(11-0) Lake Oswego vs Roseburg (9-2)- This is going to be interesting. Roseburg is one of the most hostile environments in the state to play, but the Lakers are battle tested. Lake O has played (Jesuit, Central Catholic, Skyline WA-All three still in playoffs) and played in a tough Three Rivers Conference never receiving a real challenge. The Lakers are lead by the Offensive trio of (QB Alex Matthews, RB Steven Long, and WR Stevie Coury) and maybe Oregon’s best group of linebackers (Zach Walen Sr, Mitch Lomax Jr, Grant Taylor Sr, Jordan Horak So).
Roseburg just got done throttling South Medford 48-7 on the road after losing to them earlier in the year at home. The Indians have gotten hot at the right time and the weather will make this a game won on the ground. RB Javier Mendera has been the work horse out of the backfield, while Josh Cole is a game breaker and a the top kid out of the secondary.
Point Spread: Lake Oswego – 8
Prediction: Lake Oswego 27 Roseburg 21 (Jordan Johnson)
Lake Oswego 31 Roseburg 14 (Taylor Barton)
Lake Oswego 21 Roseburg 0 (Jaleel Kindell)
(11-0) Tigard vs Jesuit (8-3)- Both teams have outstanding running games, just different styles. Tigard has three junior backs that are just filthy (Benny Wick, Zach Floyd, Kaz Greene). Floyd went off again last week running over 150 yards and 3 total Tds including a kick off return. Wick may be the best overall player in the conference, and Greene is a burner that creates problems for opponents with misdirection. Junior AJ Glass will be the Answer for Jesuit a week after carrying the ball 44 times for 218 yards and a score against Tualatin. He is a first team all league kid and one of the top recruits in the state for the 2013 class. He has ran for over 1700 yards and 20 Tds behind a line that averages 6-5 270.
This will come down to what team can stop the run. Neither QB is going to beat you through the air but Nick Rothstein is the X factor. He was co offensive player of the year and a unanimous first team DB, when he’s running the ball well the team is usually up. If the Tigers stop him their chances of winning skyrocket. Jeremy Moore is one of the most underrated players in the state as he creates all types of havoc in the middle at 6-1 270. The Tigers D Tackle was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Pacific Conference.
Tigard played a suspect schedule but looked really good last week. Jesuit has a ridiculous amount of talent, but hasn’t been super impressive in playoff wins over McMinnville and Tualatin. Regardless you can count on it being close.
Point Spread: Tigard -1
Prediction: Tigard 27 Jesuit 24 (Jordan Johnson)
Jesuit 24 Tigard 10 (Taylor Barton)
Tigard 34 Jesuit 17 (Jaleel Kindell)
(8-4) Oregon City vs Central Catholic (9-2)- The Rams are looking to break the Mt Hood Jiinx going into this game. Its been 28 years since a Mt Hood Conference team played in a state championship (Gresham 83′) so a win here would put them one step away. RB Hayward Demison continued his electric second half to the season and ran for 291 yards and 4 Tds in last weeks second round win over Thurston. CC’S D on paper shouldn’t lose football games as D1 kids litter the field. Balducci, Nall, Leavitt, Duronslet, Griggs, Collier,and Wilder are all legit D1- D1aa athletes.
OC hasn’t been to the quarterfinals since 97 and would like continue on this magical run. They had to win a play in game to get into the playoffs, but have won three in a row in an impressive fashion. QB Landon Martinez has some of the top #s in the state, and WR Trevor Dye tied for second in Td receptions (13) while going for over 1000 yards receiving. Returning all league RB Louis Wolf has been running wild and looking like a top back. OC’s new coaching staff lead by Kevin Strasser has done big things in a short amount of time and he has the community is excited. OC will see a very tough defense, but they have a shot if they can play mistake free footbal
Point Spread: Cent Catholic -12
Prediction: Central Catholic 35 Oregon City 19 (Jordan Johnson)
CC 28 Oregon City 21 (Taylor Barton)
CC 31 Oregon City 10 (Jaleel Kindell)
(9-2) Grant vs Sheldon (11-0)- The Irish got a much needed wake up call as the Lincoln Cardinals played them tough. Sheldon blasted almost every team they have played outscoring opponents 48-9 over the season. Through 10 games QB Dillon Miller has thrown 30 Tds/ 3 Ints and remains the #1 ranked QB by NEI.
