x
Breaking News
More () »

Friday Night Flights: Playoffs Preview

After a two year wait, it's time for the Playoffs! Here's a look at the first round games in Oregon & SW Washington
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — The regular season is in the rearview mirror for most high school football players in Oregon and Washington.  Now, for the first time in two years, it's on to the playoffs!  

Wait...

Did I say playoffs?

Yes, Jim Mora.  The playoffs are here!  (Mora won more than 160 games as a head coach, 2 USFL championships and gave the New Orleans Saints their first ever winning season.  But somehow THIS is what he's remembered for.)

Let's look at the first round matchups:  All games are Friday, Nov. 5 unless noted otherwise:

OREGON 6A

How the field was set

Each of Oregon's 7 6A league gets three guaranteed spots.  The next best 11 teams are added to make up the 32-team field. The field is then seeded by the computers with some fidgeting done to avoid having teams from the same league meet in the 1st round. 

Credit: KGW

(32 Newberg at (1) Lake Oswego-- One of the strongest teams during the spring season, the Newberg Tigers struggled to start this fall.  However, they rebounded in league play to finish in 3rd place in the Pacific Conference and end with a 3-6 overall record. It should be noted that only one of those losses was by more than 6 points. They played 6 playoff teams this year. The Lake Oswego Lakers finished 8-1 against a schedule in which all 9 opponents made the playoffs. They finished in a 3-way tie at the top of the jam-packed Three Rivers League. Lake Oswego lost to Central Catholic in the 2019 finals (this year's seniors were sophomores on that team). Winner here moves on to get the winner of:

(17) North Medford at (16) McNary -- The North Medford Black Tornado earned an at-large bid after a 4-4 record and finishing 4th in the Southwest Conference. They played 7 playoff teams, earning nice wins over Liberty & Sherwood. The McNary Celtics are also in as an at-large team. They finished 4th in the Mountain Valley Conference and had a 6-3 overall record from a schedule that featured 8 playoff teams.

_____________________

(24) Liberty at (9) Jesuit -- The Liberty Falcons finished 2nd in the Pacific Conference, going 6-3 overall. However, they went only 1-3 against playoff teams and gave up a lot of points in those games. The Jesuit Crusaders regained control of the Metro League championship, finishing 7-1 in games played (they also have a forfeit win over Mountainside). Their resume includes games against 6 playoff teams, including wins over Camas (who made Washington's playoffs) and Westview, plus a Week 1 loss to West Linn. These teams actually met back in the 2019 playoffs; a Jesuit win in the 2nd round (Jesuit would fall to Lake Oswego in the semi-finals). Winner here gets the winner of:

(25) Sunset at (8) Clackamas -- After winning the Metro League during the Spring season, the Sunset Apollos came into the fall with high expectations.  But after a 4-1 start, losses to Mountainside (in OT), Westview and Jesuit dramatically hurt their seeding.  They're in as an at-large with a 5-4 record (they finished 4th in the Metro League).    They finished 1-4 against playoff teams.  The Clackamas Cavaliers started the season 7-0 (with a couple of forfeits) before losing to Central Catholic in Week 9.   That includes wins over playoff teams Camas, David Douglas, Sandy, Grant and Barlow.

Credit: KGW

(28) Jefferson at (5) West Salem -- The Jefferson Democrats finished the season 5-4 and 3rd in the P.I.L. They went 1-3 against playoff teams, that win coming in Week 9 against Grant. The West Salem Titans won the Mountain Valley Conference, finishing with an overall record of 8-1. They beat 7 playoff teams, including a nice win against Summit. Their lone loss was on the road against Tualatin.  Winner of this game moves on to meet the winner of:

(21) Sherwood at (12) Sandy -- The Sherwood Bowmen were another team that had a rough start, beginning the season 0-4 (starting with Lakeridge & Lake Oswego in your first two games doesn't help). But they bounced back to win their final 5 games, including a 49-39 win at Liberty to claim the Pacific Conference title. They went 2-4 against playoff teams.  After a pair of losing seasons, the Sandy Pioneers went 6-2 (plus a forfeit win) to claim 3rd place in the Mt. Hood Conference.  However, they only went 2-2 against playoff teams. This is going to be a good test to see how good they are.

_____________________

(20) Mountainside at (13) Sprague -- The Mountainside Mavericks started out the season 0-3. But they found their legs offensively and rattled off 5 wins (they did have to forfeit a matchup against Jesuit during that run), including a critical win over Sunset that put them into 3rd place in the Metro League.  They went 2-3 against playoff teams.   Of course, the seniors on this team were sophomores when Mountainside pulled off the upset of #1 Tigard in the 2nd round of the 2019 playoffs.  The Sprague Olympians went 5-3 (+ a forfeit win), with a 3-3 record against playoff teams. They had a couple of impressive wins, including ending McNary's unbeaten run in Week 5.  Winner of this game moves on to get the winner of:

(29) Oregon City at (4) Central Catholic -- The Oregon City Pioneers are the last team into the playoffs as an at-large.  They went 2-7 and finished 6th in the Three Rivers League. They are into the post-season thanks to that strong schedule. The Central Catholic Rams finished 9-0, winning the Mt. Hood Conference. Their resume includes wins over Camas, Tumwater, Clackamas and 3 other playoff teams. They are also the defending state champions, having won it all in 2019.

