Some top performances from around the state in week three:
Ashton Moody – QB/DB Cascade Christian
Moody passed for three touchdowns, ran for another, and added two pick-sixes on defense for good measure. Cascade Christian has looked much, much more crisp the last two weeks on offense, Moody has been a big reason why. The over-the-top stuff isn’t necessarily there with Moody, the long ball and long completion of years past for Cascade Christian with quarterbacks like Haiden Schaan might not be there, but there is an efficiency present with Moody that can get the Challengers deep into the playoffs. Sometimes all you need at the quarterback position is a true point guard and facilitator of the offense rather than a carry the team on his back figure, Moody can certainly fill that role.
Logan Whitlock – Sr, RB, Henley
Five rushing touchdowns, one kick return touchdown for 4A’s best running back in a game that firmly puts Henley in the contenders column. Is he getting faster? Are defenders getting slower? Whitlock looks like he is hitting a different gear recently, the stats–despite being state-leading–don’t do his recent performances justice on how truly dominant he has been.
Max Nowlin – Jr, QB, Scappoose
Hood River Valley isn’t the challenge Baker will be or Estacada was for Scappoose, but any time a quarterback approaches putting up 500 yards through the air it is noteworthy. 45 of 60 through the air for 490 yards and five tds, even against a bad defense–which HRV is not–is player of the week level stuff. Nowlin is probably going to end up as 4A’s leading passer at the end of the season, despite competition from Nick Hudson of Marist and others, because of performances like this one.
Mason Mueller – Jr, WR, La Salle
Time to put Mueller on your all-state watch lists. 177 yards receiving and two touchdowns through the air–could’ve had one or two more–complimenting two rushing touchdowns and a fumble recovery touchdown on defense. La Salle looks like a team headed for a postseason appearance, and the slippery receiver is a big reason why. The top-end speed isn’t there in the same way it is for running backs like Logan Whitlock and Jake White, but sometimes if you can wiggle out of multiple tackles and work through a crowd it doesn’t matter.
Where We Stand Headed into Week Four:
4A: Is this the deepest 4A has been in a decade? Longer? You could make the argument. Even teams like Baker who aren’t in our top-10 have shown flashes of greatness and have the talent to win multiple playoff games. Scappoose, Henley, Marist, Estacada, and Mazama seem like a pretty solid top-tier, but the second tier can absolutely knock off anybody on that list in any given week. Could this be a year where we end up with multiple double-digit seeds in the semifinals?
3A: Can anybody challenge the top-3 of Cascade Christian, Vale, and Banks? Those three look like the undeniable favorites right now, with just about everyone else fighting for 4th place. Dayton has the offense, Kennedy the experience and top-end talent, but can anyone else put the whole thing together?
2A: This might be an even more pronounced version of 3A. Can anyone step up and take down one of the three between Lowell, Weston-McEwen, and Heppner? Right now it looks like those three are untouchable, despite Oakland’s best efforts against WM. These three teams are ascending at a more rapid rate than their peers at the moment.