Rainier @ Yamhill-Carlton (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
Yamhill-Carlton, despite the 1-3 start, looks like a potential quarterfinal team. But, if they’re going to start 1-3 and finish 5-0 after that like many are talking about, step one is taking down a perennial playoff team in Rainier that, in a similar way to YC, is better than their 1-3 record would suggest.
Players to Watch: Rainier: Angel Becerra (Jr, RB/LB), Derek Katon (Sr, QB/LB), Daunte McGill (WR/DB); Yamhill-Carlton: Kyle Slater (QB/DB), Kaden Sutton (Sr, RB/LB), Carson Carden (Jr, WR/DB)
Lakeview @ North Valley (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
Two relative surprises this season. Set the over under in this one around 34, and probably take the under. Both defenses are playing out of their minds at the moment, specifically Adrian Stubbs of Lakeview looks like a first team all-state guy. Lakeview by a score or two, but it’s possible neither team goes over 300 yards of total offense.
Players to watch: Adrian Stubbs (Sr, RB/LB), Benny Alves (Sr, QB/DB); North Valley: Leo Freedman (Sr, RB/LB), Bryson Teal (Sr, QB/DB)
Sisters @ Kennedy (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
Kennedy has improved week over week and is starting to look like a contender. Sisters is having their best season in a long time, currently sitting at 4-0. Someone is coming out of Mt Angel with their first loss of the season.
Players to watch: Sisters: Justin DeSmet (Sr, RB/DB), Hunter Bronson (So, QB/DB); Kennedy: Brody Kleinschmidt (Sr, WR/DB), Elijah Traeger (Sr, QB/DB)
Tillamook @ Seaside (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
Tillamook is coming off of one of the biggest wins in program history–at least mentally and emotionally–last week after taking down Estacada on the road, but this might be a taller task. Seaside has some ridiculously fast and shifty backs in Jake White and Ryder Jackson, but Tillamook has the best offensive weapon in 4A football at the moment under center in Tanner Hoskins. Should be a great matchup.
Players to watch: Tillamook: Tanner Hoskins (Sr, QB/DB), Andrew White (Sr, RB/LB), Griffyn Boomer (So, WR/DB); Seaside: Jake White (Jr, RBlLB), Gavin Pugh (Sr, TE/LB), Ryder Jackson (So, RB/DB)
Mazama @ Ashland (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
True “Power v Finesse” matchup. Mazama might start in the Wishbone or Maryland-I and never come out of it if Ashland’s defense doesn’t show a greater fortitude against the run than they did against Henley, and Ashland might just throw deep every play if Mazama can’t hold up in the secondary better than they did against Marist. The over/under in this one might be reasonably set around the 80 mark. Potential quarterfinal preview here.
Players to watch: Mazama: Tyson Van Gastel (Sr, QB/DB), Armondo Galindo (Sr, OL/DL), Kristopher Baldwin (Jr, RB/LB); Ashland: Joe Harrower (Jr, QB/DB), Caden Negra (Sr, WR/DB), Devon Overstreet (Sr, WR/DB)
La Grande @ Baker (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
Baker might be the best 0-4 team the state has seen in…ever? Rasean Jones might be a legit D1 level guy by the end of his career, making every game this season one to pay attention to looking for growth. La Grande has some skilled running backs and an offensive line that is one of the state’s best, if they can hold Baker to four scores or less they could have a shot.
Players to watch: La Grande: Kenai Huff (Jr, OL/DL), Sovann Chab (So, RB/LB), Dominic Fields (Sr, RB/LB); Baker: Rasean Jones (So, WR/LB), Paul Hobson (Sr, QB/DB), Hudson Spike (Sr, WR/DB)
Marshfield @ Junction City (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
Marshfield could, with the ball bouncing differently on about a half dozen plays or so, be 3-1 on the season rather than 1-3. There is some legit young talent on this Marshfield roster, and they might just give Junction City–so far unbeaten and rapidly rising in the eyes of rankings makers–a tougher challenge than expected. Especially with it being on the JC grass rather than Marshfield turf, this might turn into a scrum.
Players to watch: Junction City: Cooper Rothenberger (Sr, QB/LB); Marshfield: Enoch Niblett (So, QB/DB), Lucas Folau (Jr, OL/DL), Canyon Niblett (Sr, RB/LB)
Some other games to keep an eye on:
Willamina @ Colton (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
Gold Beach @ Bandon (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)
Ontario @ Crook County (Friday 9/29 @ 7pm)