Sports Zone



Creswell Bulldogs at Pleasant Hill Billies

■ Game facts: 5 p.m. at PHHS, 84455 N. Enterprise Rd. … Bulldogs are 4-3; Billies are 3-4.
■ What2Know: The Bulldogs and Billies are both on the playoff bubble, and a loss for either team could eliminate them. Pleasant Hill’s defense has given up an average of 39 points during their four game losing streak, but they have a chance for redemption against a run-heavy Bulldog offense. The Billies will need to contain Creswell’s dynamic duo of quarterback Connor Hanson and running back Jack Nguyen if they want to stay in it. On Creswell’s side, they’ll want to ride that dynamic duo and continue to rely on a defense that’s forced 17 turnovers on the year.
■ Pierre’s take: A referee shortage leading to a 5 p.m. start and rain on the forecast could mean a soggy affair in Pleasant Hill. High stakes and classic Oregon weather, is there a better recipe for Friday Night Lights?
■ Quotable: “We need to be committed. Come to practice, work hard and get after it here and make sure things are polished up on offense. Make sure we, defensively, know how to stop these guys.”
– Creswell head coach Scott Worsham


Junction City Tigers at Cottage Grove Lions

■ Game facts: 7 p.m. at CGHS, 1375 S. River Rd. … Tigers are 5-2; Lions are 0-7.
■ What2Know: The Lions host the Tigers in their final league game, and final home game, of the season. Cottage Grove’s offense has grown immensely this season, in part because of sophomore Nathin Lemon taking over the starting quarterback gig. An 0-7 season means many things, one of which is that the final two games are about heart, and the future. Head coach Joe Polamalu will want to see his team continue its upward trend no matter the results, and any experience for the young quarterback is paramount for the team’s future.

Springfield Millers at North Eugene Highlanders

■ Game facts: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at SHS, 875 7th St. … Millers (5-2); Highlanders (3-4)
■ What2Know: Springfield hosts North Eugene on a rare Thursday night game. Both teams ride two-game win streaks into this game, and both will want to continue that trend. After clinching their first winning season since 2015, the Millers won’t want to take their foot off the pedal. Senior wide receiver Dwayne Fotta is an explosive playmaker for the Millers, and had a huge game last time out against Willamette. Quarterback Caeleb Kasperek will continue to find his favorite target in Thursday’s game, and head coach Miles Haley should continue feeding running back Connor Dye, who has amassed 584 yards rushing on the season. A win for Springfield would clinch a playoff berth for the first time in seven years.

Thurston Colts at Willamette Wolverines

■ Game facts: 7 p.m. at THS, 333 58th St. … Colts are 5-2; Wolverines are 3-4.
■ What2Know: Thurston had a rare midseason bye week thanks to a forfeit win over South Eugene. The Colts now host a Wolverine team that is on the brink of being eliminated from postseason contention, meaning they’ll be hungry for the upset. Thurston has been rolling recently, and a win would all but clinch the Midwestern League title. Thurston has been successful on both sides of the ball, which will make it difficult for Willamette to prepare. An extra week of getting healthy and preparing for the Wolverines means Thurston should roll, and Will Dau and Darien Witham should feast in the ground game.



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos