By René Ferrán | Photo by Leon Neuschwander
The Oregon high school football playoffs kick off Friday. Here’s a look at every first-round matchup in Class 6A, 5A and 4A.
All games 7 p.m. Friday unless noted
No. 32 Newberg (3-6) at No. 1 Lake Oswego (8-1)
Quick stat: No. 1 seeds are 7-0 since the OSAA went to its current bracket system in 2013, with an average margin of victory of 41 points.
First impression: The Lakers are the No. 1 seed for the third time in the past four postseasons for good reason. Senior quarterback Jack Layne had a stellar season, throwing for more than 2,300 yards and 25 touchdowns. Can the Tigers keep this game from going to a running clock?
No. 17 North Medford (4-4) at No. 16 McNary (6-3)
Quick stat: The Black Tornado have won three of the four meetings between the teams since 2016.
First impression: Neither team enters the postseason on a high note. The Black Tornado lost their rivalry game against South Medford, while the Celtics fell at Summit. Can McNary slow down junior Ty Pugliano, who ran for 188 yards and a touchdown last week and averages 113 yards per game?
No. 24 Liberty (6-3) at No. 9 Jesuit (8-1)
Quick stat: The Crusaders have advanced out of the first round every postseason since 2008 and are 29-2 in Round 1 during coach Ken Potter’s 34-year tenure.
First impression: A youthful Jesuit team has steadily improved since an opening-week 17-3 loss to West Linn. The Falcons are 1-3 against playoff teams this season and will need a heroic effort from three-year starting quarterback Hiro Diamond to pull out a victory on the road.
No. 25 Sunset (5-4) at No. 8 Clackamas (9-1)
Quick stat: The Cavaliers were one of four Class 6A teams to allow fewer than 100 points during the regular season, giving up 95 in eight games (11.9 per game).
First impression: The Apollos have battled injuries all season, especially on both lines. That should spell trouble against a Clackamas team still smarting from its first loss of the season, last week against Central Catholic.
No. 28 Jefferson (5-4) at No. 5 West Salem (8-1)
Quick stat: The Titans have advanced out of the first round every postseason since 2014; the Democrats haven’t won a first-round 6A playoff game since 2000 or any playoff game since 2010.
First impression: The Democrats shocked North Portland rival Grant last week, but do they have enough weapons to threaten a West Salem team that swept through the Mountain Valley Conference?
No. 21 Sherwood (5-4) at No. 12 Sandy (7-2)
Quick stat: The Pioneers have won one playoff game in 14 appearances since 1959, beating Bend in the first round in 1998. Among those defeats — a 42-14 loss to Sherwood in 2018.
First impression: The Bowmen won the Pacific Conference title after going winless in nonconference play. Have they found a formula sufficient to win a playoff game against a Sandy team that was the best Mt. Hood team that didn’t start with the letter C?
No. 20 Mountainside (5-4) at No. 13 Sprague (6-3)
Quick stat: The Mavericks have won five in a row (not including a COVID-related Week 8 forfeit to Jesuit) entering the postseason.
First impression: A real toss-up game could come down to which quarterback — Mountainside senior Brian Mannion or Sprague senior Logan Smith (MVC-high 18 TD passes) — gets hot first.
No. 29 Oregon City (2-7) vs. No. 4 Central Catholic (10-0) at Hillsboro Stadium
Quick stat: The Rams haven’t lost in the first round since 2008.
First impression: The Pioneers were the final at-large qualifier and face a monumental task just to keep this game from entering running clock territory in the second half.
No. 30 Mountain View (3-6) at No. 3 Tualatin (8-1)
Quick stat: These teams met in the first round in 2018, with the Timberwolves pulling out a 49-20 home win.
First impression: The SBLive Oregon preseason No. 1 team should have too much firepower for a Cougars squad that has given up 30 or more points in all six of its losses.
No. 19 Barlow (6-4) at No. 14 Westview (8-1)
Quick stat: The Wildcats are better known for their high-powered offense (45.4 points per game), but they were No. 2 in Class 6A in scoring defense (10.9 points per game), with more than half the points they allowed coming in their only defeat — 44-42 at Jesuit.
First impression: The Wildcats know they allowed one to get away from them in their Week 4 loss to the Crusaders. They’re out to prove they’re better than a No. 14 seed, with this game their first opportunity to do so.
No. 22 Tigard (3-6) at No. 11 Roseburg (8-1)
Quick stat: Roseburg last played host to a playoff game at Finlay Field in 2011 and is making its first postseason appearance since 2014.
First impression: The Tigers struggled in the rugged Three Rivers League and must be wary as they make the 3½-hour drive down I-5 to take on a Roseburg team hungry to leave its mark.
No. 27 South Medford (2-7) at No. 6 Summit (7-2)
Quick stat: The Storm matched their win total from their first three seasons as a Class 6A school thanks to a defense that helped Summit lead Class 6A in points allowed per game (10.8).
