Some top performances from week six:
Tanner Hoskins – Sr, QB, Tillamook
267 yards through the air and a score, 81 rushing yards and three scores on the ground for the best weapon in 4A football. We are now just a week away from a matchup between Tillamook and Scappoose–specifically a matchup between Hoskins and Scappoose Quarterback Max Nowlin, the two main figures competing for SD1 Player of the Year and, potentially, fighting over eventual first-team all-state honors.
Kristopher Baldwin – Jr, RB, Mazama
109 yards and three rushing touchdowns, including one scoring run of approximately 75 yards. Baldwin runs angry and can read a hole just about as well as any other of the top 4A running backs. Mazama might not have the top-end speed like Scappoose or Marist, but they can for sure muscle their way to a state title with backs like Baldwin.
Bryce Kuenzi – So, RB, Cascade
171 rush yards and three scores for Kuenzi, who if an award existed for “Sophomore of the Year” would be a virtual lock for it at this point. He might have the quickest feet of any running back in small school football regardless of classification or age. Slippery, fast, can juke and cut faster than most defenders can adjust to…the kid is going to be a player of the year candidate in the near future.
Caleb Russell – Jr, QB, Philomath
219 pass yards and three touchdowns against Cascade. The velocity isn’t in the special category, but the ball doesn’t drop much after it comes out of his hand. The release is quick, the ball gets delivered quick. With how much Philomath is utilizing quick game and screens this season, that’s all you need from your QB. Could be an interesting player to keep an eye on the rest of the season, tracking his development into his senior season.
Justin DeSmet – RB, Sisters
115 yards and two touchdowns against Creswell. DeSmet isn’t the fastest running back in 3A football, but he is one of the hardest to bring down. Sisters was bigger, faster, and stronger than Creswell–you don’t put up 41 points simply by lucking into it–but DeSmet making Bulldog defenders miss and constantly having to change their pursuit angle was a big reason for the blowout win.
Camilo Medina – DL – Dayton
13 tackles from a defensive tackle spot is no small feat. Scio struggled to move the ball consistently against Dayton’s defense largely because of the efforts of players like Medina. It is difficult to stop the Pistol Wing-T, which Scio is in the second year of running as their offense, without defensive linemen that can squeeze space in a hurry and take away the fullback. The Dayton front, specifically Medina, did a tremendous job of that Friday.
Quinton Buckland – QB – Elmira
Six total touchdowns for Buckland in a game that showcased Elmira’s speed. Buckland doesn’t have the arm of a top-tier quarterback in small school football, but he’s athletic enough to make hay out of games like this one. A 46 yard QB counter, in which he made multiple Viking defenders miss is a perfect example of this.
Adrian Stubbs – LB – Lakeview
A 77 yard touchdown run, a ton of broken tackles and trucked defenders, and probably 10,000 tackles against Coquille on Saturday. This kid is incredible, and week to week looks more and more like a college player. 5 foot 11 and 195, he isn’t the biggest linebacker in small school football, but he hits the hardest and has no peers in that category. Lakeview might have a legitimate shot against Cascade Christian this week simply because of what Stubbs can bring to the table.
Other Nuts and Bolts:
Did anyone predict North Bend to be 6-1 (Technically) in the preseason? The Bulldogs are ranked 4th in 4A at the moment and, barring unforeseen collapse, are almost certain to host a playoff game in the first round, right? The biggest surprise of the football season in 4A so far has to be North Bend.
Is Blanchet the most quiet 5-1 team ever? It feels like the Cavaliers have snuck through the season without much drama or fireworks, ending up with a current ranking of 9th in 2A. Blanchet could put some of the top-tier teams on upset alert in the second round, watch out.