Junior Connor Strahm was recently named Conference Player of the Year on offense, and has been hands down the best player in Oregon. His 269 yards and 5 touchdowns last week were consistent with some of his other performances. Coach Lane Johnson calls him a “special special player”. The Irish D has been on lock down mode all year long giving up the fewest points in the state. The Irish D is lead by Strahm, one of the state leaders in picks, and two feature D1 football players in Dawson Housley and Sam McCaskill. McCaskill led the state in sacks and was also named Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Housley is one of the hardest hitters in the northwest and lead the state in tackles a year ago. They both hold multiple D1 offers.
You never know what you will get from Grant. They’re close opening round win over a sub par Grants Pass team (40-32) left some shaking their heads, but that was short lived. They proceeded to dispose of one of the hottest teams in the state last week in Canby 41-14 moving on to this weeks quarterfinals. They have the returning conference players of the year in QB Paris Penn and LB Daniel Halverson, and the return of junior superstar Nathan Halverson has been vital. When the Generals are on they can play with anybody, and they will need to be lights out if they want to have a chance against one of the nations top teams.The line may to much for Grant to handle as Sheldon is 6-4 across the board and very athletic.
Point Spread: Sheldon -19 1/2
Prediction: Sheldon 42 Grant 14 (Jordan Johnson)
Sheldon 38 Grant 28 (Taylor Barton)
Grant 29 Sheldon 26 (Jaleel Kindell)
(10-2 ) West Albany vs Sherwood (12-0).. Willamette University- The Bowmen are on a 25 game winning streak after winning last years class 5a state title. They have amassed over 4000 yards of rushing offense and 59 touchdowns through 12 games. 16 different players have scored for Sherwood on the year so the team is happy to spread the ball around. Tailback Paul Dodson earned offensive player of the year honors for the NWOC, and linebacker Travis Dyer was co defensive player of the year with Brett Bafaro.
The Bulldogs are a notorious 5a Power that have won multiple state titles over the last decade. They are lead by sophomore sensation Jake LaCoste (1927 yards, 21 Tds) who broke the all time single game rushing record with 508 yards against Silverton. West Albany won the very competitive Mid Willamette Conference and will look to pull off a huge upset. Sherwood has beaten Washington 4A power Skyview who may be the favorite to win the big school title up in Washington.
Point Spread: Sherwood -10 1/2
Prediction: Sherwood 35 West Albany 20 (Jordan Johnson)
Sherwood 24 West Albany 17 (Taylor Barton)
Sherwood 39 West Albany 10 (Jaleel Kindell)
(10-1) Mt View vs Marist (11-0)- We thought Wilsonville was going to give Marist a game last week but no such luck. The Spartans from Eugene have maybe the deepest team in 5a history lead by some of the top perimeter players anywhere. Junior QB Kamerun Smith has thrown 44 Tds to 6 Ints and was named co offensive player of the year in the conference. His weapons include three of the state’s best WR’s in (Austin Baird Jr, Taylor Walcott Sr, and Josh Paiement Sr) and a potent running attack led by (Greg Park Sr. and fullback James Banks Jr.). Baird was named defensive player of the year and all everything lineman Paxton Miller earned first team all league honors on both sides of the ball absolutely dominating opponents. Junior Josh Harper had an incredible year as a D end leading the state at the 5a level in sacks (9). Marist hasn’t been tested in 2 1/2 months when they beat Corvallis 17-14 in the season opener.
You don’t want to sleep on a healthy Mt View bunch as they are currently ranked #3 in 5a, and are 20-2 over the last two seasons with both losses coming to Sherwood. QB Jacob Hollister earned Offensive player of the Year honors and also is one of the state leaders in interceptions. Hollister has multi talented targets to throw to in (Cody Hollister Sr. and John Carroll Jr.), while the defense is lead by Oregon State bound high flyer Joel Skotte.
Point Spread: Marist – 8 1/2
Prediction: Marist 31 Mt View 23 (Jordan Johnson)
Marist 34 Mt View 20 (Taylor Barton)
Marist 45 Mt View 10 (Jaleel Kindell)