Credit: KGW

(30) Mountain View at (3) Tualatin -- The Mountain View Cougars finished the year 3-6, grabbing an at-large bid out of the Mountain Valley Conference.  They have only 1 win over a playoff team and will make the trip west from Bend looking for an upset win.  The Tualatin Timberwolves went 8-1 on the season, finishing in that 3-way tie on top of the Three Rivers League.   Their resume includes wins over Silverton, West Linn, West Salem and even a team from California (who have won 7 straight games after their loss to Tualatin).   Winner here advances to meet the winner of:

(19) Barlow at (14) Westview -- Normally a contender in the Mt. Hood Conference, the Barlow Bruins had an inconsistent season, finishing with a 5-3 record (they also had both a forfeit win and a forfeit loss). They finished 5th in the Mt. Hood, and struggled in games against playoff teams, which has normally been a strength for them.  The Westview Wildcats are coming off a 7- season (plus a forfeit win), including a 4-1 mark against playoff teams.  Their high-powered offense averaged 45 points a game, led by WR Darrius Clemons, the state's top recruit.

_____________________

(22) Tigard at (11) Roseburg --The Tigard Tigers are just 2 years removed from being the state's top seed.  They finished 3-6 and struggled against the stronger teams in the Three Rivers League.  They finished 5th in the league and are in as an at-large.   That being said, their resume does include a nice win at Mountainside along with competitive games against Jesuit and Lakeridge.   Roseburg went 8-1 overall, finishing 2nd in the SW Conference to Sheldon.  Their resume includes a win over Summit in Week 1.  However (other than their loss to Sheldon), Tigard may be the best team they've faced since then.   Winner of this game goes to round and meets the winner of:

(27) South Medford at (6) Summit -- The South Medford Panthers finished 2-7 and got into the playoffs thanks to their Week 9 win against North Medford.  That victory gave them 3rd place in the SW Conference. Out of their seven losses, four came against top 10 teams. The Summit Storm finished 2nd in the Mountain Valley Conference with an 7-2 record overall (all 9 games were against playoff teams). This winning season comes after the Storm went 2-7 in 2018 & 19, then 3-3 this past Spring. This is their first appearance in the playoffs since jumping to 6A in 2018.  It will also be the 1st 6A playoff game ever in Bend.

Credit: KGW

(26) Roosevelt at (7) Sheldon -- The Roosevelt Rough Riders finished 7-2 overall, tying at the top of the P.I.L. with Grant (Grant won their head-to-head matchup by 1 point).  They only played against 3 playoff teams, going 1-2 in those games.  But they were dominate over the rest of their schedule, racking up an average of nearly 40 points a game.   The Sheldon Irish won the SW Conference with an 8-1 record.  Their lone loss came at home against Lake Oswego.  Winner here gets the winner of:

(23) Grant at (10) Lakeridge -- The Grant Generals played one of the state's toughest schedules, losing on the road to Silverton, Sheldon and at home to Clackamas and Barlow.  They finished at the top of the P.I.L.    The Lakeridge Pacers are another strong team out of the Three Rivers League.  They started out 5-0, but went 0-3 in the "Gauntlet," the roughest stretch of the schedule that featured games against West Linn, Tualatin and Lake Oswego (their losses to West Linn & Tualatin were by a combined 4 points).  They finished 6-3 overall.

_____________________

(18) South Salem at (15) David Douglas -- In a schedule that featured 8 playoff teams, the South Salem Saxons went 5-4.  They finished 5th in the busy Mountain Valley Conference.  They are into the playoffs for the first time since 2017.  The David Douglas Scots went 4-4 (with a forfeit win), but had a strong run in the Mt. Hood Conference.  They lost to Sandy on the road in Week 9 to finish in 4th place.   Winner here is on to Round 2 to meet the winner of:

(31) Bend at (2) West Linn -- The Bend Lava Bears may have the best nickname in the 6A playoffs.   They finished the season 3-6, good for Sixth in the Mountain Valley Conference.  They went 2-6 in games against playoff teams.   The West Linn Lions were the final piece of that 3-way tie on top of the Three Rivers League.   They went 8-1 against a schedule of 9 playoff teams, including wins over Jesuit, Camas, Lakeridge and Lake Oswego.

OREGON 5A

How the field was set

Each of Oregon's 4 5A Districts gets three guaranteed spots.  The next best 4 teams are added to make up the 16-team field. The field is then seeded by the computers with some fidgeting done to avoid having teams from the same league meet in the 1st round. 

