State heads for football title games

Road wins highlight weekend games; five championships on tap Saturday
Nov. 25, 2012

For a change, home teams didn't dominate one sports bracket Friday. In fact, the quarterfinals of the Class 6A playoffs were all won by road teams.

In an odd twist, Jesuit, Sheldon, Lake Oswego and Tigard all played and won on the road Friday to earn spots in the semifinals Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.

The wins in Class 6A, though, were nothing compared to the upheaval that happened in Class 4A, where North Bend and Baker, who were seeded No. 3 and 4, respectively in their half of the 16-team playoff bracket, reached the title game - each after winning at least one road game, or in Baker's case, a three-overtime game. The teams, each at least four hours from Portland, will meet Saturday in the championship game at Hillsboro Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.

Saturday's games include five championship games and the two Class 6A semifinals, which involve traditional state contenders. Tigard and Lake Oswego, which won last year, play at noon, while Jesuit and Sheldon, which lost in the final a year ago, play at 4.

The Class 5A, 4A and 2A title games will be played at Hillsboro Stadium.

Following the Baker-North Bend final, Class 2A's Portland Christian and Oakland - both seeded third, will suit up for a 4:15 p.m. contest.

At 7:30 p.m. No. 1 Sherwood will take on second-seed Marist int he Class 5A final.



Rankings start to clarify after Week 2 results

Sheldon tames Central Catholic, PIL gets hammered again
Sept. 7, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

A week after pummeling Astoria 52-0 on the road, Gladstone took advantage of a series of turnovers and hammered Roosevelt on the road to improve to 2-0 as the second week of the prep football season played itself out Friday night.

Gladstone, which last won a state title 40 years ago, got a pair of short scoring runs from junior quarterback Austin Galvin and a defensive effort that included a pair of turnovers that ended drives by the Roughriders inside the Gladiator 20. On the night, five different players scored for Gladstone, which is two weeks away from a Tri-Valley League showdown with defending state champion LaSalle.

"We haven't forgotten them," said senior linebacker Oscar Sanchez, who had 12 tackles in the game. "We want to get back for losing to them last year. We've got a good defense, and want to show them that."

Of the numerous key games, Sherwood had the biggest win, upending Marist on the roa, 38-20.

Sheldon, the state runner-up last year, beat Central Catholic 33-26 in a road game played at Oregon City High.

In Portland, Grant powered past neighborhood rival Jefferson 58-12 in one of the Portland Interscholastic League's few wins of the 2012 season. Of the nine teams from the Portland Public Schools, only four have won at least one game. Overall, the district is 4-14, which includes the Grant win over league rival,

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.






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