First impression: The Panthers had to win their rivalry game against North Medford to make the field — and did it in impressive fashion. They’ll need running back Carson Joe and quarterback Deacon Edgar to repeat their performances from the Black and Blue Bowl to have a chance against Summit.
No. 26 Roosevelt (7-2) at No. 7 Sheldon (8-1)
Quick stat: Junior Brock Thomas became the latest Irish quarterback to go over 1,000 yards rushing (1,339 yards, 18 TDs) and passing (1,968 yards, 19 TDs) in a season, joining Michael Johnson Jr. (2018), Kellen Strahm (2014) and Jordan Johnson (2009).
First impression: The Roughriders backed into a share of the PIL title when Grant lost to Jefferson in Week 9. They will have to bring their A-plus game to have a chance to knock off the Southwest Conference champions, whose offense has fired on all cylinders since a Week 4 loss to Lake Oswego.
No. 23 Grant (5-5) at No. 10 Lakeridge (6-3)
Quick stat: PIL teams are 5-21 in the first round since 2013 and have not won an opening-round game since Grant and Lincoln advanced in 2017.
First impression: The Generals haven’t been shy about taking on all comers the past two seasons, trying to toughen themselves for a potential playoff run. The Pacers figure to lean on two-way standout senior Jake Reichle to get them to the second round.
No. 18 South Salem (5-4) at No. 15 David Douglas (5-4)
Quick stat: Both teams look to snap lengthy postseason droughts — the Saxons haven’t won a playoff game since 2015, while the Scots have gone 10 years without a postseason victory.
First impression: David Douglas not only earned its first playoff berth in the past seven years, but it gets to play at home. The Scots have struggled against strong passing attacks, and South Salem features one of the best, triggered by junior quarterback Daschel Smith (2,158 yards, 16 TDs).
No. 31 Bend (3-6) vs. No. 2 West Linn (8-1) at Pioneer Memorial Stadium, Oregon City
Quick stat: The Mountain Valley and Three Rivers were the only two 6A leagues to qualify all of their members for the playoffs.
First impression: The Lions ran through three quarterbacks during the regular season, but with junior Earl Ingle behind center, they knocked off then-SBLive Oregon No. 1 Lake Oswego and then Oregon City in the Battle for the Bridge. The Lava Bears will have their work cut out slowing the hosts down.
No. 16 Churchill (5-4) at No. 1 Wilsonville (9-0)
Quick stat: These teams have met once in the postseason — a 42-41 Lancers victory in the 2010 first round.
First impression: The Wildcats have won every game by double digits, and that streak seems unlikely to end against a Churchill team that finished third in the Midwestern League.
No. 9 South Albany (6-3) at No. 8 Hood River Valley (8-1)
Quick stat: The RedHawks won only four games over the previous three seasons since their last playoff appearance in 2017.
First impression: If Roseburg was the feel-good story in 6A this season, South Albany was it in 5A, going from 0-6 during the spring to a playoff berth in the fall. Can the RedHawks keep their storybook season going against an Eagles team that got Week 9 off after La Salle Prep forfeited? To do so, they will need to slow down Hood River Valley senior dual-threat quarterback Trenton Hughes, who has accounted for 29 touchdowns.
No. 12 Ridgeview (8-2) at No. 5 Thurston (7-0)
Quick stat: The Colts went 4-0 against the Ravens when Ridgeview was a member of the Midwestern League from 2016-19, with an average winning margin of 31.5 points.
First impression: The Ravens earned their spot by beating crosstown rival Redmond in Week 9. Their reward? A first-round game against the two-time defending 5A champions, who have won 29 consecutive games against 5A competition.
No. 13 Lebanon (4-5) at No. 4 Canby (7-2)
Quick stat: The Cougars haven’t won a playoff game since 2013, three years before the Warriors won their only state championship.
First impression: Canby has taken advantage of dropping to 5A for football after several years of futility in the 6A Three Rivers League. Led by 5A rushing leader Tyler Konold, the Cougars should have enough firepower to get past a Lebanon team making its sixth consecutive playoff appearance.
No. 14 Scappoose (5-4) at No. 3 West Albany (8-1)
Quick stat: Scappoose qualified for the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season.
First impression: This game is a potential upset special. Scappoose averages 40 points per game and should push a Bulldogs team whose defense isn’t as stingy as the 2019 version that propelled them to the semifinals.
No. 11 Dallas (5-4) at No. 6 Pendleton (9-1)
Quick stat: The Dragons were also an 11-seed in 2019, when they lost to Ashland 50-27.
First impression: Dallas won only one game against a playoff qualifier this season, but that win over South Albany proved key to the Dragons making the field. They’ll be hard-pressed to slow a Buckaroos squad that has averaged 45.5 points during a six-game win streak and got an extra week to rest for the playoffs when Parkrose forfeited their Week 9 matchup.
