4A Oregon high school football playoff races: What’s at stake in Week 9

By René Ferrán | Photo by Leon Neuschwander

Here’s a league-by-league look at the playoff possibilities in Class 4A entering the last week of the regular season. (A total of 15 teams automatically qualify — 3 Cowapa, 3 Tri-Valley, 2 Oregon West, 2 Sky-Em, 3 Skyline, 2 Greater Oregon — plus 1 at-large qualifier from either the Oregon West or Sky-Em based on OSAA rankings.)

Cowapa

League title

It comes down to Tillamook (6-3, 4-0, No. 8 OSAA) and Banks (7-1, 4-0, No. 5) meeting Friday in Banks to decide the champion.

Automatic qualifiers

Tillamook and Banks are in. Seaside (4-3, 2-2, No. 16) is in with a win against coastal rival Astoria (4-4, 1-3, No. 20). A Fishermen victory, combined with Milwaukie (3-5, 1-3, No. 19) defeating Valley Catholic (0-8, 0-4, No. 28), means a three-way tie for third. The tiebreaker is point differential in the games played between the three teams — Seaside sits at +2 by virtue of beating Milwaukie 16-14, while Milwaukie has a -1 (it beat Astoria 35-34 in overtime). Astoria must win Friday by at least two points to make the playoffs.

Eliminated

Valley Catholic is out.

Tri-Valley

League title

Estacada (8-0, 4-0, No. 3) has clinched at least a share of the title and the Tri-Valley’s No. 1 seed. It finishes against Crook County (2-6, 1-3, No. 27). The Madras-Gladstone winner would claim a share of the title if the Rangers lose to the Cowboys.

Automatic qualifiers

Estacada, Madras (4-3, 3-1, No. 18) and Gladstone (4-4, 3-1, No. 10) have clinched spots in the 16-team bracket.

Eliminated

Crook County, Molalla (1-6, 1-3, No. 24) and North Marion (0-7, 0-4, No. 31) are out.

Oregon West

League title

Cascade (8-0, 3-0, No. 1) has secured at least a share of the title and the conference’s No. 1 seed. A win Friday over Sweet Home (3-5, 1-2, No. 21) clinches the title outright; otherwise, Stayton (3-5, 2-1, No. 15) would grab a share by beating Newport (1-7, 0-3, No. 25).

Automatic qualifiers

Cascade and Stayton are the top two seeds regardless of Friday’s results. The Eagles own the tiebreakers in the event of a two- or three-way tie for second.

At-large berth

Only the third-place team is eligible and must have a higher OSAA ranking than the Sky-Em’s third-place team. Woodburn (5-3, 2-2, No. 17) will be the OWC’s third seed and finishes with Elmira. The Bulldogs would need to win and have Cottage Grove knock off North Eugene to have a shot.

Eliminated

Sweet Home and Newport are out.

Sky-Em

League title

We’ve waited all season for the clash between Marshfield (10-0, 3-0, No. 2) and Marist Catholic (7-1, 3-0, No. 6), and the winner will claim the title.

Automatic qualifiers

Marshfield and Marist Catholic are in the OSAA playoffs no matter what happens Friday.

At-large berth

North Eugene (3-3, 1-2, No. 12) would claim the 4A bracket’s only at-large berth with a win Friday over Cottage Grove. If the Lions (1-7, 0-3, No. 29) pull the shocker, it would create a three-way tie that includes Elmira (2-7, 1-3, No. 22) for third. The Highlanders currently hold the league tiebreaker (highest OSAA ranking), which likely would remain the case once the rankings freeze, and would have to drop sufficiently to allow Oregon West No. 3 Woodburn to pass them for the at-large berth.

Eliminated

None

Skyline

League title

Mazama (6-2, 4-0, No. 4) enters Friday’s Canal Bowl against crosstown rival Klamath Union knowing it has at least a share of its eighth consecutive conference title. A win gives the Vikings the title outright; a loss means they share the crown with the Henley-Hidden Valley winner.

Automatic qualifiers

Mazama, Henley (7-1, 3-1, No. 11) and Hidden Valley (5-2, 3-1, No. 13) are all in the field.

Eliminated

North Valley (5-4, 1-3, No. 14), Klamath Union (1-6, 1-3, No. 26) and Phoenix (0-7, 0-4, No. 30) are out.

Greater Oregon

League title

La Grande (5-1, 5-0, No. 7) has won at least a share of the hybrid GOL 4A/3A championship. The Tigers play Baker (4-4, 4-1, No. 9) for the GOL’s top seed in the 4A bracket and the outright league title. A Baker win, combined with Vale (7-1, 4-1, No. 6 in 3A) winning at Burns, would mean a three-way tie for first place in the overall standings, with the Bulldogs taking the 4A No. 1 seed and securing a first-round home game.

Automatic qualifiers

La Grande and Baker have clinched spots in the 4A bracket.

Eliminated

Ontario (1-6, 0-2, No. 23) is out.

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