This Halloween night Friday could prove to be a frightening night for the OSAA playoffs as the (7-1) #2 Mountain View Cougars take on the (5-3) #11 Bend Lava Bears, with the outright IMC title up for grabs for Head Coach Brian Crum’s Cougar squad.
A victory over Bend would secure the Cougars their 8th I-M-C Championship in 9 years, and a home game in the first round of the OSAA State 5A Playoffs.
Should the Cougs remain ranked in the Top-4 of the OSAA Power Rankings, then they would also host a Quarterfinal game on November 14th with a win in the First Round.
However, if the Lava Bears and third year Head Coach Matt Craven take the victory, then an unprecedented three-way tie for the League Championship between Mountain View, Bend, and the (6-2) Summit Storm will result.
“Amazingly enough we haven’t earned anything yet”, said Crum of the 2014 season, who remarked that the team’s resiliency is what surprised him the most.
“We have certainly had some moments when we’ve looked good, we have had moments where we haven’t,” said Crum, “But through it all our kids have stayed together, nobody’s panicked, and I like the team chemistry that’s going on.”
This is the 36th edition of the Civil War series between the two Bend schools, with Mountain View currently leading the series, 19-16.
Mt. View has won 8 of the last 10, and the last 4-straight which have been decided by no less then a 3 touchdown margin of victory.
Sophomore Cougar QB Mike Irwin (So. 6-0/190), who will be playing in his first Civil War fully understands the significance of Friday’s game.
“This whole year’s been a dream so far, so I can’t wait to end with a bang,” said Irwin, who transferred to Mountain View from Crook County. “It’d be a storybook ending to win.”
There are friends on both sides of the ball, as well.
Cougar RB Cody Anthony (Sr. 6-2/220) and Bend RB Hunter McDonald (Sr. 6-1/200), both big, and physical backs for their squads will be facing off Friday, and Anthony stated he could not wait for the match-up.
“Hunter and I have been really good friends since fourth grade,” said Anthony, who has rushed for 487 yards and 7 touchdowns this year.
When Anthony is on the field offensively, McDonald will oppose him from his linebacker position.
McDonald has rushed for 912 yards and 8 TD’s in his senior season.
“We played on the same baseball team, we’re really good buddies,” Anthony said of his counterpart. “It’s always fun playing against him; he’s gonna do what he does and I’m gonna’ do what I do.”
Bend is hoping to rebound from last week’s drubbing at home losing to Summit, 40-13. Mt. View is fresh off their 37-14 win over Ridgeview.
The Intermountain Conference League Title hangs in the balance Friday night, as Mountain View and Bend tangle at Punk Hunnell Stadium at BSH 7pm.