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Feb 24 2018, 10:52 PM
Borro Gore has found his happy place.
The NSFL first round pick of the Yellowknife Wraiths is back in the DSFL with the the Portland Pythons, team he made a name with, and he couldn't be happier. Borro Gore is now what you might consider the "big man on campus", with nearly all of his former teammates moving on to the NSFL. In his situation, some people might feel left behind or insulted by the fact that he wasn't able to latch onto a professional team, especially after being drafted so highly, but not Borro Gore, who says he "couldn't be happier. I love this place, and we've got some unfinished business."
He seems to mean it when he says that, and it's showing on the field. Portland has yet to lose a game through 3 weeks this season. And if you count pre-season, the Pythons are 7-0. Borro Gore has been impressive this season, amassing 327 rushing yards in his first three games of the regular season. That's good enough for best in the league. Even considering the regular season was a bit of a "rocky" start for Gore.
"After that first game, my dude [Shawn Ariel] busted the Seawolves for about 150 yards. He had that big run to end the first quarter and we ended up going about 50/50 on carries that game. I was a little shocked, thinking I had more competition than I thought. I didn't know Shawn could run like that, but it was cool to watch. I wasn't upset or anything that he got a healthy workload, I think that's what our group is all about. We're going out there every game proving we're the baddest dudes on the field. He set the tone, I'm trying to keep the bar up the rest of the season."
When you hear Gore talk about that game, you might think he had a rough afternoon, when in fact he rushed for 96 yards on 19 carries, which put him over 5 yards per carry. The following game, Ariel and Gore put on another show, each rushing for over 100 yards, but Ariel had a slight edge in carries and had the only rushing touchdown of the game, but this time Gore had him beat on yards.
"I let him know I'm still the top dog," Gore said, laughing. "I'm just playing. Shawn knows I want to see him succeed. He's a good player, but I'm being honest when I tell you I think I'm the best back on this team..." Gore said again with a grin.
That game appeared to be all the coaching staff needed to see to move Gore back to the bell cow role, because in week 3, Gore received 23 carries to Ariel's 7 carries. Gore racked up 119 yards and 2 touchdowns in a dominant 24-10 victory over the Solar Bears. When asked what changed over the week as a reason for the bigger work load, Gore replied, "My confidence. First two weeks I was feeling good, but probably playing a little tentative. This is the first season I've played without guys like Dwayne Aaron, Austin Roenick, and Glenn McPoyal, so I didn't really know what to expect. I felt a lot of pressure though, that's for sure. Coach probably could see that, and so he made sure Ariel was ready to take on some work too. But after week 2, I felt like I could run through walls, man. I felt good out there, I came to film the next day excited as hell and probably a spring in my step. Didn't even feel sore. I think that sent a message to coach that I was ready to eat."
Moving forward, we should see more of Gore getting the lion's share of carries, but we also saw a dramatic shift in the overall offensive gameplan. The Pythons made a more concerted effort to throw the ball. When brought up to Gore, he couldn't help but smile again. "Just wait. We've got something cooking with my guy McCoy. Christ has been doing a good job, but McCoy is the truth and he's gunna show some things to the world pretty soon."
We're excited to see what's next, and you probably should be too.
Feb 11 2018, 09:01 PM
With the 7th overall pick, the Yellowknife Wraiths select... Borro Gore?
On a team whose backfield is headlined by Eric Kennedy and Bubba Nuck, selecting another running back seemed low on the priority list. The Wraiths are coming off of a 10-4 season, and plenty of teams looked to this pick as a way to bolster some holes in their roster. Most experts expected them to use their pick on Forfeit, the highly touted kicker. However, the Yellowknife front office bucked those positions and went with who they felt like was the best player available, Borro Gore.
Gore was a huge unknown when entering the DSFL, and to some, he still might be an unknown quantity. Some might expect him to fizzle out. That doesn't matter to Gore, he's confident in himself. In fact, when asked how he felt about being taken where he was, he replied with a slight grin, "Should have gone higher".
"I'm really happy to have landed where I did. I probably would have been alright wherever I landed, but it's nice to know I'm going to a place that's committed to winning. Yellowknife had a great season and I think they've got one of the best front offices around."
