Week 2 Game of the Week: Gladstone (0-1) @ Marshfield (0-1)
One of these teams is going to bounce back from a disappointing week 1 loss, and maintain their spot in the top tier of 4A football. The other is going to fall to 0-2, and have an uphill climb for the remainder of the season. This game will be vital come November, once home field designations and playoff matchups are made. This Friday could decide if either team gets a 2nd round home game or not. The heightened sense of urgency is not new to either team, as both played strong week one opponents, but now there’s more than just a win on the line. There’s a very real chance one of these teams could be eliminated from the championship hunt.
From Gladstone’s perspective, what a turn of events an 0-2 start could entail. The return of Jon Jedrykowski, a highly touted group of skill players, and a #2 pre-season ranking, all led to state championship aspirations. To start 0-2, despite it being to two top 5 preseason teams, would be disastrous.
For Marshfield, you can never say it’s a ‘now or never’ situation, but this is really close. The Pirates play in a top-heavy conference, but their bunk mate at the top is Marist. If the Pirates walk into Cottage Grove week 4 to start league, but are 1-2 or 0-3, the Lions will smell blood. Teams that smell blood are always more dangerous than the ones who know they’re at a disadvantage. All the sudden Marshfield’s season could go from an easy waltz to a first round home game, to battling for an automatic bid at all. A hypothetical yes, But one that became much more real after week 1.
There’s no other week 2 matchup that delivers more urgency, significance, or statewide influence than Gladstone @ Marshfield. Frankly, the state has been spoiled to have such good matchups so early in the season.
- Gladstone lost 21-6 at Banks in week one. Gladstone started the season ranked #2 in the coaches poll, are now #6.
- Marshfield lost to 51-6 to rival North Bend in week one. Marshfield started the season #6 in the coaches poll, and are now completely out of that top 10 list.
- No team has won a state championship at 4A while sustaining 2 regular season losses since Marist in 2007.