory, carrying the ball
17 times for 85 yards and, after catching six more times, finishing the game with a total of 120 yards.
“Going into the game the team had more confidence than ever before,” Washington said. “Coming off a tough loss to Montana Western we knew the type of team we could be and what our potential was. The game was full of ups and downs but the main thing that stayed steady throughout was our will to fight and continue battling until the last whistle.”
As Washington draws attention to, the game was not an easy win. At many points, the outcome was uncertain and it looked as if George Fox would come out the victor.
“As a team, we talk about dealing with adversity in life, practice, and games. Being down by 18 with 9 minutes left in the game was a huge test of adversity,” McGee said.
Clash Orsborn ’26 also spoke to the challenges of the game.
“The beginning of the game was on and off. When the defense was playing well the offense wasn’t and vice versa,” Orsborn said. “Going into the fourth quarter down 28 to 10 everything started to click for the team. The offense was scoring, the defense was getting stops, special teams (were) doing their thing, and the energy from the entire team never died even being down 18 points.”
This change in the fourth quarter allowed them to bounce back from being far behind to outscoring George Fox 27-3. As for what factors played a part in this change, McGee highlights the importance of regrouping during the game to check in, as well as preparation far in advance.
“We had a talk on the sideline as a team that refocused everyone, we made adjustments and people stepped up when we needed it most,” McGee said. “I also give a lot of credit to the work people put in over the summer. Late in that game while George Fox was getting tired we were getting stronger and that is thanks to Coach Ange with the summer workouts and making sure we were all in great shape for the season.”
Defensive back Julian Colvin ’25 added perspective on the importance of different practice methods.
“Lots of film time and lots of time in the training room as well as the weight room. Going forward this season we still face some of the better teams in
the league but with our preparation and game plans I know we will come out on top,” Colvin said.
Colvin also remarked on conditions prior to the game that stoked a fire between the two rival teams.
“The game atmosphere was different from any other,” Colvin said. “Coming into the week our team received (a) school article from George Fox, and they stated they weren’t going to have a problem putting up 50 points on us. So, we took that disrespect and used it as fuel for the game.”
When considering moving forward after such a historic moment, many players feel optimistic and ready to make even more impacts, both in terms of competition and team recognition within the school.
“I hope we can bring pride and excitement back to Lewis & Clark football,” Washington said.
Many LC students who are not involved in athletics may not be aware of the hard work and undying enthusiasm that our teams put in for every game.
“(T)his is the most involved I have seen the LC community be with football and creating a tight-knit community motivates the team more than people would think,” McGee said. “(T)hat’s props to our President Robin for helping our athletes get more recognition at our school.”
Along with a tight-knit schoolwide community, close team connections are critical for communication, confidence and support.
“The new school year has brought many new faces to the team, which has
continued to add to the shifting culture here,” Morris said.
This year, there was a record influx of freshmen into the football team, with over 40 new players.
“We brought in a huge class of freshmen that have contributed right away. Everyone has meshed pretty well and the team culture couldn’t get any better than the type of family feel we currently have,” Washington said.
These new players have not only become significant members of the football family but also essential players on the field.
“Our freshman kicker Thien Hoang made a crucial game changing field goal,” Colvin said.
The article reviewing the game on the LC website also spotlights Hoang’s role.
“The freshman kicker went 3-3 on a trio of clutch field goals. He hit a 41-yard field goal just before halftime to cut the deficit to 14-10. Hoang drilled a 39-yard field goal with no time left in regulation to tie the game and hit a 26-yard field goal in the first overtime to give Lewis & Clark its first lead of the day,” the article said.
Other freshmen were also huge factors in the win against George Fox.
“Big-time performances from freshman linemen Ty Sheffler and Iggy Marquez. Being thrown into a game in that atmosphere can be shocking but they handled it very well and played well,” McGee said.
Another example was when quarterback Cruz Montana ’24 made a touchdown pass to Aidan Owens, making
history for each of them simultaneously: For Montana, it marked his 50th touchdown, and for Owens, his first.
The team dynamic this year is truly unique, and the many experienced players on the team hope to pass down their knowledge to the ones who will carry the torch in years to come.
“Being a veteran on this team, we have to create the culture for incoming players to adopt, and with that, it creates good habits to follow, and this leads to team excellence,” Colvin said.
This long-awaited victory against a rival has spurred new goals for the future of LC football. Orsborn shares his vision for what is to come.
“I … hope we continue to improve every season by making big jumps in the off- season, continue to master our schemes and better ourselves in the classroom and community,” Orsborn said. “I believe if we all come together and do these things day in and day out it’ll ultimately lead us to winning more and more games every season.”
Washington spoke to the irreplaceable moments of elation that working as a team can bring.
“That moment after the game of pure joy was something I’ll always remember,” Washington said. “There’s nothing better than celebrating with your brothers after something you’ve collectively worked so hard for.”
Keep an eye on the game schedule for this season. The next home game will be on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. against Whitworth University.