Credit: KGW

(16) Churchill at (1) Wilsonville -- The Churchill Lancers finished 3rd in District 4 with a 5-4 record.  They're making the trip up from Eugene to take on top seeded Wilsonville.  The Wildcats finished 8-0, overcoming Canby in Week 9 to take the District 2 title.   Their resume also includes a strong win on the road at Pendleton.    Winner here advances to meet the winner of:

(9) South Albany at (8) Hood River Valley -- The South Albany Redhawks went 6-3, a big jump from their record over the last three seasons (they won a total of 4 games).  Their resume includes wins over North Salem and Lebanon.  The Hood River Valley Eagles are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015.   They went 7-1, finishing 2nd to Pendleton in District 1.

_____________________

(12) Ridgeview at (5) Thurston -- The Ridgeview Ravens went 7-2 in the regular season, finishing 3rd in District 1.  They went 0-2 against 5A playoff teams (though their loss to Hood River Valley was only by 1 point).  The Thurston Colts went 7-0, winning District 4.  In those 7 games, they gave up a total of only 59 points.   They're also the defending state champs, having won it all back in 2019.  Winner here gets the winner of: 

(13) Lebanon at (4) Canby -- The Lebanon Warriors finished 5th in District 3 but earned an at-large bid with a 4-5 record (their strong strength of schedule helped).  Their resume includes a win over Dallas, which cost the Dragons a much better playoff position.   The Canby Cougars went 7-2, scoring a lot of points and winning big most weeks.  Their losses came to West Albany (by 3 points) and Wilsonville in Week 9.   

Credit: KGW

(14) Scappoose at (3) West Albany -- Scappoose finished 4th in District 2 behind Wilsonville, Canby, and North Salem.   Their Week 8 loss to North Salem forced them out of a guaranteed playoff spot.   They finished 5-4 on the year.  The West Albany Bulldogs finished 2nd in District 3 with a 7-1 record.  Their Week 8 loss to Silverton knocked them out of 1st place.   Their resume includes wins over Dallas, Lebanon, South Albany and 6A school Beaverton.   The winner of this game advances to meet the winner of:

(11) Dallas at (6) Pendleton -- The Dallas Dragons went 5-4, finishing 4th in District 3.   A win over South Albany put them in the driver's seat for 3rd place, but their loss to Lebanon in Week 7 forced them to settle for an at-large.  The Pendleton Buckaroos may have the best nickname in the 5A playoffs.   They're also good on the field.  They went 7-1 to take the District 1 title.   Their own loss came to Wilsonville, but they have wins over 6A school Southridge, Hood River Valley and Ridgeview.

_____________________

(10) Crater at (7) North Salem -- The Crater Comets, who lost in the finals back in 2019, finished 2nd in District 4 with a 6-3 record.   Their losses came to Thurston, 6A school Summit and Mazama (who's #5 in the 4A tournament).   The North Salem Vikings finished the season with their first winning record since 2004 (they went 6-3).  They held on to beat McKay last week to lock up 3rd place in District 2.   Winner here moves on to meet the winner of:

(15) McKay at (2) Silverton -- Speaking of McKay, the Royal Scots are one of the best stories of the 2021 season.  The program hadn't won more than 2 games since 2012.  They went 4-5 and came just a few minutes short of a winning season.   They'll look to pull off the upset over Silverton, who finished 8-1.  The Foxes' only loss came to Tualatin early in the season (As you read earlier, Tualatin is pretty good).  Defense has been Silverton's calling card this year.   They allowed an average of only 10 points a game.

Washington 4A

How the field was set:

32 teams across Washington qualified for these "Week 10" matchups (2 teams from the Greater St. Helens League made it in).  A selection committee then matched up the 32 teams.  The winners this week will advance to the State Tournament starting next week (A selection committee will seed that tournament on Sunday).

Mt. Rainier at Camas -- The Camas Papermakers started out rough, losing 4 straight to some of Oregon's top teams.  But they rebounded to finish 5-4.  Their Week 9 win over Union gave them the league's top playoff spot.  The visiting Mount Rainier Rams went 6-3, finishing 2nd in the White Division of the North Puget Sound League.

Kamiak at Skyview (Saturday) -- The Skyview Storm finished 7-2 and grabbed the GSHL's 2nd playoff spot (Camas held the tiebreaker after their Week 8 win).  They were able to overwhelm a lot of teams, averaging 33 points a game.  The Kamiak Knights finished 7-1, and finished the season ranked #10 in the AP Top 10 for Washington.

Washington 3A

How the field was set:

32 teams across Washington qualified for these "Week 10" matchups (2 teams from the Greater St. Helens League made it in).  A selection committee then matched up the 32 teams.  The winners this week will advance to the State Tournament starting next week (A selection committee will seed that tournament on Sunday).

Kelso at Auburn-Riverside -- The Kelso Hilanders are in the post-season after 7-2 season.  Like Skyview, they averaged 33 points on offense.  The Auburn-Riverside Ravens went 7-0 in the North Puget Sound League to make it in.

Seattle Prep at Mountain View (Saturday) -- The Mountain View Thunder won the 3A GSHL, going 7-2 on the season.  They came in just behind Kelso in the scoring department, averaging 31 points a game.  They'll host the Seattle Prep Panthers, who went 5-4 on the season.

Watch Friday Night Flights highlights here