THE MAIN EVENT
Pleasant Hill Billies (3-0) vs. Banks Braves (3-0)
Game facts: 7 p.m. at Pleasant Hill High School
What2Know: Pleasant Hill is undefeated three weeks into the season. A big statement for a team that hasn’t had much success recently. First-year head coach Jeremiah Heacoack now faces his toughest matchup yet, as the Billies host the Banks Braves, a team that moved down from 4A after making
the quarterfinals last season. Pleasant Hill will need to get pressure on Banks’ senior QB Christian Lyda, and will need a clean performance all-around to pull off the upset against the
1-ranked team in 3A football.
Pierre’s take: The Billies have had a better start to the season than anyone could have hoped for, and they’ll face by far their biggest test of the season tomorrow. Pleasant Hill could look to rely on its ground game by controlling the time-of-possession battle with RB Braedon Hazel, but either way the Billies need an inspired offensive performance from senior QB Matt Dutton to pull off the upset.
Quotable: “We look forward to hosting Banks and the challenges they will present,” said Pleasant Hill head coach Jeremiah Heacock
Springfield Millers (2-1) at South Eugene Axe (1-2)
Game facts: 7 p.m. in Eugene
What2Know: The Millers should feel confident coming off an impressive showing at home last week. Springfield should be big favorites this week at South Eugene, but will need to stay focused and avoid a costly upset loss. South Eugene is coming off a tough 58-0 loss to Willamette, and the Millers offense should be able to take full advantage of the Axe defense. A win this week would put Springfield at 3-1 heading into its rivalry matchup at Thurston next week.
Quotable: “We want to get better each day and have the growth mindset of 1% better each day. And if we can do that whether it’s South Eugene, or whoever else, we’re going to be okay. And we look forward to it,” said head coach Miles Haley.
Creswell Bulldogs (2-1) vs. Elmira Falcons (1-2)
Game facts: 7 p.m. at Creswell High School
What2Know: The Bulldogs bounced back in a big way after their loss to Santiam. Creswell now starts league play with a home game against Elmira, which is coming off a 21-7 loss against Sisters. The Falcons will hope to see the return of a healthy Quintin Buckland, as the QB has a dynamic game that could give Creswell trouble. The Bulldogs defense has been causing a lot of turnovers, and should look to continue that aggressive play. A win in its league opener would put Creswell in a great spot heading into its matchup against Siuslaw, the defending 3A state champions, on Sept. 30.
Quotable: “Elmira will be a good test for us as we open league play. Looking forward to putting a good week in to prepare … Buckland has a great arm and the capability to run with it. We will have to make sure defensively we can get some pressure on him … Offensively, we need to keep doing our thing. The linemen need to give Connor time to pass and create holes for ball carriers to run,” said head coach Scott Worsham.
Cottage Grove Lions (0-3) at Sweet Home Huskies (1-2)
Game facts: 7 p.m. in Sweet Home
What2Know: The Lions’ inability to score has plagued them once again, as Cottage Grove has failed to put up any points this season. The Lions now travel for the third consecutive week as well, this time to Sweet Home. Joe Polamalu and his team will be looking to find a formula that works on both sides of the ball, as the defense gave up 42 points last week. The Huskies will be a tough matchup for the Lions, but Cottage Grove needs to show some improvement before its season gets out of control.
Thurston Colts (1-2) vs. Crater Comets (1-2)
Game facts: 7 p.m. at Thurston High School
What2Know: It took three weeks, but the Thurston Colts are finally back in the win column. Thurston traveled to North Eugene and took care of business, and now comes home to face the Crater Comets this week. These teams played an incredibly tight game last season, with Thurston coming out on top 9-0. While this game should be higher scoring, it could still be incredibly exciting. The two teams that were preseason favorites to win the Midwestern league are now 1-2, and the loser of this game will be in an unexpected midseason hole. High stakes and competitive football, a recipe for a thrilling matchup.