Some top performances of Week Seven:
Jesse Bauldree – Sr, WR – Salem Academy
151 yards receiving and two touchdowns for Bauldree against Jefferson. Not a lot of players in 3A can turn a seam route, thrown early, into a touchdown by breaking multiple tackles in a crowd and turning on the jets. Bauldree might have legitimate all-state level talent but is likely to be left off due to the Crusaders record.
Dawson Rios – Sr, QB – Salem Academy
Four Passing touchdowns for Rios against Jefferson. Not the strongest arm in the world, but at the end of the day simply being able to set your feet and throw accurately is all you really need when you have athletes like Bauldree to catch your passes, and Rios can certainly do that. Rios distributing the football efficiently in the final two weeks should be enough for SA to win out and end up at 5-4, and be right on the bubble of potentially making the playoffs. Based on the last couple weeks, Rios is likely to do just that.
Armando Fajardo – Sr, QB – Taft
Four Touchdown passes against Amity. Kid can sling it and it can be hard to bring him down. There is a lot to like with the Tigers’ pass game with receivers like sophomore Zack Hankins–who is going to be a player to keep an eye on the next two seasons–and with Fajardo dealing the cards. Without their week one loss to Creswell, Taft might be in competition for the at-large playoff spot later this month.
Quinton Buckalnd – Sr, QB/DB – Elmira
237 yards passing and four touchdowns against La Pine. The kid can make some circus throws, no doubt about it. Coming out in an empty set and just letting him play backyard football seems like a pretty good strategy considering the returns it is yielding. The velocity on the football isn’t special, but since he is able to keep plays alive with his legs it really doesn’t matter. Eventually, someone has to come open. Buckland is quietly turning into one of 3A’s most complete weapons.
Trey Boston – Sr, RB/LB – Pendleton
Two rushing scores for Boston against Ontario. Straight-line runner, not a ton of speed but just enough. Ontario was outmatched physically against Pendleton and the Bucks O-line was in control virtually the whole game, Boston took advantage. If the line and Boston can replicate their success in two weeks against Baker, the league title is theirs.
Griffyn Boomer – So, WR/DB – Tillamook
Get this kid on your all-state lists, he’s earned a spot. A pick six that he made look effortless, a punt return TD in which he evaded the entire town of Astoria–nonetheless just the players on the field–a rushing TD, and a receiving TD for icing on the cake. It’s just silly what this kid is capable of as a sophomore. The ceiling is really, really high for him, and he’s not even close to it yet. There is still a ton of physical maturation that is going to happen in the next two years for him, throw in break-away speed and there is legit college potential here.
Leland Boswell – Sr, WR/DB – Scappoose
Three rushing TDs for Boswell against St Helens. Scappoose did just about everything they wanted to offensively, and Boswell was a large beneficiary of it. Scappoose’s air attack is one of the state’s best, having a run game that at least can be a threat will be essential to making sure they’re playing in late November. Against St Helens, the run game–led by Boswell–did more than their fair share in that department.
Tyson Van Gastel – Sr, QB/DB – Mazama
Three rushing TDs for the best running QB in small school football. When the run game is going for Mazama, nobody shines brighter than this kid. Few football players—nonetheless quarterbacks—can plant his foot in the ground and work through traffic for a big gain like Van Gastel can. Having that weapon, not just fullback runs between the tackles or pitch outs to the edge, make the option truly unstoppable. If Mazama find themselves in the semifinals or farther–which is not unrealistic given the way things are shaping up and how they are performing–watch for Van Gastel to get serious first-team all state consideration.
Other nuts and bolts:
- Dayton is on the doorstep of being the #1 seed in the 3A playoffs for the first time since 2016, and at the moment is lined up in the rankings in such a way where a rematch with Cascade Christian in the semifinals–presumably once again at Cottage Grove High School–seems almost inevitable. Interestingly, right now that path could include a quarterfinal matchup with Sisters, which would feature a homecoming of sorts for Outlaws coach Gary Thorson, once the head coach at Dayton (2010-2011).
- If the rankings froze today, we would also be given a Vale-Banks matchup in the state quarterfinals. These two teams meeting up would be worthy of a state title bout with all the trappings and attention involved, but right now would take place at Banks high school rather than a neutral site.
- It seems certain now that the Marist-Junction City matchup Friday night is now an elimination game in terms of the hunt for a home playoff game. Winner gets the league title and an automatic home matchup in the first round, the loser is almost certain to be bounced when seeds are determined in favor of SD2 league champ La Salle, who themselves are also guaranteed a home game. Marist and JC are #7 and #6 in the rankings respectively right now, with SD1 champion Tillamook at #8. If things stay the same in the rankings outside this matchup, it seems pretty likely the winner will host Marshfield in the first round, and the loser will travel to La Salle. The only wildcard being if somehow #5 Seaside dropped below the loser of this game, then themselves getting bounced out of the top-8 when seeding is done, which at the moment seems unlikely given how high their RPI is.