Greater Valley Conference
Game of the week
No. 8 South Salem at West Salem, 7:15 p.m.
On the air: Video on CCTV2 Channel 22 at 11:59 p.m.
League lead sort of on the line: South Salem is 3-0 in the GVC; West Salem is 2-0 in the GVC. In most years this game would be for the top spot in the league, but Sprague is 3-0 and McNary is 2-0 and will have a lot to say about which team wins the league championship. Still, these are the top two teams in the league in the OSAA’s power rankings (South Salem is No. 11 and West Salem is No. 12).
Back home: West Salem made its longest trip of the season last weekend with a 66-48 loss to Ballard of Seattle. Senior quarterback Brody Wittman was 15 of 32 passing for 213 yards and five touchdowns, but was intercepted three times. Senior running back Kyle Terry was limited to 43 yards rushing on 13 carries.
North Salem at McMinnville, 7:15 p.m.
On the air: Radio on http://www.klyc.us.
Vikings are hot: North Salem (2-1 GVC) has won two straight and faces a McMinnville team that has struggled early in the season. The Vikings have held their past two opponents – West Albany and McKay – to a combined nine points. North Salem has been winning in interesting ways, including quarterback Hunter Sullivan rushing for two touchdowns against McKay.
Reeling McMinnville: There is no team in the state that needs a win more than the Grizzlies (0-3). McMinnville has had a tough go of it against a tough schedule that included West Salem, South Salem and Sprague. McMinnville fumbled the ball away three times against Sprague in last week’s 42-28 loss and gave up 360 yards rushing.
A running league: The Greater Valley Conference earned a reputation this season as one where the majority of the teams focus on running the football. North Salem is a good example of that, and a 246-yard performance against McKay is proof.
Sprague at Forest Grove, 7:15 p.m.
Good start, but a long way to go: That the Olympians have started the season is 3-0 – and have a good shot to make it 4-0 by playing at a reeling 1-2 Forest Grove team – is no surprise. But there is a reason Sprague is No. 25 in the OSAA’s power rankings and off most people’s radar: the team’s first three opponents are a combined 0-9. The road gets harder after tonight as Sprague plays at West Salem and South Salem in the next two weeks and with the toughest part of the season still ahead it gets way harder from here.
McNary at McKay, 7:15 p.m.
Proving they can pass: The misconception early in the season was that the Celtics (2-1, 2-0 GVC) were going to run the ball 50 times a game. McNary’s been close to that, but the Celtics have also showed they can pass. McNary quarterback Trent Van Cleave was 15 for 29 passing for 183 yards and a touchdowns in Friday’s 31-22 win against West Albany. The Celtics proved to McKay (0-3 GVC) that they will have work to do pass tonight in the secondary.
Game of the week
No. 10 Central at Dallas, 7 p.m.
On the air: Radio on KYKN 1430 AM
On the upshot: Dallas’ new spread offense finally gained traction in last week’s 53-14 win against Woodburn as junior quarterback Harrison Broadus passed for 245 yards and three touchdowns, but the Dragons face one of the top defenses in the state this week in Central. The Panthers (2-1, 1-0 Mid-Willamette) have held their opponents to a total of 37 points this season.
Progressing handsomely: Central’s young offense has grown up fast as wins against Mountain View and South Albany have displayed. Sophomore quarterback Peter Mendazona completed 55 percent of his passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns and junior running back Alvin Berroa rushed for 399 yards and three touchdowns on 56 carries.
Woodburn at South Albany, 7 p.m.
Long way to go on defense: The 159 points the Bulldogs (0-3, 0-1 Mid-Willamette) allowed this season is the most by any team in Class 5A this season. The team is making progress on offense, but not many teams will win games when they allow 53 points as Woodburn did last week against Dallas.
Crescent Valley at No. 5 Silverton, 7 p.m.
Reinstated star: Crescent Valley running back and safety Kevin Lahoda was to be suspended for this game after being ejected from last week’s win against Corvallis, but the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported Wednesday that his suspension was overturned on appeal to the OSAA. The Foxes (2-1, 1-0 Mid-Willamette) will have to account for Lahoda’s presence on the field at all times.
Oregon West Conference
Game of the week
No. 1 Cascade at No. 4 Philomath, 7 p.m.
Battle of heavyweights: Opening the Oregon West Conference season with a battle of teams of the caliber of the Cougars (3-0) and the Warriors (2-1) may seem a touch anticlimactic, but it will give the rest of the state an indication of if Cascade deserves the No. 1 ranking it currently holds of if Banks, the only team Philomath lost to this season, should be on top.
Find another route: This may be the hardest to get to high school football game of the season. Outside of taking highway 34 through Corvallis – and directly past Oregon State where the Beavers are playing Stanford at 7 p.m. – there aren’t a lot of great ways to get to Philomath from Turner. The next best option may be taking highway 22 west into Dallas and going down Kings Valley Highway to get to Philomath.
Newport at No. 7 Stayton, 7 p.m.
