Tillamook @ Scappoose (Thursday 10/19 @7pm)
League title game in SD1. Tillamook needs a win in order to host in the first round of the playoffs, Scappoose needs a win in order to wrap up the #1 seed, with Henley hot on their tail in the #2 spot ready to move up if the opportunity is given. The pressure in this one, much like the talent that will be on the field, is abundant.
Players to watch: Scappoose: Max Nowlin (Jr, QB), Cayden Baker (Jr, RB/LB), Eli Harrah (Sr, WR/DB); Tillamook: Tanner Hoskins (Sr, QB/DB), Griffyn Boomer (So, WR/DB), Andrew White (Sr, RB/LB)
Milwaukie @ St Helens (Friday 10/20 @7pm)
If either of these teams are going to compete for an at-large bid into the playoffs, they have to win this game. St Helens is currently ranked 14th and trails Marshfield, currently ranked 10th, in the race for the only non-automatic spot. Milwaukie is currently ranked 22nd, though has a narrow–but nonetheless evident–path to the playoffs. Both need a win, one will be knocked out of the playoff hunt this week.
Players to watch: St Helens: Austin Stockwell (Sr, RB/LB), Skyler Bjornstrom (Sr, WR/DB), Mason Stroud (Sr, WR/DB); Milwaukie: Larenzo Dukes (Sr, RB/DE), Tate Brandon (Sr, WR/DB)
Cascade @ Marist (Friday 10/20 @7pm)
Cascade needs a win to keep their league title hopes, or at least a tie of the league title, alive. Marist is not guaranteed a home playoff game at the moment, and could with a loss set up a scenario in week nine where the loser between themselves and Junction City would have to be on the road to start November. With a win, there is a considerable chance even without a league title under their belt they would still end up with a home playoff game in round one, though would likely also mean a second round trip to Mazama, Henley, or Scappoose.
Players to watch: Marist: Nick Hudson (Jr, QB), Aiden Hazen (Sr, RB/LB); Cascade: Bryce Kuenzi (So, RB/LB), Karsten Sande (Sr, WR/DB), Teagan Allen (Sr, OL/DL)
Henley @ Mazama (Friday 10/20 @7pm)
Huge stakes in this rivalry matchup. The winner positions themselves to be in a tight contest with Scappoose in week nine hunting for the #1 overall seed, the loser might drop to the 4-5 range–with Seaside being elevated–and being in danger of having to travel in the second round. Logan Whitlock, Tyson Van Gastel, Vic Lease, Alex Stork. What a matchup. Game of the week in small school football.
Players to watch: Mazama: Tyson Van Gastel (Sr, QB/DB), Armondo Galindo (Sr, OL/DL), Kristopher Baldwin (Jr, RB/LB); Henley: Logan Whitlock (Sr, RB/DB), Joseph Janney (So, QB/DB)
Crook County @ Baker (Friday 10/20 @7pm)
Crook County can clinch a playoff spot with a win, but with a loss opens the door for La Grande to potentially sneak back in and grab the third automatic spot allotted to SD5. Baker with a win can guarantee that next week against Pendleton is for the league title regardless of what happens in the Pendleton @ La Grande matchup this friday. Baker with consecutive wins can clinch a home game in the first round, which would cap a tremendous turnaround from their 0-4 start.
Players to watch: Crook County: Luke Freauff (Sr, WR/DB), Jacob McKinnon (Sr, QB/LB); Baker: Rasean Jones (So, WR/LB), Paul Hobson (Sr, QB/DB), Hudson Spike (Sr, WR/DB)
Siuslaw @ Sisters (Friday 10/20 @7pm)
Sisters can clinch the league title and their first home playoff game for the first time in a long time with a win over Siuslaw. It’s been a long climb for Sisters, who now stand at the doorstep of legitimate contention. Siuslaw has a playoff spot clinched regardless of what happens in the final two weeks, but with two wins to close out the season–including one over the currently 8th ranked Sisters Outlaws–and they might not have to travel to Cascade Christian, Banks, Kennedy, or Dayton in the first round, and instead might get a more favorable matchup like North Valley or Scio.
Players to watch: Sisters: Justin DeSmet (Sr, RB/DB), Hunter Bronson (So, QB/DB); Siuslaw: Cort Waggoner (Sr, OL/DL)
Valley Catholic @ Banks (Friday 10/20 @7pm)
Valley Catholic will not make the playoffs this year, but they can make this week eight contest exciting. Holub and Farris are players that if Banks doesn’t keep in check can put up points in bunches. Banks has a decided advantage in most areas of the field, but don’t discount the potential for this one to be filled with fireworks, especially early.
Players to watch: Banks: Ashton Crossen (Sr, RB/LB) Luke McAuley Bigsby (Jr, OL/DL); Valley Catholic: Noah Holub (Sr, WR/DB), Jackson Farris (Jr, RB/LB)
Santiam Christian @ Scio (Friday 10/20 @7pm)
Santiam Christian has a playoff spot wrapped up, but, similar to Siuslaw, have the chance to move up in the rankings the next two weeks and push for a home game. Scio is right on the bubble of getting to host v go on the road in the first round, with a win they should move into the #8 spot going into the final week of the regular season regardless of what Sisters and Siuslaw do.
Players to watch: Santiam Christian: Daniel Fosdick (Jr, QB), Tyler Ragan (Sr, OL/DL); Scio: Bryan Parazoo (Sr), Cody Roofener (Sr)
Sutherlin @ South Umpqua (Friday 10/20 @7pm)
It is easy to write this off as an easy South Umpqua win at first gl;ance, but will it be? Sutherlin has athletes, especially in the backfield, and will take the air out of the ball for most of the game offensively, running the ball a considerable amount. Coquille fought South Umpqua with a similar game plan and went down 10-0, but can Sutherlin pull it off? Or, is the Lancers talent and athleticism advantage ultimately too much for the Bulldogs to handle?
Players to watch: South Umpqua: Elijah Earls (Sr, QB/LB), Jacob Logan (Sr, RB/LB); Sutherlin: Gunnar Bowles (Sr, OL/LB)
Others to Watch: Regis @ Willamina (Friday 10/20 @7pm), Heppner @ Weson-McEwen (Friday 10/20 @7pm)