The Rams are primed to unseat Jesuit as Class 6A state champions
Nov. 8, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
The state's top volleyball programs are prepping for title runs beginning Friday with the quarterfinals of six state tournaments being held at three sites across the state.
None of the tournaments will have as much focus as the Class 6A event, which features top-seeded Central Catholic looking to regain its spot atop the state.
The Rams were heavy favorites to win last season, but were upset by upstart Roseburg in the semifinals, losing 15-13 in the fifth game.
Jesuit then defeated the Indians in the final, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to claim its first title in four years.
The defending champions in four of the other five tournaments return.
Here's a rundown with the finals being held Saturday night at Liberty High School for 6A/5A, Lane Community College for 4A/3A and Ridgeview High School for 2A/1A.
CLASS 6A - Central Catholic's tournament run begins with Sheldon Friday morning and is likely to run into Jesuit Friday night. The teams met in the final from 2009-11 with the Rams winning each time. Lakeridge is the surprise at No. 2 with Three Rivers League rivals Clackamas and West Linn in its half of the bracket. The Pacers have not even reached a final in their history. Roseburg returns as a threat seeded third.
CLASS 5A - Defending champion West Albany played its way to the No. 1 seed during the season and is a heavy favorite to repeat. Churchill, which took the Bulldogs to four game in the final last year, is seeded second. St. Helens, which needed a 19-17 win in the fifth game against Mountain View Saturday, is seeded third with Bend fourth.
CLASS 4A - Is there any doubt Crook County will win its eighth-straight title Saturday night? Well, the Cowgirls are seeded second in the playoffs, so there's a hint of drama. Cascade, which has never played in a final and wasn't in the quarterfinals last season, is seeded first with Hidden Valley and Banks seeded third and fourth, respectively.
CLASS 3A - It's been 31 years since Vale won a title, but the Vikings are seeded first with defending champion Santiam Christian, which has won three titles in the last four seasons, seeded second.
CLASS 2A - Defending champion Culver is back as is finalist Days Creek, which won in 2011. But, the teams would meet in the semifinals leaving a finals spot open for a team such as top-seeded Weston-McEwen, which won in 2010.
CLASS 1A - Defending champion and perennial power Powder Valley, which had reached the final the past three years, didn't qualify for the playoffs leaving top-seeded Lowell as the favorite. A title would be the program's first. Dufur is seeded second.
Games at Southridge, Wilsonville and Scio put rankings to a test
Oct. 12, 2012
Sherwood scored another victory and moved into the top spot among Class 5A football teams Friday with a 35-14 victory at Wilsonville in a Northwest Oregon Conference game.
The Bowmen have lost just once in the past three seasons - the state championship game last year - and improved to 33-1 during that span. They also moved up from No. 3 to No. 1 in the OSAA Power Rankings. Despite the loss, Wilsonville, which held Sherwood to its lowest point total of the season, also moved up - from No. 5 to No. 4.
With neither team likely to lose in the next two weeks, they'll both have the week of No. 2 off as the state playoffs begin with Play-In games involving the teams ranked No. 9 through 24.
In other big games Friday, Southridge scored a huge upset at home against Jesuit, 26-21, which only put more drama into the final two weeks of the season with No. 3 Aloha playing both Jesuit and Southridge in those weeks.
Aloha survived a determined effort from Grant with a 24-16 win. The Warriors play at Jesuit this week.
In Class 3A, Scio scored a 24-21 victory over defending champion Santiam Christian and remained at No. 3 behind Cascade Christian at No. 2 and Dayton at No. 1.
SHERWOOD READIES FOR A LEAGUE TEST
Oct. 10, 2012
One of the state's best football rivalries, the start of a two-game playoff preparation series for Jesuit and another test for a small-school power highlight this weekend's high school games, which contain mostly routine games - or opportunities for big upsets - Thursday night.
No. 3 Sherwood plays at No. 4 Wilsonville for the top spot in the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference, a key position in terms of state playoff seeding and home field advantage, Friday at 7 p.m.
Sherwood enters the game at 6-0 and has outscored opponents by a whopping 309-74, and handed No. 9 Marist its lone loss, 34-20. The Bowmen played in the last two state title games, winning in 2010 before losing last year's final 14-13 to Mountain View.
Wilsonville (5-1) has outscored its opponents 288-88 in its five wins, and has lost only to Sprague of Salem, which is ranked No. 5 at Class 6A. The Wildcats, who were state champions at Class 3A in 2004, have been as far as the semifinals only once since the OSAA moved to six classifications in 2006.
In Class 6A, No. 3 Aloha (6-0) gets to host a rematch with Grant, which handed it a loss last season at Grant Park. The Generals are ranked only 30th and are 3-3 overall, but lost just 42-28 to Sunset and 36-33 two weeks ago at Sprague and to No. 13 Sunset.
No. 4 Jesuit plays at No. 8 Southridge Friday as well, a week before a home game with Aloha. Jesuit has lost just to No. 2 Central Catholic, while Southridge is 3-3 with its three losses by 10 or fewer points. The Skyhawks play Aloha in two weeks.
At Class 3A, defending state champion and fifth-ranked Santiam Christian plays host to No. 3 Scio in a PacWest Conference battle. Scio played in the last three Class 2A state chammpionship games - winning in 2009 and '10, before the school moved up due to its attendance figures. Scio (5-1) has scored 54 points or more in four of its five wins and lost only to top-ranked Dayton (5-0), which lost in the state title game last season. Santiam Christian (5-1) has scored 41 points or more in all of its wins and lost only to No. 2 Cascade Christian (6-0) in its season opener.
Eagles beat Dayton 31-28 on 47-yard field goal as time expires
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
The legs of Jeff Hendrix carried Santiam Christian to the Class 3A football state title Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium.
Hendrix, a 6-foot senior, ran for a pair of touchdowns and kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired to give the Eagles a 31-28 victory over Dayton.
Hendrix, who also had a team-high six tackles and recovered a fumble, capped a six-play, 28-yard drive that took the final 1:02 of the game after the Pirates had rallied from a 28-14 deficit to tie the game.
"That's my first game-winning field goal and my career long," Hendrix said. "I knew it had a chance when I kicked it, but I didn't know it was good until they signaled it because it was right at the right goalpost.
"This is such a great feeling to win and then win like that."
Santiam Christian, which lost the title game to Rainier last season, finished at 14-1 and with its first football championship. Junior quarterback Grant Schroeder passed for 211 yards and ran for 43 yards and a touchdown to lead the Eagles.
Dayton finished 12-2. The Pirates got 178 yards and a score from senior AJ Hedgecock, who also returned an interception for a touchdown.
The game featured 31 points scored in the fourth quarter, which began with the teams tied at 14.