Greater Valley Conference
Game of the week
West Salem at Sprague, 7:15 p.m.
On the air: Radio on KBZY 1490 AM, television on CCTV2 at 11:59 p.m.
Top running backs: This game features the top two statistical running backs in the league. Sprague senior Anthony Nunn has rushed for 632 yards and 15 touchdowns. West Salem senior Kyle Terry has rushed for 454 yards and seven touchdowns. Both of these teams put an emphasis on running the ball and whichever team rushes more efficiently should win.
Ailing Titans: Injuries kept three first-team all-league seniors – Andy Armstrong, Jacob Kizer and Markus John – out of last week’s 50-43 overtime loss against South Salem. At this same point last season the Titans were battling injuries, but got healthy and reached the state semifinals.
Power rankings mixed: Sprague is 4-0 yet is No. 16 in the OSAA’s Class 6A power rankings; West Salem has lost two straight and is 2-2, but is No. 14 in the power rankings. If the Olympians are going to show they’re for real this season, such as in the oregoinlive.com poll, a win against the Titans would go a long way.
McMinnville at McNary, 7:15 p.m.
On the air: Radio on http://www.KYLC.us and KYKN 1430 AM.
Similar prelims: Both teams held first half leads in last week’s games – McMinnville (0-4 GVC) against North Salem and McNary (2-2, 2-1 GVC) against McKay – but let them slip away. This game will be determined by which team closes better.
Forest Grove at North Salem, 7:15 p.m.
Vikings get defensive: The hottest team in the state is North Salem (3-1 GVC), which has won three straight. In so doing, North Salem’s defense has been lights out. The Vikings have given up 60 points, second fewest among Class 6A teams this season. This game will be a different challenge for North Salem’s defense with Forest Grove’s air attack behind senior quarterback Taylor Jensen.
McKay at West Albany, 7:15 p.m.
Role reversal: Last year West Albany was one of the top teams in the state as a second-round state playoff appearance showed when McKay upset the Bulldogs on their home field. McKay (1-3 GVC) is the hotter team this time as the Royal Scots are No. 19 in the OSAA’s power rankings – compared to No. 43 for West Albany – and the Bulldogs (0-4) would love nothing more than to return the favor and pick up their first win of the year.
Keep off: The new track at West Albany’s field is under process of construction and all spectators will be kept off the track Friday night.
Milwaukie at No. 6 South Salem, 7:15 p.m.
A respite from league: A Saxon (4-0 GVC) team that is coming off its biggest win of the year – a 50-43 overtime thriller against West Salem – plays its one nonleague game of the regular season and plays a Milwaukie (0-4) team that is No. 31 of 32 teams in the Class 5A power rankings.
Game of the week
Crescent Valley at No. 10 Central, 7 p.m.
Dominating defense: The Panthers’ 8-0 shutout of Dallas last week wasn’t an anomaly. Central (3-1, 2-0) has held opponents to 37 points, the lowest of any Class 5A team in the state this season. It’s of no surprise considering the athletes Central has on defense: junior defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu has 30 tackles, including 12 for loss and five sacks, sophomore safety Isiah Abraham has 22 tackles and a fumble recovery and senior defensive lineman has 24 tackles, including eight for loss with six sacks.
Reeling Raiders: Early in this season it appeared Crescent Valley was going to challenge for the top spot in the conference, if not the state, but a 48-14 loss to Silverton last week dropped the team to 1-1 in the league and 2-2 overall. The Raiders were held to 61 yards rushing by Silverton and have to do much better than that to have a shot against Central.
Lebanon at Woodburn, 7 p.m.
Struggling on offense: The Bulldogs (0-4, 0-2) have coughed up the ball too many times in the past couple weeks and couldn’t get much going offensively. Woodburn turned the ball over four times in last week’s 65-6 loss to South Albany. Woodburn quarterback River Moss hit 3J Contreras for a 13-yard touchdown, but also was intercepted three times.
South Albany at Dallas, 7 p.m.
On a teetering point: The Dragons (1-3, 1-1) could go either way. Despite an 8-0 loss to Central last week, Dallas still has the potential to turn into a state playoff team. Junior quarterback Harrison Broadus was 11 for 29 passing for 93 yards and the passing attack has shown signs of life, but it will have to be more effective to beat the Rebels (2-2, 1-1).
Corvallis at No. 5 Silverton, 7 p.m.
Disappointing Spartans: Corvallis was expected to contend for the league championship this season, but after an 0-4 start a state playoff spot seems like a long shot. Corvallis quarterback Lance Peterson has completed 44 percent of his passes this year for three touchdowns and 469 yards and has been intercepted twice. Silverton (3-1, 2-0) has won three straight and is one of the top teams in the state.
Oregon West Conference
Game of the week
No. 8 Stayton at Yamhill-Carlton, 7 p.m.
Big passing: Stayton quarterback Kyle Schwarm is 40 of 72 passing for 877 yards and seven touchdowns this year, but the Eagles (4-0, 1-0) may not need to throw as much against a Yamhill-Carlton (0-4, 0-1) team that has been overmatched by every opponent thus far this year.
No. 2 Philomath at North Marion, 7 p.m.
