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- Written by Andy Wooldridge (CCCougarfan)
- Last Updated on June 27, 2012
- Published on November 4, 2006
- Hits: 9842
The regular season is done, and now, every game is win, or go play basketball.
UPDATED - Cottage Grove-Scappoose rematch moved to Hillsboro Stadium Friday night. Sweet Home-Marist will be at South Eugene HS.
I was 17-4 for the second week in a row, 173-50 for the season. And Good GOLly, what a finish, especially in the GOL! Overtime wins by Sweet Home and Yamhill-Carlton in playoff qualifiers kept the crowd in some very wet stadiums too! The Skyline was a fight to the finish, but at the end of the night, nothing surprising had really happened.
The biggest news may have been the bad news, as Marist lost a QB as well as a game. And LaSalle may have another injury, but now it's the RB that carried a hobbled team that's now hobbled.
Or, maybe it's the news that 3 of the top teams in the state are all from the coast. Guaranteed, no one had not only the Siuslaw Vikings, but also the Astoria Fishermen, going unbeaten in the regular season when training camp opened in August. Add to that the Newport Cubs's with their 7 straight wins, after losing, by the way, to 2 coastal teams, the North Bend Brown Bulldogs, who are opening the playoffs at home too, and those Vikings. Better get your Goretex gear ready; the State Title may not wind up on the coast, but Guaranteed, the road to the title will include Highway 101.
4 games open the 4A chase. The GOL will take the week off to debate the OZZI system in the forums. A number of rematches are featured this year in the playoffs, including 2 of 4 in 4A.
Cottage Grove Lions (6-4, 4-2) @ Scappoose Indians (7-3, 3-2). The "Sporty" game of the week. The Indians beat the Lions 48-38 in Scappoose. ‘Poose is on a rare down swing, having lost 2 of 3. Only a 1 TD loss in Sisters mars the Lions last 6 weeks. The winner gets the unenviable assignment of a trip to Siuslaw.
The statistical ratings on these teams are too close to indicate a clear advantage either way. The difference will have to come from somewhere else.
The difference could have been the bad footing another week of rain will cause. The Lions haven't seen a bad field all year. ‘Poose had a taste of it in YC, and last year used it to advantage several times. The Lions feature size and power, while 'Poose has speed and likes shootouts. That WOULD HAVE favored the Lions. However, the game has been moved to the turf at Hillsboro Stadium. A surface the Lions are familiar with. A venue the Indians are familiar with.
Sporty has good reason to go with ‘Poose, but I suspect the 2 recent losses are an indicator that ‘Poose is a touch vulnerable this year. Not to most teams, but the Lions aren't most teams. They have gone to war with a long list of serious customers, and look like this year's low seed that can make a serious run. The traction improvement will help the Indians immensely, as they look to outscore the Lions. If this game winds up something like 13-9, its not likely that 'Poose wins. The bigger question is whether the Indians can duplicate last falls' very offensive effort against the Lion defense, which has tightened up a lot since the Marist & 'Poose games.
Coach McNabb doesn't loose this early in the playoffs often, but he doesn't deal with the likes of Coach Fisher in the first round often either. Still, I've got to change my mind from the original pick. The relative lack of a Lion passing game on turf becomes a big factor, and unless the Lions win the turnover margin by a bunch, it tips the balance in a game deserving of at least the quarterfinals. 'Poose offensive enough.
Phoenix Pirates (4-5, 3-2) @ North Bend Bulldogs (6-4, 4-1). Coastal Collision of the week, and the other rematch, again in the same place. The Bulldogs easily sunk the Pirates 30-12 in week 4, which dropped the Pirates to 0-3, and the playoffs weren't even on the horizon. Then, the Pirates reeled off 4 straight. The Bulldogs weren't setting things on fire either, and wouldn't get above .500 for 3 more weeks. Both also come in having had a shot at a title turn into a lopsided loss.
The loser will spend the off season reflecting on what went wrong. The winner gets a trip to Baker in mid-November. In an interesting twist, this matches the 2 teams with the toughest strength of schedule marks in 4A. So, at least a tough game won't be a new experience. The Brown Bulldogs have the better defensive numbers, and a better points for to points allowed ratio. And the home field advantage. It will be the Brown Bulldogs going across the state to go after the Purple Bulldogs.
Sweet Home Huskies (4-6, 2-2) vs. Marist Spartans (7-3, 5-1). 2 teams not where they are used to being, or want to be, looking for a trip to Hidden Valley. The Huskies have barely won just enough games to get here. The Spartans are banged up, and the fact that the opponents that banged them up are pretty good doesn't un-bangup them.
But the Huskies, who needed 2 OTs against Philomath to get into the playoffs, have had trouble with their offense. The Spartans have a top RB in Brandon Jackson, and a lot of pride and experience. Its too early in the postseason to even think about going against the Spartans. And the move to South Eugene for better footing helps Jackson and the Spartans more. Huskies make the early exit.
Brookings-Harbor Bruins (6-3,3-2) @ Gladstone Gladiators (4-6,4-2). Bus ride of the week, at least in 4A, for the Bruins. Possibly a tighter, tougher contest than even ‘Poose & the Lions. Check out the Capital Weekly Column for more on this battle.