No. 10 Crater (6-3) at No. 7 North Salem (6-3)
Quick stat: The Vikings last made the postseason in 2015. The Comets haven’t missed the postseason since 2014.
First impression: North Salem secured its berth by edging crosstown rival McKay 21-18 to grab the NWOC West’s No. 3 berth. It might be the higher seed, but Crater probably enters the game as the favorite. The Comets, state runners-up in 2019, gave Thurston its toughest fight (a 9-0 loss) and have allowed just 45 points to their seven 5A opponents.
No. 15 McKay (4-5) at No. 2 Silverton (8-1)
Quick stat: The Royal Scots haven’t won a playoff game in the past 20 years and are making their first playoff appearance since 2010.
First impression: These future Mid-Willamette rivals (if the most recent OSAA proposal holds) enter from opposite ends of the spectrum. McKay has won two games in its 16 playoff appearances and made the field as the final at-large team. The Foxes went unbeaten against 5A competition (their only loss was to 6A Tualatin) and are making a 10th consecutive appearance.
No. 16 Madras (4-4) at No. 1 Marshfield (11-0)
Quick stat: The White Buffaloes are back in the 4A bracket for the first time since 2012 — they made back-to-back playoff appearances in 2018-19 after dropping to 3A.
First impression: Madras is happy just to make the playoffs. Marshfield has much higher aspirations. The Pirates have scored at least 35 points in all but one game and could hit that mark by halftime this week.
No. 9 Henley (8-1) at No. 8 Tillamook (6-4), 1 p.m. Saturday
Quick stat: The Hornets don’t mind being playoff road warriors. Their past two postseason wins were at Cowapa foes as a 12-seed — Banks in 2013 and Seaside in 2017.
First impression: The Cheesemakers, like PIL co-champion Grant in 6A, took on all comers this season, with nonleague defeats to Marist Catholic, Cascade and — on short notice — Marshfield. That experience should come in handy in what likely will be a tight contest against Skyline runner-up Henley.
No. 12 North Eugene (4-3) at No. 5 Mazama (7-2)
Quick stat: The Highlanders had made only one playoff appearance (in 2014) in the past 28 years and haven’t won in the postseason since 1992.
First impression: North Eugene had a disjointed season, with two games canceled because of COVID quarantine and a third forfeited by Elmira. The Highlanders clinched their berth with a 42-14 win over Cottage Grove, earning a shot at the eight-time reigning Skyline champions, who won their first state title in the spring by beating Marist Catholic in the 4A Showcase.
No. 13 Hidden Valley (5-3) vs. No. 4 Banks (8-1), 6 p.m., Hare Field, Hillsboro
Quick stat: This is a rematch from Week 3, when Banks traveled down I-5 to Grants Pass for a 35-0 win.
First impression: Banks coach Cole Linehan hoped to get one more game on his team’s grass home field, but the chewed-up playing surface wouldn’t allow it. No matter where the game is played, Banks should be up to the task against a Mustangs team that lost starting quarterback Nate Vidlak in that defeat.
No. 14 Stayton (4-5) at No. 3 Estacada (9-0)
Quick stat: The Eagles returned to the playoffs in 2019 after an eight-year absence. They’re seeking their first playoff win since 2004.
First impression: Stayton didn’t handle Cascade’s power running game well in a 48-0 loss in Week 8. The Rangers no doubt studied that film and should have similar success Friday night.
No. 11 Gladstone (5-4) vs. No. 6 La Grande (6-1), 6 p.m., Eastern Oregon University
Quick stat: The Tigers won their first state championship in 45 years when they defeated Banks 21-0 in the 2019 final.
First impression: The Gladiators did just enough over the final three weeks to snag the No. 2 seed out of the Tri-Valley, but they’ll need to pick up their game against the Greater Oregon champion Tigers. La Grande has gotten a boost with the return of senior running back Brody MacMillan, who has 10 touchdowns since returning from an injury in Week 5.
No. 10 Baker (4-5) at No. 7 Marist Catholic (7-2), 2 p.m. Saturday
Quick stat: In the 120-year history of Baker football, it has played Marist Catholic once — in the 2009 final. The Spartans won that game 55-16 for the last of their five state championships.
First impression: The Bulldogs rebounded from an 0-3 start to return to the playoffs, where they’ll meet a Marist Catholic team whose only two losses (to Cascade and Marshfield) were by a combined 12 points. The Spartans have scored 33 or more points in every game and average 44.7 points per game.
No. 15 Astoria (5-4) vs. No. 2 Cascade (9-0), 6 p.m., Scio High School
Quick stat: The Cougars reached 60 points five times this season and averaged 53.9 points per game, most of any team in the top three classifications. If they stay at that pace, they would tie Jesuit’s 2015 state championship team for No. 4 all-time.
First impression: Astoria got into the field at the last minute, beating North Coast rival Seaside 7-0 to snatch the Cowapa’s final berth. It will take a Herculean effort by the Fishermen to slow Cascade’s bid at its first state championship since 2015.