Sophomore wide receiver Chris Trammell (#11) lays out to catch a pass during the second quarter against GFU Oct. 25. Photo by Tanner Froese.
Over the summer, Corban suffered a severe setback with the loss of alumni football legend Matt Hammer in a tragic helicopter accident.
With the approach of flag football season this fall, Corban’s squad was not only missing Hammer’s amazing play on the field but also his presence in any form, for this would have been his first year to cheer from the stands rather than run over opponents on the turf.
Corban coach Jason Horton’s first practice pep talk revolved around the legacy that Hammer left and how he expected the players to follow in Hammer’s footsteps, not only in athleticism but in attitude as well.
Junior Rick Saffeels remembered Hammer as “a very influential player as well as role model to us all.”
With the intense weight of honoring their fallen teammate, Corban took to the field against arch-rival George Fox.
A large body of Corban fans gave the Warriors a firm backing in enemy territory as flashes of yellow and blue filled the stands.
As pre-game festivities dwindled to a halt, all in attendance re-visited the memory of Hammer when a eulogy was read over the Bruin PA system, followed by a stirring moment of silence that added a few more seconds of remembrance and mental preparation for the Warriors, who wore Hammer’s retired No. 15 on the sleeves of their shirts throughout the season.
George Fox won the coin toss and elected to start on offense. On the second play from scrimmage, a miscommunication in the Corban secondary allowed Bruin quarterback Tim Jenner’s pass to fall into the arms of his receiver who ran for an easy score, drawing first blood with a lead of 6-0.
George Fox elected to go for a 2-point conversion, but came up short when a mass of Warriors made a goal line stand.
Several frustrating series of offenses slowed Corban’s effort to get on the board throughout the first half; however, the Warriors made up for it with tight defense highlighted by junior safety Justin Simnitt’s three interceptions over the course of the game.
The Warrior offense finally got into a rhythm and solidified themselves with quarterback Josh Davis’ touchdown throw to junior wide receiver Rick Saffeels, knotting the score at 6-6.
After two quarters of play, halftime gave another opportunity to refocus and get a quick breather. Gaining their second wind, Corban took an opening third quarter drive to the house with another Davis to Saffeels touchdown pass, upping the Warriors’ lead to 12-6.
Timely defense shut out GFU in the second half with a flurry of interceptions by Saffeels and sophomore cornerback Chris Trammell.
Corban ended the game on defense, which was a very special moment for players and coaches alike, for it was Hammer’s area of expertise. Players remember him as one of the most feared defenders in Corban flag football history.
Coach Horton told his players after their hard earned win, “He’d be proud of what you guys did out there.”