To put it simply, the defense of the Silverton High School football team has been dominant this season.
Silverton has allowed 61 points, the fewest among Oregon teams through all classifications, this season, which works out to an average of 5.5 points per game.
Silverton coach John Mannion points out that senior Matt Craig made a big impact in moving from defensive end to middle linebacker this year.
He also talked about the play of linemen Camryn Clokey, Matt Willis, Levi Stadeli and Joe Kuenzi, defensive backs Mathis Kuenzi, Cort Martin, Wyatt Arrington and Travis Sinn, and linebackers Sam Kushnick and Colton Cypert.
Make that every player who gets on the field on defense.
“I think we have a lot of good individual players,” Mannion said. “Collectively, they’re really good as a group. We have a lot of great individuals as part of that, but they play great together.”
In Saturday’s semifinal round, the Foxes (10-1) play, for the fourth time in 19 games, West Albany (10-1) at 5:30 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium.
“We know that we’re going to have our hands full trying to stop these guys Saturday night,” Mannion said. “They’re going to give it their all and be determined.”
The 13 points West Albany scored in the Foxes’ 13-0 loss Sept. 27 were the most Silverton has allowed this season.
Much of the challenge the Foxes face will come from senior running back Jake LaCoste, who has rushed for 1,991 yards and 28 touchdowns on 238 carries this season.
“They’re a great program and Randy Nyquist is a great coach,” Mannion said. “They’ve got a lot of great players. We’re very similar teams in terms of we’re both real physical teams and we both play really good defense.
“Jake LaCoste is as good as it gets running the ball. He deserves all the honors he’s received. There’s a lot more there. Their offensive line has done a good job running the ball. We’ve had three really good games against them in the last two years. We’re hoping to have another real dogfight with them.”
Silverton junior quarterback Cole Chandler has continued to make a big impact for the Foxes.
He is 94 for 158 passing (60 percent) for 1,408 yards and 13 touchdowns with one interception this season.
Chandler, a second-team all-league player this season after being second-team all-state as a sophomore, has been a steady presence under center.
“I think he’s come along great,” Mannion said. “I think he’s been way more than solid. Since that West Albany game, his game has really kind of improved and continued to get better.
“A lot of times a team’s offense really dictates statistics. I know that he runs our offense really well, and he’s a really unselfish kid. He’s been a great leader.”
CVC: With McNary losing 62-7 to Central Catholic in the second round of the 6A state playoffs Friday, it was the fourth time in the eight years of the Central Valley Conference that no team from the league made it to the state quarterfinal round.
The other years were 2006, 2008 and 2011.
Regis: It seems like it’s been a longer drought than it has been.
When Regis plays Heppner at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium, it will mark the first time since 2008 that the team has had a team in the state semifinal round.
“As far as the tradition here at Regis, I know they’ve had a good tradition in a lot of sports,” second-year Regis coach Tom Beckett said. “For me, it’s a first-time experience with myself and the school. We’re just trying to make the best of it and play as long as we can play.
“For me and I think the rest of the coaches, we kind of look at it more from an objective standpoint. We look at the film and evaluate and try and find those weaknesses and fix them.”
The Rams (11-1) defeated Oakland 44-19 in Friday’s quarterfinals behind 347 yards and three rushing touchdowns by Jeremiah Grieser.
Ryan Mumey rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Victor Rodriguez passed for 49 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 48 yards and another score.
The Rams got over the mental hurdle of beating the defending state champion, Oakland, in the win.
“Obviously them being the defending champions could have potentially been something that they let distract them,” Beckett said. “They went in and didn’t let their cages get rattled.”
“I think it’s something that we’ve strived to do all season is not worry about the little distractions from the outside world. We look at where we’re at, where we come from and where we want to go. The kids have done a fabulous job of doing that this season.”
Dayton: There are two undefeated Class 3A teams in Oregon.
After Saturday, there will be one.
Dayton (11-0) travels to Bend’s Summit High School to play Nyssa (11-0) at 3 p.m. in the semifinals of the OSAA state playoffs.
The defending 3A champion Pirates have won 24 consecutive games.
With a team that returned one skill position player this season, it’s been a remarkable accomplishment that Dayton has extended the winning streak.
“They’re working hard and you can see it in their eyes,” Dayton coach Brodie Unger said. “This is their time.”
1A: With St. Paul losing 60-22 to Lowell in the quarterfinals of the OSAA Class 1A state playoffs, this will be the first year since 2008 without a team from 1A Special District 1 in the state championship game.
Either Perrydale or St. Paul has been in the state championship game 10 times since 1999.
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