Lake Oswego runs past Sheldon to first title

Steven Long's 4 touchdowns carries LO to a 47-14 win in Class 6A final
By Cliff Pfenning,

The long awaited state championship Lake Oswego athletes, coaches, parents, alumni and residents have sought in football finally arrived Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.

Behind a dominating offensive line, slick-footed Steven Long ran for 322 yards and four touchdowns and the Lakers held Sheldon scoreless in the second half on the way to a 47-14 win in the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Class 6A state championship game before a raucous crowd of more than 6,000 fans.

Lake Oswego broke a 14-all tie with a 35-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in the first half and overwhelmed the Irish in the second half, 30-0, for the school's first title in its 61-year history.

No other school across the state had won as many playoff games - 40 - without winning a title. Saturday, the Lakers passed that statistic off to Canby and its 36 wins.

"I'm so proud of these kids and what we've been able to do this year," said coach Steve Coury, who's guided the program for 20 years. "I'm so happy that we're finally able to bring a title home to Lake Oswego and our great fans."

"This is an amazing feeling because of all the people who support us and we get to share this with them," Long said. "There's been so many great people who've been part of this program and now we all finally have a championship."

The Lakers, who finished 14-0, ground out 349 yards on the ground on 63 carries - 42 by Long - and amassed 490 total yards.

Sheldon, which finished 13-1, got a pair of scoring runs from Conor Strahm, but couldn't match the Lakers' energy on offense or defense. The Irish suffered only their second defeat in three seasons, both to Lake Oswego.

Saturday's game was the eighth time the teams have met in the playoffs in the past 10 seasons. Lake Oswego had won four of the previous seven but hadn't won a title, while Sheldon won the state championship three times.

The teams traded scores in the first half and were tied at 14 after Strahm scored on a 1-yard plunge with 2:26 left in the second quarter. A short kick-off gave the Lakers the ball at their 37 and they marched to the Sheldon 10 in just four plays, aided by a pair of personal foul penalties at the end of the first play, a 9-yard run by Long in which he was tackle by his face mask and then hit out of bounds. Sheldon's defense held, but the 35-yard field goal by Harrison Greenberg gave the team the lead and they received the opening kick of the second half.

Long scored on the third play of the second half with a dazzling 51-yard run and the Lakers followed that up with an interception by Jordan Horak and a 48-yard scoring drive capped by a 2-yard run from quarterback Alex Matthews to take a 31-14 lead.

"At haltime we knew were going to get the ball and that first possession was huge for us," Matthews said. "When we scored, we knew we just had to keep playing like we were and finish and we'd win."


Sheldon vs. Lake Oswego is one tough rivalry

The schools prepare for their eighth playoff meeting Saturday
By Cliff Pfenning,

It's not hard to view Sheldon and Lake Oswego as the top rivals in high school football today.

They don't play in the same league and almost never meet during the regular season, but the games they play carry the most weight because they're in the playoffs.

When the Irish and Lakers meet for the Class 6A state title Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field, it'll be the eighth time the teams have met in the playoffs in the past 10 years.

Starting with the 2002 title game, the teams have met in the playoffs every year but 2005 and '06, with one of the teams having their season end each time. The streak includes the past four seasons.

Lake Oswego owns a 4-3 edge in the series, but the Irish have had better luck in the decade by winning the state title each time it beat the Lakers in the playoffs.

If Sheldon wins Saturday, it'll be the fourth time it's beaten Lake Oswego and won the state title each year. It'll also be the second time in three years they've gone unbeaten.

Lake Oswego has yet to win a title.

Sheldon is 38-1 since losing to Lake Oswego in the quarterfinals of the 2008 playoffs. The one loss? Lake Oswego, 45-14, in the quarterfinals last year.

This season, the Irish scored 35 points or more in their first 12 games, a streak broken only by their 18-9 semifinal win over Central Catholic in the semifinals. The streak included a 52-37 win over state power Jesuit in the second week of the season.

The Lakers are also 13-0 and have two wins over Jesuit, including 21-13 in the semifinals.

Amazingly, both schools are in the playoffs for the 13th straight year, a streak that began for both teams in 1999. Both teams have won 33 playoff games heading into Saturday's game. Lake Oswego just has three more losses - 12. Only Jesuit has more playoff wins - 35 - in that time among Class 6A schools.






