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- Written by Andy Wooldridge (CCCougarfan)
- Published on September 10, 2006
- Hits: 6495
For most members of the Capital & Sky-Em Conferences, it’s the last week to tune up before the start of league games. For the GOL teams, they still have a month to get ready. Gotta love how redistricting improved the competitive balance.
Pretty accurate week, 18-3 on 4A games picked last week, 32-9 so far. That should worry someone, as this can’t last. Who will be the victim?
Game of the week is the Scappoose Indians (2-0) @ the Marist Spartans (1-1), despite what happened Saturday night. It’s the first trip out of town for the Indians, and the first game against an in-state opponent for the Spartans. ‘Poose offense is really rolling, but they need to not let good opponents be in the game when they shouldn’t still be. Marist got blown out of Seattle. Losing to Kennedy isn’t of great concern, but the severity of the shutout is. The Spartans shouldn’t be counted out just yet, but everyone will be taking note of how they rebound in this game. ‘Poose correctly sees this as their opportunity, and will be ready. Too much Engstrom for the Spartans.
Best Coastal Collision is the Siuslaw Vikings (1-0) @ the Newport Cubs (0-1). Siuslaw has reloaded on o & d, as JC discovered. This was as expected at some point, but the Vikings are ahead of the timetable. Newport couldn’t score on North Bend, and the Cubs won’t score enough against the Vikings.
Based on their recent history, the best holdover matchup from the old alignment initially looked like the Sweet Home Huskies (1-1) @ the Stayton Eagles (0-2) when the schedule came out. Both lost their road openers, then the Huskies recovered to beat Estacada, but the Eagles got torched by YC Tiger scoring machine. Both still have their sights set on a good playoff seed, though Stayton will have to find a defense quickly, or that vision will get real blurry. In their Capital Conference days, the Huskies practically owned the Eagles. That will still be the case. Woof!
The only team playing a game up in class (there are several playing down) is the Sisters Outlaws (2-0) @ the 5A Madras White Buffalos (1-1). However, its really Madras that is playing up a class. The White Buffs took the Outlaws to the wire last year. Don’t expect that to happen again. The Outlaws are getting the look of so many McCauley teams. The White Buffaloes get rounded up.
Best rivalry game is 3A Vale Vikings (0-1) @ Ontario Tigers (2-0). Most eastside games are somewhat home-crowd oriented (though the east side fans really do support their teams well) because most trips are measured in hours. These teams traditionally play good ball and they are only 15 min. apart! The opportunity for a short road trip means nobody will be home in Vale. The Vikings are practically pre-printed on the brackets when they come out. But 3A & what they are playing in preseason aren’t the same thing. The Tigers are rolling and hungry, and will get a big welcome home. Tigers roar in this one.
By contrast, longest bus trip is for the 3A Burns Hilanders (1-1) @ the Henley Hornets (1-1). It’s the 3rd. of 5 straight games against 4A teams for Burns. It’s the 3rd. class besides 4A the Hornets have
already found an opponent from. Explain to me (and a lot of valley administrators) again about redistricting as implemented on the east side. Burns got burned in Sisters, and Henley stung 2A Cascade Christian. This looks like a hill too high for the Hilanders; Hornets were competitive against a good KU team, and will tune up for the rematch.
A game that was under the radar early, but shouldn’t be, is the North Bend Bulldogs (1-1) @ Cottage Grove Lions (0-2). The Lions come home after the toughest first 2 weeks out on the road. The Bulldogs recovered from the Marshfield game with a shutout of Newport. The Lions know they can at least play with the best, and the Bulldogs aren’t as deep as what CG has been up against. Lions should get a win.
One that wasn’t is the Central Panthers (1-0) @ Junction City Tigers (0-1). Central had it in hand, then let Tillamook back in it, before escaping with an ot win. But they got the 1 pt. win. JC got thrashed by Siuslaw, and needs to recover quick, or their hopes might be gone, with Marist, Sisters, & CG still ahead. The battle of the big cats looks to be a game that could go any of a number of ways. My hunch is Central on the strength of a strategic move at some point.
There are a couple possibilities for best game down south, the Del Norte (CA) Warriors (0-1) @ Hidden Valley Mustangs (2-0), and the Brookings-Harbor Bruins (1-0) @ Phoenix Pirates (0-1).
The Bruins and Warriors opened their seasons last week with their traditional rivalry in Crescent City, with the Bruins getting the win by a TD.
The Mustangs and Pirates lit up the Southern Sky. The 5A Southern Sky. The Mustangs won by 4 in Eagle Point, and they smell a big season. The Pirates lost by 3 to Ashland in the first renewal of a neighborhood rivalry in 42 years, and can’t feel too bad about where they are at right now.
HV has the offense going, and they have learned how to close out games. Might be a good idea to remember what HV was doing to good opponents last basketball season, and how they were doing it. Mustangs send the Warriors back across the border.
Bruins & Pirates should be a good matchup. But the Bruins are a good Far West program, and the Pirates are a good program, period. Pirates go bear hunting. The rest of the Capital Conference will be guessed about as usual in the conference rundown.
Other games include:
Taft Tigers (0-1) @ Seaside Seagulls (2-0). Home opener for the Gulls, who are a solid, if not spectacular, team. Tigers haven’t shown anything in a long time. Gulls are too easy of a pick.
LaPine Hawks (0-2) @ Sutherlin Blue Bulldogs (1-0). Another looong trip for the Hawks. Blue dogs continue to enjoy their football.
LaGrande Tigers (1-0) @ Weiser (ID) Wolverines (1-1). Wolverines appear to be a bit down this year. This is not a good thing vs. these Tigers. Tigers roll.
3A Myrtle Point Bobcats (1-0) @ Douglas Trojans (1-0). Might just be one of the best games of the week, and probably should be getting more attention. I like the Bobcats in a good one.
Rogue River Chieftans (0-1) @ 2A Chiloquin Panthers (0-1). This might be how the Chieftans can get a win. (But don’t count on it.) By the way, how do you have a schedule with 7 of 9 on the road?
McLoughlin Pioneers (0-2) @ 2A Stanfield Tigers (0-1). MacHi is down. Stanfield is down and small. Pioneers should be able to manage this one.
3A Creswell Bulldogs (2-0) @ Pleasant Hill Billies (0-1). Old Emerald league, then Sky-Em league, matchup of neighbors. The Bulldogs are playing well. The Billies are behind the curve, and the Bulldogs would love to keep them there. They come to town up & headbutt the Billies.
South Umpqua Lancers (0-2) @ North Valley Knights (0-1). There was a time that this would have been the game of the week or maybe the season. These are not those times. When the Knights lose, it a close one to a good team, and its unusual. When the Lancers lose, its not unusual. NV wins their home opener in a party.
3A Coquille Red Devils (1-1) @ Illinois Valley Cougars (1-0). IV scheduled a bye after South Umpqua to get ready for Coquille?! Like I said 2 weeks ago, I have a thing for Cougars, and I haven’t had a chance to pick 2 Cougar wins in the same week very often. IV makes it a Skyline Valley trifecta.
3A Nyssa Bulldogs (2-0) @ Baker Bulldogs (2-0). The defending 2A champions are ranked #1 in 3A. A win in Baker would be a shot heard statewide. The Bulldogs know that, and will be ready. Nyssa is the kind of team that Baker is well suited for (quick, but not huge & punishing). Baker prevails in a real dog fight.