Sports Zone

High School Sports Zone: Football

Playoff Previews:

(10) Springfield at (7) Silverton, Friday at 7 p.m.

What2Know: The Millers (6-3) made the playoffs for the first time since 2015, and their reward is a trip to Silverton (6-3) to face the defending champs. Silverton has struggled recently however, losing its final two games after starting the year 6-1. Meanwhile Springfield bounced back in a big way after a stunning home defeat to North Eugene by winning at Eagle Point 30-29. While this might be the high school’s first postseason game in seven years, many of the players have big-game experience from their time in middle school. The Millers will need to corral Silverton star running back Jackson Pfeifer, who rushed for over 800 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.
Pierre’s Take: A senior-night loss to N Eugene may have kept Springfield from getting a first-round playoff game, but the Millers should be happy with their draw nonetheless. Silverton has struggled recently, and if Caeleb Kasperek, Connor Dye and Dwayne Fotta play the way they did against Eagle Point, Springfield has a good chance to take down the defending champs.

(13) West Albany at (4) Thurston, Friday at 7 p.m.

What2Know: The Colts (7-2) will host West Albany (5-3) in their first round playoff game at 7 p.m. Thurston rides a seven-game win streak into the postseason, and once again find themselves in contention for the state championship. The Bulldogs come into the game winners of 3 of their last 4, and are led by quarterback Lukas Hews and a running back duo of Tyler Hart-McNally and Marcus Allen. Stopping the rushing duo will be key for Thurston, but stopping the run has been a speciality for the Colts this season.
Pierre’s Take: After a rough start, the vaunted Thurston defense made its return to form during league play. Couple that with the maturation of sophomore quarterback Noah Blair, and Thurston should be able to handle West Albany at the Farm.



What2Know: Springfield traveled to Eagle Point and beat the Eagles in dramatic fashion, grabbing a share of second place in the Midwestern League as well. While Springfield jumped out to an early lead, Eagle Point put up 23 points in the second quarter to take a 23-22 lead into half. The second half saw little offense, and Eagle Point extended its lead 29-22 in the third quarter. The Millers finally scored again with eight minutes left on a pass from Caeleb Kasperek to Dwayne Fotta, and Springfield converted the two-point conversion to take a 30-29 lead, which it held through the finish.
Millers’ top performers: Caeleb Kasperek 16-of-23, 210 yards, 1 TD; Connor Dye 15 rushes, 130 yards, 2 TD’s; Dwayne Fotta 7 catches, 117 yards, 1 TD, 39 rushing yards, 1 TD; Julian Gomez, Jackson Babbitt 1 INT each.


What2Know: Thurston handled Churchill on the Colts’ Senior Night thanks to a 30-point barrage in the second quarter. The Colts totaled 373 yards of offense, while holding the Lancers to only 63. The victory was the seventh in a row for Thurston, and it now looks to the playoffs next week.
Colts’ top performers: Noah Blair 14-of-19, 177 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD; Darien Witham 9 rushes, 47 yards, 1 TD, 4 catches, 49 yards; Will Dau 8 rushes, 111 yards, 1 TD; Walker Bonar 6 catches 49 yards, 1 TD; Vaun Halstead 6 tackles, 1 sack.


What2Know: Creswell had an away game on Thursday at La Pine, the No. 1 team in the Mountain Valley Conference. The Bulldogs competed throughout the game with the Hawks, but were unable to win in the end. The loss eliminated Creswell from playoff contention.
Bulldogs’ top performers: Connor Hanson 9-of-19, 151 yards; Jack Nguyen 8 rushes, 152 yards, 2 TD’s; Tyler Bowers 6 catches, 145 yards, 1 rushing TD; Juan Beltran 9.5 tackles.


What2Know: Pleasant Hill hosted No. 9 Siuslaw on Senior Night and fell to the Vikings 38-13. The Billies end their season on a six-game losing streak, but the three-game win streak to start the year should be enough to provide the Billie faithful with hope moving forward.


What2Know: Cottage Grove traveled to Hidden Valley in its last chance to earn a victory this season. The Lions fell just short, losing in overtime to the Mustangs. While Cottage Grove lost, it was the team’s most complete game of the season, which is a good sign for head coach Joe Polamalu heading into next season.



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