Late kick earns Santiam Christian 3A title

Eagles beat Dayton 31-28 on 47-yard field goal as time expires
By Cliff Pfenning,

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.


Dayton avenges loss, returns to title game

Pirates beat Rainier, Scio moves toward another title
By Cliff Pfenning,

Dayton returned to an OSAA football championship game after a nine-year absence with a 52-20 win over Rainier Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium.

The Pirates got three touchdowns and a field goal from senior AJ Hedgecock and three touchdown passes from junior Nate Bernards in a semifinal rematch with the Columbians, who won last year's battle 34-20 and went on to win the Class 3A state title over Santiam Christian.

Hedgecock also threw for a score as the Pirates gave themselves another shot at a state title.

Dayton (12-0) last played in the state final in 2002, when it beat Amity 45-20 for its sixth title under coach Dewey Sullivan.

Sullivan passed away during the 2006 football season after coaching the Pirates for 42 seasons. Sullivan holds the state record for wins at 352 and guided the Pirates to five state titles.

Dayton is in its first title game under second-year coach Gary Thorson.

Many of the core Dayton players also play for the school's basketball team, which lost in the state final the past two seasons.


Scio's ground game an opportunistic defense rolled past Weston-McEwen 46-8 and set up a rematch of last season's title game with Gold Beach, which beat Oakland 50-6.

The Loggers, who lost only to Dayton 28-6 in the first week of the season, gave up their first touchdown of the playoffs in the win.


Siuslaw's run of nine straight playoff appearances reached the state final with a 38-21 win over Central Saturday at Cottage Grove High School.

The Vikings, who won the 4A title in 2006 - the first year the state featured six classifications, got four touchdown runs from Sony Tupua in the win.



Home teams dominate weekend games

Tripleheaders highlight semifinal action
By Cliff Pfenning,

Home teams went 24-2 during the weekend to set up a powerhouse line-up of prep football quarterfinals and semifinals this weekend.

Among the games, Portland power Grant plays at Sheldon, Tigard plays at Jesuit and the top seeds in Class 5A through 1A will play in the semifinals in one of two doubleheaders or one of two tripleheaders set for Friday or Saturday.

Of the 14 teams seeded No. 1 in the six playoff brackets, only one has been upset on its home field.

The state finals for Class 5A through 1A are scheduled for Dec. 3, while the Class 6A final is set for Dec. 10.

Among the semifinalists, Sherwood, Rainier and Scio continued toward defending the championship they won last year.

Jesuit's 22-14 win over Tualatin Friday moved the Crusaders one step closer to winning a title the school needs to keep its 20-year streak of titles in at least one fall sport alive.

The tripleheaders set for Hillsboro Stadium or Cottage Grove Saturday feature one semifinal each from among Class 4A, 3A and 2A, while the Class 5A semifinals will be played at Willamette University Friday and the Class 1A semfinals will be played at Summit High School in Bend on Saturday.

The four Class 6A quarterfinals will be played at home sites: Sheldon, Jesuit, Roseburg and Jeld-Wen Field, where Central Catholic plays its home games.


CENTRAL CATHOLIC 48, Thurston 27
GRANT 41, Canby 14
JESUIT 22, Tualatin 14
LAKE OSWEGO 49, West Salem 28
OREGON CITY 28, David Douglas 18
SHELDON 45, Lincoln 21
Roseburg 48, SOUTH MEDFORD 7
TIGARD 48, Southridge 17

MARIST 49, Wilsonville 14
MOUNTAIN VIEW 42, Lebanon 21
SHERWOOD 14, Ashland 3
WEST ALBANY 28, Bend 21

CENTRAL 36, Klamath Union 7
ELMIRA 35, Douglas 7
SIUSLAW 35, Baker 18
LA SALLE PREP 32, North Bend 30

DAYTON 55, Pleasant Hill 19
RAINIER 58, Lakeview / Paisley 17
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 21, Horizon Christian 18

OAKLAND 14, Monroe 6
Weston-McEwen 20, KENNEDY 6
SCIO 50, Lost River 0
GOLD BEACH 28, Regis 16

PERRYDALE 42, St. Paul 12
CRANE 34, Sherman 28
CAMAS VALLEY 60, Dufur 0
TRIAD 42, Imbler 14


Grant races past Canby into quarterfinals

Big plays key 41-14 win for steaking Generals
By Cliff Pfenning,

The Grant Generals showed off their love for big plays consistently in a 41-14 win over Canby Friday night at Lincoln High.

Junior Nathan Halverson scored on a 36-yard run, 64-yard reception and 97-yard kickoff return and sophomore defensive back Cordell Harris ran back an interception 100 yards for a score at the close of the first half that boosted the Generals into the quarterfinals of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires state playoffs.

Junior back Bryant Peek sparked the offense with 150 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and senior quarterback Paris Penn threw for two scores, including a 5-yard connection with senior Jamarr Graves who had been left completely uncovered on the play.

With the win, the Generals advance to the quarterfinals and a trip to Eugene to play top-ranked Sheldon Friday.

Grant improved to 9-2 overall. Sheldon moved to 11-0 after beating Lincoln Friday.

Of all the big plays the Generals had Friday, none were more vital than the interception return.

Trying to fend off a last-second score at the close of the first half, Harris stepped in front of a severly underthrown pass at the goal line and ran for a score that turned what might have been a one-possession game into a 28-6 halftime lead the Cougars were unable to overcome.



Jesuit football ready to save school honor

Gridiron gang is final hope to keep fall title streak alive
By Cliff Pfenning,

The football team at Jesuit has annual expectations for bringing a state championship home to the school, but this year that expectation has special importance - at least for historical purposes.

Jesuit has not won a state title yet this fall, something that hasn't happened since 1990.

Since the Crusaders won the boys soccer title in 1991, which was its fourth in six years, the school has won a state title every year in at least one fall sport: cross country, volleyball, boys and girls soccer and football.

Every year.

Five times in the 20-year streak, Jesuit has won three titles, including last year when it won titles in boys and girls soccer and girls cross country. The volleyball team finished second, the boys cross country team finished third and the football team reached the semifinals, completing one of the most successful athletic seasons for any school in the state, and perhaps across the nation. 

The boys soccer team started the streak by winning four straight titles beginning in '91 (streak years 91-94). The girls team won six straight state titles beginning in '94 (95-99). Boys cross country won in 2000. Boys soccer won 2001, and girls cross country has won the team title every year since 2002.

This fall, the boys cross country team placed fourth and the girls team placed third. The volleyball team reached the state final, but lost the championship match for the third straight year. The boys soccer team, seeded first in its quarter of the 32-team bracket, lost in the quarterfinals. The girls soccer team, also seeded first, lost in the quarterfinals as well.

That leaves the football team, seeded first in its quarter of the 32-team bracket, to carry the weight of the school's fall title streak.

Jesuit, ranked fourth at the end of the season, plays host to fourth seed Tualatin at 7 p.m.

Winning state is certainly within reach of the school's football program. For starters, Jesuit has reached the state playoffs every year since 1992, a 19-year streak that is the longest of any OSAA school at any classification. In that span, the Crusaders have reached the title game four times and won three.

Recently, the program has been ultrasuccessful. Jesuit has reached the semifinals six times in the last seven season, missing out only in 2007, the only time in the 19-year streak that the team hasn't won at least one playoff game.

Here's a listing of Jesuit's success in fall team sports since winning the boys soccer title in 1991. The titles total 39 in 20 years.



2000, 2002, 2004, 2008


1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010




1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2010


1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010


2000, 2005, 2006

Football heads for the real playoffs Friday

With play-in rounds done, counting playoff games begin
By Cliff Pfenning,

The elimination round of the state playoffs began for most of the state last week, but they weren't counted as actual playoff games historically.

Actual playoff games begin this week, with teams seeded No. 1 through 8 at all six classifications.

They're seeded through No. 8 in two brackets for classes 1 through 5 and in four brackets at Class 6A.

Of the four teams seeded No. 1 in the six classifications, five will be looking for their first title: Lake Oswego and West Linn at Class 6A, La Salle at 4A, Santiam Christian at 3A and Crane at 1A.

Two are defending champions: Sherwood at 5A and Scio at 2A, which is a two-time defending champion.

Dayton, making its 26th playoff appearance, will be looking for its seventh state title, the last coming in 2002.

Jesuit and Marist will both be looking for title No. 6. Both have lengthy playoff streaks - Jesuit 19 straight seasons, Marist 15 straight.

