PORTLAND, Ore. — A magical season for the Parkrose High School football team took a step into uncharted territory on Friday night. The Broncos defeated Lebanon 59-20 to win the first playoff game in school history.
The victory marked another turning point for a program just two years removed from a winless season.
Not only did Parkrose finish the 2017 season with an 0-9 record, but the school had a losing streak of more than 20 games that stretched across multiple seasons.
That’s all changed since the arrival of former Oregon Ducks wide receiver Keanon Lowe as the school’s head coach. Lowe made headlines in the spring when he stopped a student from firing a shotgun in the school. Video showed Lowe disarming the student before hugging him in a powerful moment of compassion.
On the football field, Lowe’s team has made headlines each of the last two seasons. In his first season, coming off that 0-9 record the year before, Lowe coached the Broncos to a 5-4 regular season and a playoff appearance. Parkrose ended up losing to Silverton in the first round of the playoffs.
This year, Parkrose has continued to improve. After dropping their first two games of the season, the Broncos have reeled off seven straight wins, including a win over Wilsonville to win the league championship and Friday night’s impressive playoff victory.
In his postgame speech Friday, Lowe made it clear to his team that while they should recognize the history they’ve made, there is more work ahead.
“Are you guys satisfied?” Lowe asked his team. “We didn’t make the playoffs just to win one game. Now, we’re one of eight [teams remaining]. We have a one in eight shot, fellas. So, make sure we’re back on Monday ready to roll.”
The win advanced Parkrose into the OSAA 5A state quarterfinals. The Broncos, who are the No. 7 seed, will face No. 2 seed Crater, who is 9-1 this season. The game will be played Friday at 7 p.m. in Central Point.