Friday, December 2, 2011
Oregon playoff football primer
By David Auguste
There are several good matchups going down in Oregon this weekend. Here's our take on the slate of games.
Class 6A semifinals — Lake Oswego vs. Jesuit
Lake Oswego's passing attack came alive during the first meeting between these two squads, but look for Gatorade State Player of the Year Steven Long and the running game to be more effective time around. Jesuit won't let the Alex Matthews-t0-Stevie Coury (four TDs in the last matchup) connection get going, so look for less defenders in the box providing space for Long. Jesuit's defense has stepped it up a notch in the playoffs, allowing 18.3 ppg, and will lean on its rushing attack to keep the Lakers' offense off the field. A.J. Glass (more than 2,00 yards, 23 TDs) and Nicholas Rothstein could be vital to that effort.
Class 6A semifinals — Sheldon vs. Central Catholic
The Irish welcome back senior tailback Ryan Land, who leads the squad with 724 rushing yards and five scores despite missing the last three games with a lacerated kidney. He should complement Sheldon's potent passing attack led by QB DillonMiller (more than 3,000 yards and 36 scores) and ConnorStrahm (15 receiving touchdowns). Central Catholic counters with Oregon recruit AlexBalducci and a defensive unit that piled up eight sacks last week. RB HaywardDemison III is Central's workhorse and has amassed nearly 700 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Class 5A finals — Sherwood vs. Mountain View
Mountain View broke up the Sherwood-Marist finals most people predicted and now they're hoping to knock off the defending champs in the finals. The Joel Skotte-led defense is limiting foes to 11.6 points a contest. Sherwood has been held under 20 points once all season and are averaging an eye-popping 48.6 points a contest behind RB Paul Dodson. Sherwood won the regular season matchup, 41-18.
Class 4A finals — Siuslaw vs. La Salle Prep
Siuslaw puts its undefeated mark on the line when they face a La Salle Prep team which has been explosive on offense all season. The Falcons are putting up 44.3 points a contest and J.J. Fisher has been virtually unstoppable on the ground in the postseason and is coming off a four-TD output in the semis. Siuslaw has been to the finals three times and are in quest of their second outright title (tied in 1980).
Class 3A finals — Santiam Christian vs. Dayton
The top two teams in the Class get together in this meeting of high-powered offenses. The Pirates have made quick work out of their opponents and have outscored the opposition by a 578-143 mark, while Santiam Christian is holding teams to 9.1 points a game and has topped the 50-point mark eight times this fall.
Class 2A finals — Scio vs. Gold Beach
Teams have found it virtually impossible to score on Scio in recent weeks, as the Loggers are holding foes to 2.6 points a game thus far in the postseason. Gold Beach should be a good test for Scio's unit as the Panthers enter this contest after scoring 40 or more in four of their last five games.
Class 1A finals — Camas Valley vs. Perrydale
Camas Valley has yet to experience a close contest this year as the team has posted six shutouts to go with an offense that has produced 820 points this fall. Perrydale's Tell Cruickshank was dominant in the team's upset of St. Paul, rushing for 300 yards and six touchdowns.