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Friday, November 18, 2011
Oregon football playoff primer

By David Auguste

Ashland (8-2) at Sherwood (11-0)
If you love high-scoring games, this might be the matchup for you. Sherwood has been one of the state's premier offensive units throughout the fall, while Ashland is coming off a 43-35 win over Silverton in a contest where the Grizzlies piled up more than 250 yards on the ground. Ashland is saddled with the tough task of trying to take down the state's No. 3-ranked team and a squad that outscored opponents, 557-174, in going 11-0 this fall. The defending 5A champs have overcome the transfer of RB Steven Long (Lake Oswego) and continued to flourish on offense behind the play of RBs Paul Dodson and A.J. Spencer. Ashland sophomore Danial White has been phenominal under center while junior tailback Jon Volz has been a complementary option in the backfield.

Wilsonville (9-2) at Marist (10-0)
Marist has its sights set on a rematch against Sherwood, so you can expect the Spartans to come out on fire at the outset of this one. QB Kamerun Smith is coming off a five touchdown effort in a 40-point win over Sandy last week. He has passed for more than 2,000 yards and connected for 39 touchdowns through the air in his first season at Marist. Senior Taylor Walcott serves as Smith's primary target in an offense that rang up 491 points this season. Wilsonville has its own offensive stars led by RB Tanner Shipley and Ryan Walsh. Their ability to churn out big gains on the ground while Jacob Haqq picks apart secondaries with his pin-point passing could make this a closer game than expected.

Thurston (10-0) at Central Catholic (8-2)
Thurston ended Aloha's repeat bid last week behind an offensive explosion by Trevor Westover. The senior RB is the state's top rusher and piled up more than 500 yards and reached pay dirt an incredible seven times in the win. Central Catholic will be loading the box to ensure he doesn't have a repeat performance. The Rams had their own huge scoring output against South Salem, hanging 51 points in their win last week.

Southridge (6-4) at Tigard (10-0)
Who can forget the Week 1 matchup between these two squads? The teams combined for 90 points and junior Sam Stelk's 75-yard bomb to classmate Zach Floyd clinched the victory for Tigard. Southridge will be looking for revenge and have been on a roll in recent weeks, outscoring its past two opponents 80-7. WR Jordan Morgan has played well this fall and is coming off a two-TD performance against Century. Tigard's ground attack has piled up nearly 3,000 yards and 37 scores as junior Kaz Greene has been tough to bring down.