Some top performances from week eight:
Max Smith – Sr, RB – Warrenton
134 yards and two touchdowns against Rainier. The guy is just hard to bring down, not only because of his elusiveness down field but because of the power he runs with. The top-end speed won’t have defensive backs unable to track him down, but whether they will be able to bring him down once they get to him is a dilemma many defenses have found themselves facing. If Warrenton sneaks into the playoffs, Smith will be a huge reason why.
Caleb Scaglione – So, RB – Cascade Christian
Two punt return touchdowns for what might be 3A’s most promising sophomore prospect. After the first punt return for a TD, one would think to not kick to him again, right? He looks much bigger on film than the 5 foot 8 150 pounds he’s listed at, and is downright impossible to take down when he has a full head of steam. The stock for Scaglione is quickly, quickly rising.
Luke Nelson – WR/DB – Cascade Christian
Touchdown run, touchdown catch, and a pick six. Where did this kid come from? He is not listed on their roster on the OSAA website and doesn’t physically stand out from the rest, but came off the field Friday having played both ways and scoring three touchdowns? The Challengers have no shortage of athletes all over the field, now they add Nelson to the fray? Cascade Christian might have the most athletic team from top to bottom in 3A football right now, Nelson coming into the picture only makes that argument more strong.
Jacob Logan – RB – South Umpqua
Three touchdown runs for Logan against Sutherlin. As a complete back he is showing in recent weeks why he is one of the state’s best and most well rounded. He had plenty of opportunities in the last two weeks to showcase his speed in the open field, at times looking like the fastest player on the field for either side–which he might’ve been both against Sutherlin and Coquille. An all-state selection might not be out of reach despite the Lancers’ record, a good week nine performance against Cascade Christian might get him into the conversation.
Tanner Hoskins – Sr, QB – Tillamook
294 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air, 102 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground. Can anyone contain this guy? There is a real case to be made he is the best player 5A-1A right now, at the very least the state’s most well rounded offensive weapon. It’s increasingly looking like the only team that can stop Tillamook–Hoskins specifically–as corny as it sounds, is themselves. Hoskins has the tools to be a serious, even dangerous player at the collegiate level. The physical attributes are certainly there already.
Hudson Hughes – Jr, QB – Stayton
270 yards and three touchdowns for Hughes in what was his best offensive night of the season. He’s always had the arm of a top-tier 4A quarterback, it just hasn’t been a great season for Stayton overall, leading to him being somewhat in the shadows compared to others in the classification. Friday was a reminder of the talent he has and a reminder of what Stayton can bring to the table if allowed to sneak into the playoffs: The Eagles, and Hughes specifically can be dangerous.
Aaron Liebelt – Sr, QB – St Helens
Five touchdown passes against Milwaukie for the senior. St. Helens has settled nicely into an offensive rhythm of running the ball and asking Liebelt to make the simple throw into 1-on-1 matchups, letting the Lions’ superior athletes on the edge win their battle for the ball. It has paid dividends, and almost produced a 50 point performance for St Helens on friday. Replicating it this week against Seaside might be tough, but if they can pull it off the Lions just might sneak into the playoffs.
Joe Janney – So, QB – Henley
Two rushing touchdowns with no scores through the air won’t turn heads, but he is starting to look like a future POTY candidate. The arm is already there for this kid to pick defenses apart when given the opportunity, with two more years of maturation this kid might end up being a special one for Henley. In the playoffs when teams sell out to stop Logan Whitlock–which teams are already attempting to do but failing, but in the payoffs might find more success with–Janney is going to be put in a position where his arm might be the difference between a championship game opportunity and falling short in the quarters at home. He is, though it might not be talked about much going into November, one of the players with the biggest impact on the coming 4A playoffs.