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A good time was had by ... half

At 5:45 p.m. Thursday night, football fans trickled into Donnelly's Sports Bar & Grill, obtained their pitcher of beer and found a nearby TV. Occasionally an enthusiastic shout — "Go Ducks" or "Go Beavers" — broke the general commotion of the bar followed by a roar of cheers or boos from the crowd.

Although Ducks fans seemed to overwhelm the bar, the moment Oregon State kicked off, Beaver fans made their presence known.

"We know who's going to win — a team from Oregon," said Becky Roberts, a Ducks fan.

There was more at stake this time, the 113th Civil War between the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers than bragging rights. Oregon's 37-33 victory meant the Ducks, and many of their fans, will begin the New Year in Pasadena, Calif., playing in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State.

Oregon last played in the Rose Bowl in 1995, and Oregon State in 1965.

Fans showed their true colors proudly sporting jerseys, sweatshirts, necklaces, face paint, hats, T-shirts, bangles and scarves in either green and yellow or orange and black.

Rick Donnelly, the owner of the bar, estimated there were more than 250 people inside to watch the game on the bar's 50 televisions.

After Oregon State scored the first touchdown, people jumped to their feet, yelled and clapped hands with neighboring fans.

"I've always wanted to see the Beavers come out and dominate," said Beavers fan Wes Arnsdrof. "The Ducks just like to come out and quack a lot."

Central Point sisters Jessica White, 30, and Rachell White, 31, supported opposing teams.

"Just say because she looks better in orange and black, and I look better in yellow and green," Rachell joked.

The siblings said they had been watching the civil war game for the last eight years.

"I've never been to a losing Duck game," Rachell boasted.

"You're good luck," said a nearby friend.

At halftime, the Beavers were ahead only two points, and fans were already casting their decided vote.

"I am sure the Ducks will win," said Russell Kocky, a University of Oregon graduate.

Kocky's black and orange sweatshirt seemed misleading, but read, "Oregon State Sucks."

"I get a lot of almost high-fives," he said.

Kocky said he was confident in Oregon's mobile quarterback and good receivers. Although if Oregon State did win, he said he would support them in the Rose Bowl.

"I always support the Pac-10," he said.

Only a few tables away, Chad Petersen of Medford bellowed out above the crowd when officials drew a penalty flag on an Oregon touchdown during the second quarter. An Oregon State alumni, Petersen said he supported the Beavers because he "paid them a lot of money."

"Last night, I had a premonition that Oregon State won in the last few seconds of the game," he said.

If they lost, he said he would be supporting Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. He said he wasn't watching the game from Oregon's Autzen Stadium this year because "it's a harsh environment and I get too emotional."

"May the best team win," said Rick Donnelly, who admitted to being a Duck fan.

Fortunately for him, the 2009 best team was the Ducks. Hello Rose Bowl.

Reach reporter Teresa Thomas at 776-4464 or at intern1@mailtribune.com.

From left, University of Oregon Duck fans Melvin Lyon of Medford, Vicki Hess of Medford, and Becky Roberts of Medford, celebrate the ducks second touchdown of the game at Donnelly's Sports Pub & Grill in Medford. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Jim Craven