Gold Beach is making its eighth-straight playoff appearance, but hasn't won a title since 1963.

Camas Valley has won four titles, but none since 1990. The Hornets lost in the Class 1A title game last season.

This year's playoffs will not include the state's two most successful programs: Vale and North Medford. Vale, with 67 playoff wins, suffered through a 1-8 season in Class 3A, and North Medford, with 66 playoff wins - most before South Medford was created in 1986, lost at David Douglas in the 6A play-in round Friday.


PIL saves at least some face

Jefferson overcomes Parkrose in play-in round, 36-19
By Cliff Pfenning,

It took a fortuitous bounce on a punt and a couple big catches by senior Ray Burney III, but the Jefferson football team continued to be the class of the Portland Interscholastic League Friday with a 36-19 win over visiting Parkrose in the play-in round of the OSAA Class 5A state playoffs.

Jefferson led 24-19 at the start of the fourth quarter, but momentum had clearly shifted to the Broncos, who had rallied from a 24-7 halftime deficit to within just needing the ball to drive for another score. But the punt bounced off the back of a blocking back and the Demos recovered at the Parkrose 40.

The ensuing possession, though, went backward due to penalties and Jefferson faced third and 18 when quarterback Deven Jackson tossed a screen to Burney, who streaked up the left sideline for a 19-yard gain and a first down. After another first down, Jackson hooked up with Burney on an 18-yard scoring pass for a 30-19 lead with 7:01 left.

The Demos slid another score between a pair of stalled Parkrose drives and reached the 16-team playoff round for the sixth straight year. Jefferson is the lone Portland Interscholastic League team in the final 16 and is the lone PIL team to have won a playoff game since the state moved to six classifications in 2006.

"We've been thinking we have to represent the league," Burney said afterward. "Everyone thinks our league is weak, so we have to prove them wrong. And you do that by winning."

Jefferson, which entered the playoffs ranked No. 21 among the 37 Class 5A teams, are expected to play at Mountain View of Bend next week. The Demos have reached at least the quarterfinals the past five years and played in the championship game in 2009. Twice in the past five seasons, they've played Mountain View, splitting the two games.

The remaining three PIL teams in the play-in round lost Frdiay, including Benson's 61-0 defeat at top-ranked Sherwood. The PIL finished the season with the five lowest-ranked teams. Franklin lost at Liberty 35-14 and Wilson lost at Wilsonville.

Parkrose's playoff misery continues. The Broncos won a play-in round game last year and reached the playoffs for the first time in 28 years last season, but lost in the round of 16. Parkrose has still not won a playoff game in its history, although the school is hopeful about next season after a class of 25 freshmen played through the fall.


Top ranks, streaks get tested

Roseburg, Rainier face key games, Sunset looks for relief
By Cliff Pfenning,

Roseburg and South Medford renew their rivalry, while Sunset takes aim at a long losing streak and the top 3A and 2A teams meet as the prep football community springs into action again tonight.

Both Roseburg and South Medford have dominated their opponents at Class 6A this season. The Indians are 4-0 and ranked No. 1 in the OSAA power poll having outscored opponents 145-20. South Medford is 4-0 and No. 10 having outscored its opponents 184-42, including a 56-0 win over crosstown rival North Medford. The teams are set to meet in Roseburg.

Sunset has also dominated its opposition this season and is looking to beat neighboring Jesuit for the first time since 1993. The Apollos have racked up 183 points while allowing just 14 - all in the first quarter of their season-opening 21-14 win over Gresham. Since that quarter, Sunset hasn't allowed a point.

Jesuit is 2-2 and has given up 35 or more points in three of its games, including a 49-21 loss to Lake Oswego last week.

At Class 3A, Rainier travels to Scio for a duel among two of the top small schools. Both have wins over Washington schools this season.

Sherwood, the top-ranked school at Class 5A, plays host to Liberty in a Northwest Oregon Conference game, while No. 2 Marist, which has won its three Midwestern League games by a combined 157-14, plays host to Eagle Point, 2-2.

Siuslaw, the top 4A team at 3-0, is averaging 42 points per game as it heads to Sutherlin, 2-2.

At Class 1A, top-ranked Perrydale plays at Falls City, which is coming off a 68-16 loss to St. Paul.


RSS feed