When asked about the situation he's entering, specifically around the running back group in place, Gore said, "I think it's a great opportunity for me. There wasn't a team that told me I could come in and start. That's the reality of the talent in the league. I think I've got the ability to be productive in this league, but it's a small league and there's a lot of talent in the league. And a lot of loyalty to that talent from teams. My hope going into the draft was to find a home that believed in me long term, and I think I've got that in Yellowknife. I've got all the respect in the world for Eric and Bubba. Those guys are ballers. I can learn a lot from those guys. I'm excited for that opportunity."
However, he may not get that opportunity this season. According to reports, Borro is likely headed back to the Portland Pythons to get some more experience in the DSFL. "Hell yeah, man. I'm excited about that. I could've probably been able to get on a field in a limited role for Yellowknife, but now I'm going to get a full workload and get a lot more live reps. Definitely excited to get that experience, I think I'll be better in the long term for me. Plus, I've got a job to do to help redeem Portland. I've got a bad taste in my mouth. I know a lot of guys that were on the team and in the front office do too. I'm on a mission to help make things right and bring the Ultimini trophy back where it belongs."
Gore also gushed about his teammates and their days on draft day, "First off, I couldn't be more fired up to be drafted to the same team as McPoyal. That's my guy right there. He's going to be a special player. Then you got four of our guys taken in the first round. Aaron, Bagwell, Roenick, and myself. Those other three guys deserve it man, I was going nuts each time one of them were picked. Should've gone 1, 2, and 3, but they did well for themselves and I think they're all in good spots to keep growing as players. Then in the 2nd round, McPoyal, Ruckus, and Storm were taken. Same thing, I was on my feet after each pick. Couldn't be more happy for those guys. They're like my brothers. We've got a bond built on blood, sweat, and tears. There's no other relationship like it. I'll always be in their corner."
Jan 29 2018, 07:20 PM
Just a few months ago, Borro Gore was coming off a fresh controversy at Miami. In a whirlwind of a week, Borro Gore announced his intention to transfer, before it was reported he had come to terms with the DSFL's Portland Pythons.
The once highly recruited high school running back was thought in some circles to be on a path to burning out, but he's since proved those doubters wrong. Borro Gore has gone on to not only become a productive member of the team, but he's put a vice grip on the starting running back position after starting the year in a running back by committee. He's been a positive presence in the locker room and helps set the tone with the rest of the Portland Pythons star players.
"I just try and come in and set an example. I've always been a leader by example. Don't say a whole lot, but I come in and put in work during the week and bust heads on the weekend. I've got my guys backs, they know that. I'm going to work just as hard as anyone else out on that field, because I want to lead my team to victory. That's always been my mindset, do everything I can to make sure I can pick my guys up so that when I need it, they'll pick me up. Iron sharpens iron," Borro said.
In terms of statistical contributions, Gore has been no less impressive. He finished 6th in the DSFL in rushing yards with 715, and leads the league in rushing touchdowns with 8. He's also tied for the 4th longest rush this season when he recorded a 16 yard scamper.
Borro commented on his statistical totals, "All those stats are cool to talk about and talk shit to other players about. I saw some tweets hyping up the fact that I lead the league in touchdowns. That's good stuff and I love it from a fan's perspective. Once we get on that field though, they don't mean anything. It's nice to know that my hard work is showing up on paper, but at the end of the day I'd rather be winning on the scoreboard than on the stat sheet."
It wasn't an easy road for Gore, who spent nearly half the season splitting carries, but he's emerged as the lead back and is considered one of the hottest draft prospects in this year draft. He's been shooting up the mock draft boards, and has been seen picked as high as the last pick in the first round, which would be a considerable achievement for an undrafted player.
"Honestly the first half of the season, I was constantly telling coach to get me more carries. He had a plan though. I want the ball but he probably knew better than I did. Not trying to take anything away from the other backs on our team, they can carry the rock and I've learned some things from them. I just knew I had a high ceiling and I hadn't hit it yet, so I was just hungry to get more reps and prove myself, you know?"
