The Main Event
PLEASANT HILL BILLIES (3-4) AT CRESWELL BULLDOGS (2-5)
Game facts: Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., Markley Field at CHS
What2Know: The Billies and Bulldogs face off in a classic Class 3A rivalry game. Pleasant Hill leads the all-time series 49-22-2, and is 8-2 in the past 10 dating back to 2007. Creswell got the better of Pleasant Hill last year, though, winning a rain-soaked game 14-7. Will Pleasant Hill coach Jeremiah Heacock earn his first rivalry win? Or will Creswell extend the win streak to two games?
Pierre’s take: The Billies offense has a high ceiling with QB Jacob Neely and RB Braedon Hazel, so it’ll be up to linebacker Victor Giffen and Creswell’s defense to keep this one close.
FOOTBALL GAME-BY-GAME PREVIEWS
COTTAGE GROVE LIONS (1-6) AT JUNCTION CITY TIGERS (6-1)
■ Game facts: Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., JCHS, 1135 W. 6th Ave., Junction City
■ What2Know: Cottage Grove travels to a red-hot Junction City team that upset then-No. 6 Cascade 20-16 on a TD pass with 9.2 seconds left last week. The Lions defense needs to find a way to slow down JC quarterback Conner Rothenberger, who completed 8-of-14 passes for 142 yards and 2 TDs last week.
■ Pierre’s take: The Lions may have a chance to earn a second win on the board next week when they face a 1-6 Hidden Valley team. This week will be another tough out, though, as the Tigers are Sky-Em League title contenders.
SPRINGFIELD MILLERS (6-1) AT NORTH EUGENE HIGHLANDERS (2-5)
■ Game facts: Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., NEHS, 200 Silver Ln., Eugene
■ What2Know: Springfield heads to North Eugene in its final road game of the regular season. A stout defense and potent rushing attack has the Millers firmly in contention for a top-8 seed, and a first-round home playoff game, and a victory over North Eugene would help that cause.
■ Pierre’s take: Springfield’s Connor Dye put his name firmly in the Class 5A offensive player of the year conversation after a 215-yard, 5-TD performance last week. Dye is up to 1,232 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season – both top marks in Class 5A – and looks to do more of the same this week.
THURSTON COLTS (5-2) AT WILLAMETTE WOLVERINES (0-7)
■ Game facts: Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., Willamette HS, 1801 Echo Hollow Rd., Eugene
■ What2Know: The Colts head to Willamette and face the winless Wolverines in an attempt to win their sixth game in a row this season. QB Noah Blair sits second in Class 5A this season with 23 touchdown passes to only 3 interceptions.
■ Pierre’s take: Thurston dispatched South Eugene last week, jumping out to a 35-0 halftime lead. This week could be even more lopsided as No. 5 Thurston tries to move up the rankings late in the season.
Stayton 44, Cottage Grove 14
■ Recap: Cottage Grove fell to 1-6 with a loss on the road to Stayton (3-4). Head coach Steve Turner and the Lions have two more shots to earn a second win: this week at Junction City (6-1) and the final week against Hidden Valley (1-6).
Creswell 16, Harrisburg 9 (OT)
■ Recap: Creswell stopped a five-game skid with an overtime win at Harrisburg. Creswell took a second-half lead on a 12-yard pass from Darien Dewey to Jaydon Warthen, but Harrisburg tied it at 9 with 7:40 left in the game. In overtime, Victor Giffen scored from 9 yards out to give Creswell the lead, and the Bulldogs stuffed Harrisburg a half-yard short on 4th down to secure the win.
■ Top performers: Dewey, 12-of-25, 119 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs; Giffen, 10 rushes, 54 yards, 1 TD, 1 made FG, 8 tackles; Warthen, 7 catches, 76 yards, 1 TD, 8 tackles; Colton Kaiser, 12.5 tackles, 1 INT.
Sisters 48, Pleasant Hill 8
■ Recap: Pleasant Hill fell to No. 8 Sisters 48-8 last week. After giving up the first two scores of the game, the Billies were able to bring it to a one-score game after an 18-yard TD pass by Jacob Neely, who finished the game with 119 yards passing. Pleasant Hill couldn’t get its rushing attack going, though, finishing with only 59 yards, and a three-score second quarter from Sisters put the game out of reach.
Springfield 54, Willamette 0
■ Recap: Connor Dye had an impressive first half as Springfield moved to 6-1 with a dominant win. Dye rushed the ball 20 times for 215 yards and 5 TDs – all in the first half. Zack Sherman connected with Jackson Babbitt on a 59-yard TD pass, giving Springfield a 41-0 halftime lead and a running clock second half.
■ Top performers: Dye, 20 rushes, 215 yards, 5 TDs; Sherman, 3-of-3, 69 yards, 1 TD; Babbitt, 1 catch, 59 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
Thurston 42, South Eugene 0
■ Recap: The Colts raced out to a 35-0 halftime lead and finished with a 42-0 win, moving to 5-2 on the season and bringing them one game closer to their sixth-straight league title. Noah Blair led the way with 3 first-half TD passes: 33 yards to Trey Silva, 27 yards to Luke Newell, and 67 yards to Walker Bonar. Read the game story here: tinyurl.com/THvsSE
■ Top performers: Blair, 9-of-11, 188 yards, 3 TDs, Ethan Burkhead, 5 rushes, 94 yards, 2 TDs (1 rushing, 1 receiving), Bonar, 4 catches, 130 yards, 1 TD, Defense, 2 forced turnovers, 1 turnover on downs, 0 points allowed, 80 total yards allowed.