So far No. 1 seed Lake Oswego looks the part
by Jerry Ulmer, OSAAtoday
A look at the other 6A quarterfinals:
No. 5 Tigard (10-1) at No. 4 Jesuit (10-1): Two of the state’s traditional powers collide with a semifinal berth on the line. Tigard features senior running back Malcolm Stockdale (1,979 rushing yards), who last week ran for 332 yards and five touchdowns, giving him 35 scores for the season, No. 12 on the all-time state list. Jesuit’s running game, led by Andy Alfieri (992 yards), is averaging 300.0 rushing yards per game, and senior quarterback Will Spitznagel has thrown 26 touchdown passes. Tigard is bidding to make the semifinals for the sixth time since 2012. Jesuit, appearing in the quarterfinals for the 11th year in a row, hasn’t made the final four since 2015.
No. 6 West Linn (8-3) at No. 3 Sheldon (9-2): A rematch of a Sept. 14 non league game, won by Sheldon 42-27. In that game, West Linn had advantages in first downs (29-16) and total yards (466-383) despite losing starting quarterback Ethan Long to an ankle injury in the first quarter. Sheldon quarterback Michael Johnson Jr., who ran for 161 yards and passed for 166 yards in that win, left the team’s second-round win with an apparent leg injury but is expected to play Friday. West Linn is in the quarterfinals for the fifth year in a row.
No. 7 Liberty (9-2) at No. 2 Clackamas (11-0): Reigning champion Clackamas puts its 25-game winning streak on the line against the upstart Falcons, who made the 5A quarterfinals in 2014 and 2015 but have never made the semifinals. In the second round, Liberty scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:25 left to beat Sunset 51-44. Clackamas was sloppy in a lackluster 24-14 win over West Salem last week, fumbling away the ball on three consecutive possessions in the second half.
No. 5 West Albany (10-1) vs. No. 1 Wilsonville (11-0), 2:15 p.m., Hillsboro Stadium: Wilsonville, the highest-scoring team in 5A at 56.0 points per game, go head-to-head with the Bulldogs, who are yielding a 5A-low 8.6 points per game. The last time West Albany played in 5A, in 2013, it won the title. To duplicate that feat, it must go through a Wilsonville, which is in the semifinals for the fourth year in a row. Wildcats senior quarterback Nathan Overholt has 54 touchdowns passes and could break the state record of 56, set by Beaverton’s Taylor Barton in 1997.
No. 7 Thurston (8-3) vs. No. 3 Pendleton (10-1), 5:30 p.m., Hillsboro Stadium: Pendleton, which has never made a final, is appearing in its first semifinal since 1977. The Buckaroos got good news this week when quarterback Trent Sorey, feared to have a serious knee injury after leaving in the first quarter of last week’s quarterfinal win over Scappoose, was diagnosed with a bone bruise. He is expected to play. Thurston, playing in its first semifinal since finishing as runner-up in 2008, is coming off a 49-48 win at No. 2 Churchill. The Colts won on a 21-yard field goal by freshman Gavin Levesque with nine seconds left, set up by recovering an onside kick.
No. 4 Marshfield (9-1) vs. No. 1 Banks (9-1), 5:30 p.m., Cottage Grove HS: Both teams enter with nine-game winning streaks after losing their openers, Marshfield to 5A North Bend 23-21 and Banks to Gladstone 35-28. Marshfield, last year’s runner-up, is chasing its first title since 1992. The Pirates outlasted Mazama 28-23 last week despite being outgained 349-217. Banks beat Marist Catholic 28-14 in the quarterfinals as Blake Markham caught nine passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns from Hayden Vandehey, who has thrown 61 touchdown passes in two seasons. Banks, which has never won a title, beat Marshfield 27-20 in the first round in 2016.
No. 3 Seaside (9-1) vs. No. 2 Gladstone (8-2), 11 a.m., Hillsboro Stadium: When the teams met in Week 3, Seaside won 70-46 as Payton Westerholm passed for 313 yards and five touchdowns and the Seagulls gained 642 yards. It was the most points Seaside had scored since 1942. The Gladiators will need to find answers for Westerholm and running back Alexander Teubner (2,049 yards), who rushed for 233 yards and four touchdowns in the quarterfinals. Gladstone is on a wave of momentum after getting a 47-yard field goal from Mateo Burgos in the final seconds to beat La Grande 30-27 last week. Seaside hadn’t won a playoff game since winning the 3A title in 1994. Gladstone won the title in 2014.
