PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The situation had become habitual, making Drake Littlefield’s reaction instinctual.
Late in the 4th quarter, with North Salem deep in Forest Grove’s territory, Littlefield, the Vikings’ middle linebacker, diagnosed North Salem’s play choice and let his preparation take over.
“We practice and plan for these situations, so when I knew it was coming up the middle and I saw the hole, I filled it as fast as I could,” Littlefield said. “I made contact with the running back, forcing the fumble and my teammates were all over it.”
Littlefield’s forced fumble saved the game and the win for Forest Grove, giving the Vikings their first win of the season and the school’s first win since Oct. 30, 2015.
“They were knocking on our goal line,” Littlefield said. “I was determined that there was no way they were going to cross that line.”
Littlefield’s final act may have won the game, but Forest Grove wouldn’t have been in that position without the rest of his performance. Littlefield dominated on defense, finishing with 19 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, an interception and a forced fumble. Oh, and he also had 3 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown on offense.
The senior linebacker and running back’s performance is exactly what head coach Perry Herbst had hoped from his team, especially after not recording a win last season.
“Coming off a rough previous season made this win feel like everything to our team,” Littlefield said. “Our head coach has talked about finishing every play, and I feel like that is exactly what our team did that night.”
Who is he? Littlefield is a 6-foot, 180-pound senior linebacker and running back at Forest Grove.
The stats: 3 carries for 81 yards and 1 TD; 19 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 INT, 1 FF, .5 sacks, 1 PBU
Did you know? After graduation, Littlefield plans to serve a 2-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
He said it: “We really prepared well for this game all week. We have a great defensive coordinator in Coach Hoppe who prepared us before the first snap ever happened. To be honest, he does all the hard work for me, and I just go out and play the game. Defensively I try to just give it my all, trust in my teammates, and always strive to improve from the game before, which I feel like I did since I only had 13 tackles last game.”
Honorable Mention Players of the Week
Teron Bradford; Oregon City; Wr.; WR; 6 receptions for 101 yards and 2 Tds, 2 carries for 38 yards
Zontel Brown; McKay; Sr.; WR; 13 ctaches for 180 yards and 2 TDs
Kyle Dernedde; Tualatin; Jr.; QB; 289 yards passing and 5 TDs, 65 yards rushing
Colton Gorski; Sandy; Jr.; WR; 3 catches for 83 yards and 2 TDs
Jacob Jackson; McNary; Jr.; WR/FS/K; 9 receptions for 94 yards and 2 TDs, 1 INT, 4 PATs and 1 FG
Miles Jackson; Central Catholic; So.; RB/DB; 10 carries for 140 yards, 2 cathces for 45 yards and 1 TD
Taydrian Jackson; Parkrose; So.; QB; 17 carries for 99 yards and 1 TD
Patrick Maddox; Westview; Sr.; DB; 2 INTs and 6 tackles
Robert Meadors; Heritage; Sr.; WR/LB; 7 receptions for 130 yards and 2 TDs, 10 tackles and 1 INT
Qawi Ntsasa; West Linn; Sr.; WR/DB; 9 receptions for 116 yards and 2 TDs, 1 INT
Skylar Scoggins; Heritage; So.; LB; 16 tackles, 2 TFLs, 2 sacks and 1 INT