FOOTBALL GAME-BY-GAME PREVIEWS
PHILOMATH WARRIORS (1-1) AT COTTAGE GROVE LIONS (0-2)
■ Game facts: Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.
■ What2Know: The Lions struggled last week, giving up 51 points against an Elmira team that scored seven the week before. While the Lions offense got rolling a bit more, the defense will need to step up to take down Philomath.
■ Pierre’s take: It hasn’t been the desired start for Steve Turner and Cottage Grove, who are 0-2 against Class 3A competition this year. Philomath is by no means a top team though, so a strong ground game with Clayton DeWitt could be enough if the defense is up to the challenge.
CRESWELL BULLDOGS (1-1) AT WARRENTON WARRIORS (1-1)
■ Game facts: Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. … 1700 S Main Ave, Warrenton… 3 hrs. and 25 min. drive from CHS
■ What2Know: Two .500 teams through two weeks of the season face off as Creswell makes the trek to the north-western tip of Oregon. Creswell QB Darien Dewey has played well in his first two games, but the rushing attack has gained fewer than 80 yards a game and needs to be better as the season progresses.
■ Pierre’s take: A minor setback against a top-15 team in Santiam Christian shouldn’t deflate the Bulldogs too much. With Dewey leading the offense and LB Victor Giffen anchoring the defense, look for Creswell to bounce back in Week Three.
HARRISBURG EAGLES (1-1) AT PLEASANT HILL BILLIES (1-1)
■ Game facts: Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. … Tickets: Adults ($5), Students ($3), Seniors ($2)
■ What2Know: The Billies failed to replicate last season’s 3-0 start when they fell to Salem Academy last week. They have a chance to recreate last season’s 20-14 win over Harrisburg this week, though.
■ Pierre’s take: Pleasant Hill opens league play at home as both teams are looking to stay on the right side of a .500 faceoff. RB Braedon Hazel continues to wreak havoc for the Billies and will be relied upon in league play as well.
SPRINGFIELD MILLERS (2-0) AT CRATER COMETS (0-2)
■ Game facts: Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. … 655 N. 3rd St, Central Point … 2 hrs. and 33 min. drive from SHS.
■ What2Know: After a thrilling Week Two win the Millers must regroup quickly as they begin their quest for a Midwestern League crown. Springfield beat Crater handily last season; the Comets fell to two Class 4A opponents to start this year.
■ Pierre’s take: The big question for Springfield moving forward is the health of QB Caeleb Kasperek, who injured his ankle in last week’s win vs. Marist. Regardless of Kasperek’s health though, Springfield will continue to ride Connor Dye, who has 330 yards and 6 TDs through two games.
NORTH EUGENE HIGHLANDERS (1-1) AT THURSTON COLTS (0-2)
■ Game facts: Friday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. … The Farm, 333 58th St. … Tickets: Adults ($6), Students ($4)
■ What2Know: After an eerily similar start to last season the Colts try to bounce back as they host North Eugene to open the Midwestern League season. Thurston found more success on offense last week thanks to two touchdown catches by TE Luke Newell, but the defense has given up 44 and 46 points to open the season and needs to improve.
■ Pierre’s take: After starting 0-2 last year, Thurston went 7-0 in league play. This week, it begins an attempt to do exactly the same thing. North Eugene lost star QB Devon Anderson from last season’s team, but the offense has still looked good so far. Thurston’s defense has a chance to make a statement early as the Colts search for a sixth-straight league crown.
Elmira 51, Cottage Grove 18
■ Recap: The Lions’ defense was tested all night as Elmira QB Quinton Buckland had 204 yards passing and 3 TDs and rushed for 138 yards and another TD. The Lions (0-2) defense gave up over 500 yards of total offense.
Salem Academy 34, Pleasant Hill 25
■ Recap: The Billies (1-1) failed to replicate their Week Two win over Salem Academy from last season, falling 34-25. While RB Braedon Hazel and the offense were able to sustain some of the success from last week, the defense struggled against a talented Class 2A opponent.
Summit 46, Thurston 25
■ Recap: The Colts (0-2) fell behind early and never fully recovered, losing to the defending champ Summit Storm (1-1) 46-25. Ethan Burkhead scored on Thurston’s first possession on a 16-yard TD run to give the Colts a 6-0 lead, but Summit scored the next three to lead 21-6 at half. Summit scored twice in the third to open up a 34-6 lead before QB Noah Blair connected with Luke Newell for Thurston’s second TD. Back-up QB Kyle Miller made an appearance late, throwing two TDs, one to Newell and one to Ezekiel Planeski-Kapahi-Kauhola.
Top performers: Noah Blair 32-44, 247 yards, 1 TD; Kyle Miller 5-6 , 57 yards, 2 TDs; Luke Newell 9 catches, 51 yards, 2 TDs; Ethan Burkhead 15 carries, 57 yards, 1 TD, 6 catches, 21 yards.