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- Written by Andy Wooldridge (CCCougarfan)
- Last Updated on June 27, 2012
- Published on October 9, 2006
- Hits: 12725
Its that wonderful week in October where the statewide teachers’ In-Service day on Friday spreads the schedule out over 3 days. This means you should be able to find a great game to go see without missing your own team’s game.
Once upon a time, it just meant that with no school on Friday, all the games were played on Thursday, and a 3 day weekend ensued for all the students. Since then, 4 day weeks, travel adjustments for far-flung leagues, and alternate schedules have all happened, spreading this weeks games out from Thursday, thru Friday, and even some on Saturday. Many leagues still play all their games on Thursday, while some are still all on Friday, and some split it up. For example, all the 2A schools are playing on Friday, despite the In-service.
For football fans, it means more opportunities to see some good football. And fortunately, there are more “big” games than the schedule sometimes provides.
In 4A, there are, among others, the “Big” one, #1 Marist @ #2 Sisters, the Saturday night interstate special #1 (1A) Connell, WA @ #5 LaGrande, LaSalle @ Gladstone, and #3 Siuslaw @ Sutherlin, among others. See the 4A 4Cast & Capital Week 7 blog for more about these games.
Beyond 4A, there are a number of notables.
OregonLive picks Centennial Eagles (2-3, 2-1) @ Gresham Gophers (2-3, 1-2) as their game of the week. It is a significant game, especially for the loser, given the tight Mt.Hood race. I see some pretty good alternatives, though.
Thursday’s 6A Game of the week looks to be #10 West Linn Lions (5-0, 3-0) @ #7 Lake Oswego Lakers (4-2, 3-0) in the only 6A matchup of ranked teams, for first place in the Three Rivers League. And a real good idea about just where West Linn should rank.
The Central Valley has what is a pretty clearly big game in West Salem Titans(3-2, 2-1) @ Redmond Panthers (4-2, 2-0). The forecast is for good weather, so crossing the pass won’t be a factor. The urgency of keeping pace in the league race will be.
Keeping pace with Canby makes McMinnville Grizzlies (3-2, 1-0) @ #8 Tualatin Timberwolves (4-1, 1-0) the big game in the Pacific Conference.
Come Friday, there are a couple real big 6A games.
Metro League game of the week is #11 Aloha Warriors (4-1, 0-1) @ #12 Southridge Skyhawks (3-2, 1-0) in the only Metro league matchup where both teams have winning records. This will be separation Friday, and Aloha’s impressive start could start to fade, despite being 1 pt. from perfect. Or, they could stamp themselves as being around for the duration this year.
One of the oldest traditional rivalries in the state, going well back before Medford was a directional town, is the North Medford Black Tornado (3-2, 1-0) @ #6 Grants Pass Cavemen (6-0, 1-0). Oregonprepsports will have feature coverage of this year’s renewal of the battle that has defined the Rogue Valley for generations. And with the Cavemen going better than they have in a long time, this could be one of those “Instant Classics”.
5A will have some fun Friday with #10 St.Helens Lions (4-1, 3-0) @ #4 Hillsboro Spartans (4-2, 1-2) in a battle of ranked teams from the NorthWest Oregon league. It’s the first ever meeting for 2 programs that have been around for a long time, and have had some real success, though not lately. Great way to start off a new rivalry.
The other 5A game between ranked teams is Thursday night, and is another old rivalry between teams with a lot of success historically, and a lot of losses lately. And a winner for redistricting. #6 Corvallis Spartans (4-1, 2-1) @ #8 Lebanon Warriors (4-2, 3-0) would once have filled Warrior stadium beyond overflowing. This one should be pretty well attended too.
3A Thursday game of the week is yet another old neighborhood rivalry that has taken on greater significance with the resurgence of Sheridan. #10 Sheridan Spartans (4-1, 0-1) @ #5 Dayton Pirates (4-2, 1-0) is Thursday’s only game between ranked opponents. This one has survived numerous redistricting and reclassification efforts, and its also good to see it be a competitive game.
3A Friday game of the week is the other game between ranked 3A teams. #7 Grant Union Prospectors (3-2, 1-0) @ #4 Nyssa Bulldogs (4-2, 1-0) may be better reflected by the rankings than the records. The Prospectors losses are to ranked teams. Nyssa’s are to 4A teams on the road. No strangers to each other, at least a share of first place in the Eastern Oregon League is at stake here.
“Sporty” game of the week is to maintain at least a share of first place in the Sunset 6. Myrtle Point Bobcats (3-2, 1-0) @ Glide Wildcats (3-2, 1-0) is sure to produce some scratches. Serious fur will fly in this cat fight, and our own “Sporty” will be one of the first online Thursday night to check for the outcome.
2A, as noted, plays all their games Friday night, and has a very attractive list of top games.
#8 Bonanza Antlers (4-1, 1-0) @ #2 Cascade Christian Challengers (4-1, 1-0) for first place in the Southern Cascade conference. Both narrowly lost their openers, Bonanza to 3A #6 Gold Beach (who, interestingly, has only lost to CC), and CC to 4A Henley. Both have been really rolling since then. Something has got to give.
Separation Friday in the Tri-River league.
#4 Blanchet Cavaliers (4-2, 1-0) @ #5 Culver Bulldogs (5-1, 0-1). Blanchet’s blemishes have been against higher level opponents. Culver didn’t have any until they ran into Scio, but the Loggers’ preseason was conducted against winning, and mostly ranked, 3A teams. The highly regarded Bulldogs will be in a deep hole in this race if they don’t bounce back.
Speaking of Scio, #10 Scio Loggers (2-3, 1-0) @ Salem Academy Crusaders (4-2, 1-0) is an unusual game in that it involves a team with an overall losing record that is ranked this late in the year. Its also for at least a share of first place, and is proof that it doesn’t matter how the preseason goes, it matters how you handle it.
1A doesn’t take a back seat to anyone when it comes to big games this week either.
Friday’s 1A game of the week is an 2 PM afternoon game, #6 Wallowa Cougars (4-1, 1-0) @ #3 Powder Valley Badgers (6-0, 2-0). With only a couple weeks to go (Far Eastside Special Districts 4 & 6 complete their regular season a week early on Oct. 27 to have plenty of time to enjoy Halloween), this will go a long way towards deciding how Special District 4 will shake out.
Record wise, another Friday game stands out. Mapleton Sailors (4-1, 2-1) @ #1 Mohawk Indians (5-0, 3-0) still features teams with a lot of wins. The Sailors was sailing along until #10 Lowell laid a 59-0 hurt on them. This was a possibility for a feature game coverage, but now it’s the yardstick game of the week in Special District 5. This week we might find out if maybe Lowell should be ranked higher by the time they meet Mohawk in 2 weeks. Mapleton should be able to give everyone a good sizeup.
Saturday’s 1A game of the week is #9 South Wasco Redsides (4-1, 2-0) @ #5 Dufur Rangers (4-2, 3-0). The Redsides’ backsides were red after #4 Perrydale came thru town a few weeks back, and they had 2 weeks to get ready to take it out on Ione. Which they did, 78-0. Dufur lost by 2 pts. in OT to #2 St. Paul, & by 2 pts. to #6 Wallowa. That’s why they are #2 with 2 losses. The battle of Wasco county is a neighborhood get together, and may be as entertaining as any game at any level this week.
So, with so many options, get out and see an extra game this long weekend. There are some great ones to check out.