A blooming offense: After pulling out close, low scoring wins in the first two weeks, the Eagles torched the scoreboard in Madras in a 54-0 win. Stayton (3-0) has the offensive firepower to keep up with anybody behind senior quarterback Kyle Schwarm, who has completed 30 of 61 passes for 546 yards and three touchdowns. Playing a Newport (0-3) team that has given up 122 points in its first three games, the Eagles will have a chance to tee off and score a ton of points.
Yamhill-Carlton at North Marion, 7 p.m.
A good time for a win streak: The Huskies (1-2) defeated Tillamook 37-7 Friday behind three touchdown passes from Tanner Scanlan, but have a great chance to extend that to two wins in a row against a Yamhill-Carlton (0-3) team that has struggled this season.
West Valley League
Game of the week
Santiam Christian at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Battle at the top: There is no doubt the Eagles (3-0, 1-0 West Valley) and Pirates (3-0, 1-0 West Valley) are two of the top teams in Class 3A this season. Santiam Christian has thoroughly dominated all of its opponents this season and has a chance to alert the rest of the state that it deserves to be No. 1. But Dayton has a knack for pulling out close wins and has the athletes to compete with Santiam Christian.
Sheridan at Amity, 7 p.m.
Improving ground game: The Warriors (1-2) showed they can run the ball, but now getting into West Valley League play, things will get harder. Junior Niko Mudong has rushed for 303 yards and two touchdowns, Colby Graham has rushed for 179 yards and Brady Baughman has rushed for 105 yards. The Spartans (1-2, 0-1 West Valley) have lost two straight after winning their season opener.
Gervais at Colton, 7 p.m.
Making progress: The Cougars (0-3, 0-1 West Valley) have been progressing on offense since being shut out by Sheridan in their opener, but a Colton team that is still No. 4 in the OSAA’s power rankings despite a heartbreaking loss to Salem Academy last week will be a significantly harder challenge for their passing game.
Game of the week
Salem Academy at Scio, 7 p.m.
Battle at the top, part 2: Both teams are undefeated and among of the top teams in Class 3A this season with Scio No. 1 in the OSAA’s power rankings and Salem Academy No. 3. Scio’s trademark double-wing rushing attack has put up huge numbers, led by senior running back Anthony Johnson’s 701 yards and eight touchdowns rushing and Logan Gray’s 395 yards and seven touchdowns.
Surprising Crusaders: Salem Academy (3-0) wasn’t supposed to be among the elite teams in the state this season, but they are so far. The Crusaders won their two games on the field, 18-12, including last week’s win against Colton. With an experienced senior quarterback in Andrew Baker under center, Salem Academy has the potential to keep up with a tough Scio team.
Blanchet at Chemawa, 7 p.m. Saturday
Rebound time: The Cavaliers’ league championship hopes took a big hit in last week’s 42-20 loss to Scio. There’s no better time to get things going correctly again than against a Chemawa team that lost its first game of the season 60-0 to Vernonia.
Jefferson at Gaston, 7 p.m.
Lions are making progress: Jefferson’s 47-14 win against Gervais last week was a sign that the Lions (1-2, 0-1 PacWest) have gotten better. Jefferson has some standout athletes such as senior Justus Arlundson, who give the team a chance to win games.
Class 2A nonleague
Game of the week
Regis at St. Mary’s, 7 p.m.
Where: Crater High School
Ball control importance: St. Mary’s (2-1) has been opportunistic this season, especially in Friday’s 41-7 win against Gold Beach when the Crusaders returned two turnovers for touchdowns. Regis (2-1) is No. 2 in the OSAA’s Class 2A power rankings.
Kennedy at Creswell, 7 p.m.
Final tune-up for league: Kennedy is one of three 3-0 teams in the Tri-River Conference. This cross-classification game against Creswell serves as a tune-up before playing Santiam in the league opener Oct. 2. Kennedy running back Bishop Mitchell rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns against Amity last week.
St. Paul at Willamina, 7 p.m.
Tony Smith’s return to Willamina: The St. Paul coach’s first head coaching job was at Willamina in 1994. This is his first time returning to the school as head coach since then. Class 2A St. Paul (2-1) is playing its third 3A opponent of the season and is 1-1 against 3A teams so far. Willamina sophomore quarterback Brad Milton is 27 of 48 passing for 235 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions this season.
Reedsport at Santiam, 7 p.m.
A surprise No. 1: The Wolverines are 3-0 and are in the top spot in the OSAA’s Class 2A power rankings. Senior running back Joel Hills has been a standout in the running game and the Wolverines have been utilizing him to his full potential.
Game of the week
No. 1 Dufur at Perrydale, 7 p.m.
A true test: Perrydale (3-0, 1-0 Special District 4) has had success since dropping back down to Class 1A, but this is the team’s first real test. Dufur is No. 1 in the OSAA’s power rankings and the coaches poll. The Rangers defeated Perrydale 46-8 when the teams played last year so this will be the best indication if the Pirates are for real. Perrydale running back Kennan Bailey scored three touchdowns in last week’s win against Mitchell/Spray/Wheeler.
Falls City at North Douglas, 7 p.m.
League opener: The Mountaineers (0-3) play a North Douglas (2-1, 1-2 Special District 3) team that has won its past two games by a combined score of 124-0.