Cameron Molan doesn’t think he’s the speed guy.
His play indicates otherwise.
On the few times the Cascade High School senior receiver had a pass come his way, the 6-foot-1 Molan made opponents pay.
In the first quarter of Cascade’s win against Banks in the state semifinals, Molan took a pass from John Schirmer 20 yards down the field. He turned and made the defensive backs look silly on his way to an 83-yard touchdown.
“Cam is a great player,” said senior defensive lineman Aiden Littau. “I love him.”
When No. 9-seed Cascade (11-1) plays No. 3 seed Scappoose (10-1) for the OSAA Class 4A state championship at noon Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium, most people will look for Cascade senior running back Garrett Coffey to run the ball a lot.
In Cascade’s run-heavy offense – it’s not unusual for the Cougars to run the ball 40 to 60 times a game – Molan can be overlooked by defenses.
“He gets lost in the game because we do run the ball so much, so he’s sneaky good,” Cascade coach Steve Turner said. “When they least expect him, that’s when he makes the big plays, and then he wakes everybody up that hey I’m out here.
“We know he’s a really good receiver and we know what we can do.”
Cascade is playing Scappoose for the second time this season – the Cougars won 47-34 in the season opener.
To say that there is familiarity between the teams would be putting it lightly.
“In the past two years we’ve played them three times, this will be our fourth,” defensive lineman Dom Federico said. “And a lot of the guys for them, they’ve started multiple years, now same with us. We’re really familiar with each other, I think. That will make a good matchup as well.”
The challenge for Cascade’s defense is going to get pressure on Scappoose quarterback Robert Lohman, who has passed for 32 touchdowns and completed 67 percent of his passes, while containing Lohman and Braden Clark, who have combined to rush for 22 touchdowns.
To do that, Cascade has to rely on its eight-man rotation of defensive linemen.
The group has been one of the team’s biggest strengths.
“Especially with our D-line, we have so many good players on the D line that we can rotate and there’s not a drop off,” Littau said. “That’s so nice.
“When I can have Dom come in and there’s not a drop off, that’s super nice because I can sit out for more than just three plays, and I can get rested and he can still kick butt while he’s in there. It’s just nice to be able to trust everyone to get their job done.”
The Cougars are in the state championship game for the first time since 1980.
Cascade’s run of the past four years has brought back to the level of the state’s elite, but getting to play for a state championship is another step.
“It’s kind of what it’s always been about to us,” Molan said. “The finals used to be in December so we’d always say, ‘Go till December,’ but now we just say, ‘Win the last week.’ And right now we’re in the last week so it’s just really important to us because this has been our goal the whole year.”
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6701 or Twitter.com/bpoehler
State championship games
4A: Cascade vs. Scappoose, noon Saturday, at Hillsboro Stadium.
3A: Santiam Christian vs. Vale, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, at Hermiston High School.
2A: Kennedy vs. Heppner, 6 p.m. Saturday, at Hermiston High School.