Huskies face tall task: North Marion (1-3, 1-0) had a good showing in last week’s 66-6 win against Yamhill-Carlton, but it gets much harder this week when they face a Philomath team that knocked off state heavyweight Cascade 26-14 in last week’s league opener.
West Valley League
Game of the week
Amity at Taft, 7 p.m.
Which direction: Amity is 2-2 overall and 1-0 in West Valley play after last week’s 46-0 win against Sheridan, but the Warriors have yet to win two games in a row all year. If Amity is going to compete for a state playoff spot this year a win against Taft (2-2, 2-0) would be a good step.
Playing pass defense: Since dropping down to Class 3A prior to the 2014 season, Taft has been known as a pass-happy team. Junior quarterback Everett Thomas has completed 57 percent (84 of 147) of his passes for 10 touchdowns and 867 yards this season. Amity has the athletes in the secondary to keep up with any team at 3A.
Horizon Christian at Willamina, 7 p.m.
One to win first game: Both of these teams are still searching for their first win of the year. The Bulldogs have been making progress and this could be the team’s breakout game. Willamina sophomore quarterback Brad Milton threw two touchdown passes in a 21-14 loss to St. Paul.
Dayton at Sheridan, 7 p.m.
Turnaround time: Dayton’s 16-0 loss to Santiam Christian last week was the first time since a loss to Amity in 2008 that the Pirates were shut out. If the Pirates (3-1, 1-1) clean up the turnovers – they were intercepted three times and fumbled twice – they should be fine against a Sheridan (1-3, 0-2) team that has been shut out in two of its past three games.
Santiam Christian at Cascade Christian, 7 p.m.
Where: U.S. Cellular Field, Medford
Away from league: After the Eagles (4-0) got their biggest win of the season in a 16-0 West Valley League victory against Dayton, the team now gets a week off of league play to face a Cascade Christian team that is 1-3 this year.
Anthony Nunn fits Sprague’s I to a T
Game of the week
Jefferson vs. Blanchet, 7:30 p.m.
Where: McKay High School
Home at last, sort of: This is the first home game of the season for Blanchet (3-1, 1-1). The Cavaliers regularly play home games at McCulloch Stadium and return there next week when they play Riverside in a nonleague game, but at least Blanchet’s players will get to play in their home blue jerseys.
Chemawa at Colton, 7 p.m.
Still trying to get on the scoreboard: The Braves (0-2) are still looking for their first points this season. A Colton (3-1, 1-1) team that dominated Gervais 60-0 last week won’t be willing to give an inch to Chemawa.
Gervais at Salem Academy, 7 p.m.
Potent passing: A lot of teams pass the football to set up the run. In last week’s 68-47 loss to Scio, the Crusaders (3-1, 1-1) passed for 386 yards as Andrew Baker passed for six touchdowns and rushed for one other. Against the Cougars (0-4, 0-2), count on Salem Academy running the football more, but the fact that the Crusaders can throw like that is something all opponents must be worried about.
Scio at Rainier, 7 p.m.
A week away: The Loggers (4-0, 2-0) defeated the other top two teams in the conference in wins against Blanchet and Salem Academy in the past two weeks, but now get a brief respite against the Columbians. Scio rushed for 628 yards last week, and showed they can run on anyone.
Game of the week
Santiam at Kennedy, 7 p.m.
Battle of heavyweights in Tri-River opener: Kennedy started the season 4-0 against a nonleague gauntlet of mostly Class 3A opponents. But the games count more starting with tonight’s game against Santiam (3-1).
Heavy run-based teams: The Trojans have relied heavily on junior running back Bishop Mitchell, who rushed for 192 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in last week’s 35-6 win at Creswell. The Wolverines have relied heavily on Joel Hills, who rushed for four touchdowns in a 35-29 loss to Reedsport last week. Expect both of these teams to stick with the run game.
St. Paul at Regis, 7 p.m.
Running Buckaroos: St. Paul (3-1) has been proficient in running the ball this season, including 300 yards – with rushing touchdowns from Tyler Smith, Carson Smith and Tanner Bernhardt – in Friday’s 21-14 win against Creswell. The Rams (2-2) were stopped on the 18-yard line with less than a minute left in last week’s 13-7 loss to St. Mary’s.
Game of the week
No. 3 Perrydale at South Wasco County, 7 p.m.
Quick ascent: Most people in Class 1A were skeptical of Perrydale (4-0, 2-0 Special District 4) since the team dropped back down before this season as evidenced by the team not being ranked until this week. A 36-34 win against previously No. 1-ranked Dufur changed that quick. If Perrydale can get 350-yard rushing games like it did from Kennan Bailey again, the Pirates will win the league championship.
On the road: For Perrydale’s next two games, at South Wasco County tonight and Oct. 8 at Ione, the Pirates have a long way to go. The team will travel a combined seven hours to play the two games.
Falls City at Mapleton, 7 p.m.
A defensive assignment: The Mountaineers (0-4) have struggled on defense this season. They have quite a challenge in their league opener. Mapleton defeated McKenzie 74-32 last week behind 128 yards and three touchdowns by Hunter Simington and two rushing touchdowns by Chanse Hamlow.