Sunday marked the first time Oregon’s EForce Football squad saw the field in 2016 as they took on Washington-based Team FSP in a 7v7 tournament at Madison High School in northeast Portland. The seasoned visitors representing Tracy Ford’s Ford Sports Performance made their mark early and often over the course of the afternoon, eventually taking the tournament final in dominating fashion, 46-20.
“They played very well,” EForce’s Jordan Johnson said. “I mean Tracy does an outstanding job of just having these guys prepared and on the same page.”
Without key pieces on both sides of the ball including 2016 Opening regional MVP Elijah Molden, EForce looked out of sorts at times as FSP’s roster showed how weeks of building chemistry can result in victories by taking a majority of the early games as well.
On multiple occasions, Team FSP would move the ball downfield with ease and was not shy attacking deep throughout the afternoon to great success. EForce had its moments, but even Johnson admitted that they were fundamentally as good a team as they may see.
“I think this is their 18th game and this is our first,” Johnson said. “So it’s more of a structural thing just getting things dialed. We’ll be putting in a lot of practice the next couple weeks. We’re not too worried just based on talent but from getting our act together with regards to just knowing our assignments and doing what we’re supposed to do.”
Although no one walked away happy with the result, from Johnson’s perspective their confidence level is fine. Going forward Molden will return and he projects that players like Jesuit wide receiver Demetrius Douglas, Newberg athlete Anthony Adams and Sherwood safety/linebacker David Morris will be difference makers.
Douglas, Molden and Morris hold multiple offers and each holds an offer from at lease one in-state program (Molden and Douglas from Oregon, Morris from Oregon State).
“From an identity standpoint we know what’s up,” he said. “We’ll be okay. It’s a matter of putting in the work the next couple weeks.”
If there was one bright spot on Sunday it was the play of those who hadn’t entered high school yet. Both Oregon City's Silas Starr and Grant's Elijah Elliott, both Class of 2020 players, left a noticeable footprint in their games with Star proving to be a big matchup problem with his length and height as a receiver.
“I think they should remember the name Elijah Elliott and remember the name Silas Starr,” Johnson said. “Those are two freaky eighth graders. And Cade Knighton, quarterback. It’s good to see the young guys doing well because that’s our future.”
Last year’s team made a spirited run to the final four during the finals in Las Vegas. The hope is that this year’s team with so many returns will be able to eclipse, or at least duplicate that success this summer in Texas. After Sunday, Johnson believes the team will have a chip on their shoulder moving forward.
“As fun as this is supposed to be the reason they’re as good as they are is because they take this — they’re very competitive,” he said.