As we approach the huge Top 5 matchup tonight between Marist and Mazama, the contest holds two storylines and two reasons that you should pay close attention Friday Night.
This one of the last, if not the final deciding matchup to decide the top five seeds in the state. After Marist and Mazama meet up, Banks, La Grande, Marist Catholic, Mazama, and Gladstone all have schedules that should prove to be smooth sailing, though Mazama does have Henley left.
Second, Frank Geske vs. Vic Lease. Two established coaches in the Oregon high school ranks, who both have championship level programs with them.
When asked how it feels to go up against Geskie, Lease said, “I’ve coached around Frank for a long time now, when I was at Silverton awhile back, he was at Tigard, and we know each other well. Frank does a great job and has been known to have success, I do pride myself on knowing my opponent top to bottom though, so I’m excited for Friday Night.”
Another thing that Lease had to say about the matchup is that he’s excited about the Vikings opportunity in playing a tough non league opponent: “The way that it used to be laid out, we would only play teams within our region. While the talent is spread so far around the state, it’s pretty special we get to take a four-hour trip and play a team with the quality of Marist.” Lease also added that he doesn’t mind the distance and that he “enjoyed traveling up to Turner to face another top ten caliber team in Cascade earlier this season.”
We asked Lease what he thought the x-factors for his side were, he told us: “We’ve got to eliminate mistakes. There have been a few incorrect reads on our triple option, we’ll have to show we’re polished in that respect. And we’ve got to eliminate the big plays and gains that Marist frequently achieve” he added “three of our top players went down for the season including our best DB, starting QB, and LB, I couldn’t be prouder at this time for battling and being 5-0 right now.”
If nothing else, this game should tell us a lot about the top tier in the state, and potentially give us a preview of a semifinal/2nd round game depending on seeding. One guarantee is that this game will live up to the hype and be extremely competitive. Will Mazama improve to 6-0? Will Marist show they can win against the Top 5? It’s a fascinating game for so many reasons. We’ll take Mazama on the road to win, but not by much.
We’ll be live tweeting the game.