Some top performances from around the state in week four:
Boston Hodges – Sr, QB, Dayton
226 yards rushing and two touchdowns for 3A’s best running quarterback. The Wing-T is difficult to stop when it’s just plain old trap and belly series. Throw in the counters and QB run game that Dayton has put in this year, largely featuring Hodges, and all of the sudden it can turn out performances like the 450 yards rushing the Pirates had against Warrenton and over 500 they had against Taft. Hodges isn’t physically imposing by any stretch, but him being a legitimate fourth running threat out of the backfield could be enough on its own to send Dayton back to the semifinals.
Adrian Stubbs – Sr, RB/LB, Lakeview
A touchdown on the ground and 14 tackles for the senior linebacker. Lakeview didn’t allow a single yard to St Mary’s on Friday, and Stubbs being all over the field was a huge reason why. There are faster and quicker players than Stubbs in 3A, but nobody closes on a ball carrier faster than him. Lakeview’s offense might only have to score two to three times in a game in order to win multiple playoff games if Stubbs continues playing as well as he has on defense.
Peyton Maurer – Sr, WR/DB, Cascade Christian
218 receiving yards and three touchdowns for what is increasingly looking like 3A’s best individual receiver. Not the longest, not the fastest, but just the right amount of everything to be a weapon every team will have to game plan against. Deep in the playoffs seeing how Maurer does against Banks or Vale will be the true test of where he stacks up against the rest of the state writ large.
Colten Stepleton – Sr, Everything, Vale
Roughly 280 total yards and five total touchdowns. Can we just crown him 3A player of the year already? Vale looks like a team playing out of its classification bright now–it is arguable they and Banks are alone at the moment at the top of 3A–and Stepleton is the biggest reason why. Has someone had this big of an impact on their team’s success since Joey Tripp at Rainier in 2018? Is he that big of an advantage to have on the field compared to Vale’s opponents? Increasingly the answer looks like yes.
Logan Whitlock – Sr, RB, Henley
145 yards and four touchdowns on the ground for Whitlock against Cascade. Real clear here: Henley has a good team around Whitlock, but without him they don’t win this game. Cascade had turnovers and didn’t play a complete game defensively, but without the “all eyes in the backfield” effect Whitlock had–and still scored despite of–Henley doesn’t have the firepower to take down the Cougars. If Whitlock isn’t already at the top of a ton of college recruiting boards, he has to be getting there now. The size isn’t optimal for taking the beating of a college season, but speed cures a lot of ills. Week by week he is looking like more and more of a solid bet as a fringe D2/D1 guy.
Tanner Hoskins – Sr, QB, Tillamook
Two rushing touchdowns and one passing for Hoskins against Estacada on the road. Hoskins is increasingly looking like 4A’s most complete weapon. Players like Whitlock can run the ball, Nick Hudson and Max Nowlin can sling the ball with the best of them, but few in small school football pair throwing ability and rushing ability like Hoskins. The advantage to having your best athlete and overall player under center, as Tillamook opponents are finding out, is that even on plays where the defense succeeds, either with effective coverage or a good pass rush, Hoskins can run around and make something happen. The off-script ability is at a level 4A has rarely seen in recent years–possibly the first player of this type and caliber since Hayden Vandehey of Banks in 2018.
Nick Hudson – Jr, QB, Marist
The jury has delivered its verdict: Hudson is the best Quarterback in small school football. 292 yards passing and six touchdowns against Stayton on Friday puts him near the top of the state-wide leader board for passing yards and touchdowns regardless of classification, and he made it look downright easy. The zip and touch he has on his passes is just downright silly, and is completely without match at the 4A ranks in recent memory for a Junior–Sam Vidlak is the best comparison, but Hidden Valley was playing 3A at the time. There is no putting a lid on this kid, there is no solve-all scheme that is going to keep him from putting up video game numbers against just about everybody. It’s almost comical what he is doing to good, competent, well coached, talented defenses.
Complete dominance from start to finish against a St Mary’s team that is far from a door mat. Lakeview looks like a possible contender largely because of their defense.
Dayton has, in spurts, looked completely unstoppable on offense. In the second half against Taft it felt like they could’ve put up 500 yards rushing in just two quarters. If they can play a complete four quarters consistently, there are few teams that can take them down.
The early season howls of Tillamook’s demise have been proven to be overreactions. There is a real case to be made that in total, Tillamook might just be the best team in the state right now. Few teams–in recent years no teams–have been able to go into Estacada and entirely outplay the Rangers on both sides of the ball. Even Mazama last year, who did beat Estacada on the road, didn’t do it in as dominating fashion as the Cheesemakers last week. They played angry, they played well.