Borro Gore has been an integral part of the Portland success this season, and his role in the playoffs will be one to watch. Portland has been one of the top offenses all season, most notably for their passing game, featuring Roenick, Aaron, McPoyal, and Storm. All of whom, by the way, are also considered safe bets to be major NSFL contributors. The question will be how heavily the Pythons will rely on their rushing game, or if they'll try and throw the ball to victory.
"Whatever happens, happens. I've learned to stop questioning coach. He's a monster in the film room. I thought I get in early to lift weights, and every time I get in I see coach in the film room watching our tape from last week or watching an opponents tape. I'm not sure if he gets in early or just doesn't leave. Either way, he's got my confidence and I'll trust whatever game plan he has going this week."GRADED
Jan 14 2018, 03:16 PM
Portland Pythons runningback Borro Gore recently sat down with our NBC Sports Portland reporter Jerry McNerry to talk about his start to the season, his role with the team, and more.
JM: Hey Borro, thanks for taking some time out of your busy training schedule to have a chat with us!
BG: It's my pleasure, always love talking to the media. Gives the people a chance to get to know me a little better.
JM: And they already seem to love you quite a bit! A lot of Portland fans have been clamoring for you to get a bigger share of the runningback workload, do you agree with that sentiment?
BG: Yeah, as a competitor I'd love to get the ball more. I think I'm the best runningback in the DSFL, so yeah I'd love the ball. But I know [Portland's current starting runningback] Goose knows the offense well and he's been playing like a beast, so it's a tricky situation. I'm just glad to be getting work on the field and I know bigger things are coming for me.
JM: Is it ever frustrating to watch a guy who people don't consider a high profile back, a "meat and potatoes" type runningback, getting a bigger workload than you?
BG: I wouldn't say frustrating. The first three or four weeks it's expected, you know? He's had a lot more time training as a professional, so he had a leg up on me. And when you're joining a team late in the offseason like I did, that's another setback. But we're starting to win some games, and that helps everything.
JM: That seems to be the case, doesn't it. How do you feel like you've done so far in the role you've been given on this team?
BG: I think I'm doing alright. Between the 20s I need to step my game up a little more. I'm not seeing the field like I should be and I'm not capitalizing on my strength or speed like I want to be. But I think I'm playing well in the red zone. It felt good to get a couple of scores against the Solar Bears, finally breaking that end zone. Your first professional touchdown is one you'll remember, and even if it's a one yard run, I'm happy I was able to do enough to get in the end zone. Then to get another later that game and another a few weeks later, I'm happy about that.
JM: You're actually tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns, did you know that?
BG: I didn't! That's pretty cool man, that's pretty good. I'd like to not be tied and have the lead to myself, but I'll take it. I don't want to be a goal line back for the rest of my life, but being able to find the end zone down there is a skill that I know some teams will value down the line. So I just keep up my philosophy of maximizing every chance I get on that field.
JM: Let's shift to the Pythons, how do you think the season is going so far?
BG: Coming on strong and only getting stronger! We're going to surprise some teams. We started a little slow, but I think everyone in that locker room was confident about where we stand this season. We had some things to work on early, but we're setting ourselves up for a run. Our guys are playing well right now. Storm, Aaron, McPoyal, and Roenick are all great players for our offense. I know I'm the last one who needs to step up in a big time role for us to take it to another level and get a chance to defend our Ultimini. I'm up for it.
JM: Well, we'll all be rooting for you here at NBC Sports Portland. Thanks for the time, Borro.
BG: Anytime, Jerry. Be good.GRADED
Jan 6 2018, 01:41 PM
In week 3 of the DSFL season, two 0-2 teams will face off for a chance to turn their early season woes around.
The Portland Pythons will travel to Palm Beach to take on the newly branded Solar Bears this Tuesday. Both teams struggled early in the season to the surprise of some. The Solar Bears fell to the San Antonio Marshalls and Tijuana Luchadores, while the Portland Pythons fell to the Norfolk SeaWolves and Kansas City Coyotes.
