No. 3 Cascade vs. No. 2 Scappoose, noon Saturday
Where: Hillsboro Stadium
Championship game experience: Cascade is in the state championship game for the second time, the first was in 1980 when the Karl Elliott-led Cougars won the AA state championship. Fourth-year Cascade coach Steve Turner guided Mountain View to the 5A state championship in 2011. Scappoose is in the state championship game for the first time since 2002 when the program won its third consecutive state championship, and the Indians are still guided by the coach, Sean McNabb, who led the team to those three state championships.
Rematch: In the season opener on Sept. 4 Cascade beat Scappoose 47-34 behind 296 yards and four touchdowns rushing on 52 carries from senior running back Garrett Coffey. But Cascade’s defense had to stand tall after Scappoose rallied to tie the game at 34 with 7:34 left, including Tristan Combs returning a fumble with 28 seconds left to seal the win.
A defensive challenge: No. 9 seed Cascade (11-1) is facing one of the most prolific offenses in the state in No. 3 seed Scappoose (10-1), which has scored a 4A-best 534 points, and done so in impressive ways. Senior quarterback Robert Lohman has completed 67 percent (156 of 234) of his passes for 2,641 yards and 32 touchdowns against three interceptions and has rushed for 388 yards and eight touchdowns on 91 carries. Scappoose senior running back Braden Clark has rushed for 1,406 yards and 14 touchdowns and Jarrett White has rushed for 291 yards and seven touchdowns. Scappoose senior running back Brennan McNabb has caught 69 passes for 1,311 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Vale vs. Santiam Christian, 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Hermiston High School
Last champion standing: No. 2 seed Vale (10-1) is the only of last year’s state champions still with a chance to win a second straight championship. The Vikings’ 42-14 win against Scio in the state semifinals, behind 267 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries, was proof that the team is favorite to win the championship again. Vale hasn’t lost to an Oregon opponent since 2013. The Vikings have won 11 state championships.
Championship experience: No. 4 seed Santiam Christian (11-1) is in the state championship game for the first time since 2011 when it won the school’s only state championship. But the Eagles have plenty of big-game experience at the helm. Santiam Christian coach Matt Bain was a star running back on Salem Academy’s 1988 and 1989 Class A state championship teams. Defensive coordinator Frank Bain was Salem Academy’s coach for five years ending with those two state championships in 1988 and 1989.
Kennedy vs. Heppner, 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Hermiston High School
Trying to finally get one: No. 4 seed Kennedy (10-1) is in the state championship game for the fourth time in school history, the most recent in 2009. But the Trojans have never won a state championship in football and this may be the team’s best shot yet.
Favorite all season: No. 2 seed Heppner (12-0) lost 49-0 to Burns in last year’s state championship game and has been a dominant team this year. The Mustangs have scored a 2A-best 579 points this season. Heppner has five players who have rushed for more than 300 yards this season: C.J. Kindle (878 yards, 15 TDs), Tommy Bredfield (574 yards, eight TDs), Logan Grieb (477 yards, six TDs), Kaden Clark (374 yards, 10 TDs) and Weston Putman (300 yards, five TDs).