No. 5 Vale (7-4) vs. No. 1 Rainier (11-0), 4 p.m., Hermiston HS: Vale, the champion in 2014 and 2015, beat Burns 36-14 in the quarterfinals, avenging a league loss from two weeks earlier. Colton Kesey threw three touchdown passes to Tanner Hamilton. The Vikings expect to welcome back starting tailback Keegan Mizuta, who has missed six games while recovering from a torn quadriceps. Rainier, the 2010 champion, lost in the semifinals last year. The Columbians have one of the most dynamic players in 3A in dual-threat quarterback Joey Tripp, who ran for 258 yards and three touchdowns in an 18-7 quarterfinal win over Clatskanie.
No. 3 Cascade Christian (10-1) vs. No. 2 Amity (10-1), 2:15 p.m., Cottage Grove HS: The two highest-scoring teams in 3A meet as reigning champion Cascade Christian (47.9) takes on Amity (50.3). Cascade Christian has lost only to 4A Klamath Union; Amity’s only blemish is a 60-54 overtime loss at No. 1 Rainier. The Challengers’ Kiegan Schaan has passed for 2,059 yards and 26 touchdowns and run for 655 yards and 14 scores. Amity averages 416.1 rushing yards per game, led by West Streeter (2,013 yards, 27 touchdowns). The Warriors are in their first semifinal since 2009.
No. 5 Santiam (9-1) vs. No. 1 Monroe (10-1), 11 a.m., Cottage Grove HS: The teams meet in a rematch of last year’s final, which Monroe won 36-22. The teams also played nonleague games in 2015 (Monroe 40-30) and 2016 (Santiam 29-21). Monroe has an outstanding freshman quarterback in Brody Ballard, who in the quarterfinals ran for three touchdowns, had three interceptions on defense (returning one 94 yards for a touchdown) and had a 47-yard fumble return for a score. Santiam running back Trevor Tinney had 321 yards of offense and six total touchdowns in a quarterfinal win over Glide. The Wolverines have allowed 69 points, the lowest for all 11-man teams in Oregon.
No. 11 Lost River (7-3) vs. No. 10 Kennedy (9-2), 12 p.m., Summit HS: Kennedy, the 2015 runner-up, is in the semifinals for the third time in four seasons. The Trojans have won seven in a row since being outscored 88-7 in back-to-back losses to Santiam and Sheridan. In the quarterfinals, they avenged a 44-7 league loss to Sheridan with a 27-6 win, getting 177 rushing yards from Emorej Lynk. Lost River, which won a playoff game for the first time since making the 2012 semifinals, stifled Neah-Kah-Nie in a 21-0 quarterfinal win. The Raiders have held foes to single-digit points for five games in a row.
No. 4 Hosanna Christian (9-0) vs. No. 1 Dufur (11-0), 4 p.m., Summit HS: Three-time reigning champion Dufur tries to keep its bid for No. 4 alive in a battle of unbeaten teams. Hosanna Christian, a program that started in 2011, will be looking for payback for last year’s championship game, when it lost to the Rangers 60-18. Dufur enters with a 31-game winning streak. Rangers coach Jack Henderson has won a state-record nine state titles.
No. 3 St. Paul (11-0) vs. No. 2 Wallowa (9-2), 12 p.m., Hermiston HS: St. Paul, the 2A runner-up last year, has dominated in its move to 1A, where it last won titles in 2009 and 2010. The Buckaroos, who beat Wallowa 54-20 in the season opener, lead eight-man teams in scoring offense (59.1) and defense (12.0). St. Paul has a balanced attack featuring quarterback TJ Crawford and running back Justin Herberger. Wallowa has a prolific running game with quarterback Gus Ramsden and running backs Zeb Ramsden and Austin Brockamp. The Cougars, playing in their first semifinal since 2005, have not made the final since winning the 1993 title.