Both teams faced difficult starts to the season, being forced to go on the road for both games. The Solar Bears have an early advantage in this matchup, however, as they'll make their debut at their home field in Palm Beach. It will be interesting to see what the fan turnout is like for their first game since moving from Chicago in the dark of night.
The Solar Bears are led by their quarterback and wide receiver combo of Jim McMahon and Dennis McKinnon, along with an incredibly balanced and solid offensive line. They also boast a speed demon at the running back position, Walter Payton. Through two games, McMahon has gone 38/84 with 532 yards and 3 touchdowns. Although his passing yard numbers are solid, he'll need to be a more accurate passer to extend drives. Incompletions and dropped passes plagued the Solar Bears during their first too games, but the Solar Bears coaching staff and front office are pleased with his ability to throw the ball downfield.
The biggest critique fans had for the Solar Bears so far has been their inability to get Walter Payton the ball in open space. After only gaining 21 yards in the first game, Payton found a bit of a groove in game two and rushed for 84 yards. They'll need more of that from Payton if they want to have a chance at the Ultimini this season.
Likewise, Dennis McKinnon has been quiet so far. He's had 6 receptions for only 43 yards through his first two games and the growing pains connecting with Jim McMahon have been palpable so far. There were quite a few instances of the quarterback and receiver getting their wires crossed, and they'll need to work on their communication and get on the same page reading defenses before Portland game. There's little doubt that they'll eventually click, both players are considered among the most talented on the team and they've regularly been seen after practice running route trees vs. various defensive looks. Look out for a big game from McKinnon this week.
They'll be facing off against a stout Portland front seven, anchored by Norman Bagwell, the prize acquisition of Portland's draft this past offseason. Bagwell has been one of the few bright spots for Portland so far, amassing 7 tackles and 2 sacks so far on this opening road trip. He'll need to continue to be a terror and pressure Jim McMahon in order for the Portland defense to stop the Solar Bears dynamic offense.
Egan Winter and Alexander Barclay are the top two corners for Portland and they'll be tasked with the responsibility of keeping Dennis McKinnon quiet for one more week. Bobby Ruckus so far has shown a lot of diversity in his game, with an ability to step up in the run game while also able to be a safety net in the passing game. Ruckus had 8 tackles in his season debut, but had a quieter 3 tackle second game. The Portland staff loves Ruckus as a player, but they're looking for more of what they say game one, where Ruckus is flying around the field making tackles left and right. He'll be a key piece to stopping Walter Payton make any game breaking players.
On the other side of the ball, the entire Portland offense struggled throughout the first two games. Austin Roenick has passed for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns through two, and they'll need much more from him going forward. Very few doubt Roenick's talent as a thrower, and he's one of the smartest quaterbacks in the DSFL today, so it will be interesting to see if he can get back on track this week against the Solar Bears. The encouraging about the pass game so far is how Dwayne Aaron has looked. He's had 12 receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns. He's been a reliable outside receiver for this team and has probably been their best offensive performer thus far.
Borro Gore is a player who fell short of expectations so far. He was expected to come in and be the lead back, but he's only racked up 66 yards in two games. John Goose has been the more impressive back, with 100+ yards on 29 carries. Judging from reports coming out of the Portland camp, Gore should start to see an increased workload in the coming weeks, but the position is still far from solidified.
Another player expected to make a leap sometime this season is Glenn McPoyal. The young tight end has made major strides in practice, but hasn't had a huge impact in game yet. He's another piece of the Portland puzzle that must start to click if they want any chance at making a real defense of last seasons Ultimini title.
Finally, after a very disappointing first few weeks, Portland kicker Adrienne Nugent will need to get back on track. He had a similar start last season before coming on strong, and the Portland staff is hoping for a similar turnaround this season. The most worrying part of their special teams is Nugent, who has been known to skip practices on a somewhat regular basis. The Pythons even resorted to holding and open tryout for the position, but had little success finding anyone they thought would be a hands down improvement over Nugent.
Overall, this should be a close and exciting game. Both teams are making early season adjustments, and both should come out firing in week 3. Since we're a Portland based newspaper, there may be some bias here, but we expect the Pythons to take care of business and win in a close game, 31-27.GRADED