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Friday’s high school football preview | USA Today High School Sports

Greater Valley Conference

Game of the week

West Salem at McNary, 7:15 p.m.

On the air: Radio on KBZY 1490 AM

Need to get passing game going: In West Salem’s 20-2 win against North Salem last week the Titans (3-3, 3-2) completed one pass and were intercepted twice. Much of that was due to North Salem’s defense, but against a team such as McNary (4-2, 4-1) can pile up points in a hurry and has a solid pass defense, the Titans will have to find a way to get the ball over the top.

Do-everything Van Cleave: McNary senior quarterback Trent Van Cleave has proven adept at doing anything asked of him. He was 18 of 23 passing for 230 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 51-28 win at Forest Grove and rushed for two touchdowns. Few defenses have been able to keep up with him, and he will be West Salem’s biggest assignment.

The home stretch for McNary: The Celtics are 4-1 in the GVC and in third place, but have a tough gauntlet of opponents to finish the season. After this week’s game against West Salem, the Celtics still have to play South Salem and Sprague to finish the season.

No. 6 South Salem at North Salem, 7:15 p.m.

On the air: CCTV2 Channel 22 at 11:59 p.m.

The Mayor’s Trophy: The winner of the longest running high school football rivalry in town wins the trophy, something South Salem has done the past eight years consecutively.

A growing streak: South Salem (6-0, 5-0) extended its conference winning streak to 15 games with last week’s 56-14 win against Sprague.

McMinnville at McKay, 7:15 p.m.

On the air: Radio on KYLC.com

A start: McMinnville’s 35-26 win against West Albany last week was the first of the season for the Grizzlies (1-5 GVC), which had been the only winless team in the league previous to that. Cedric Acgaoili-Ostrom ran for three touchdowns in the win.

A star season: One of the bright spots in McKay’s 49-14 loss at Hood River Valley was the play of junior Matthew Jarding. He has rushed for a team-high 399 yards and seven touchdowns on 83 carries and has 62 tackles, including 12 for loss with 3.5 sacks for the Royal Scots (1-5, 1-4).

Grant at Sprague, 7:15 p.m.

Quick appearance: Sprague’s 5-0 start brought the team into the Class 6A media poll for the first time this season. Its 56-14 loss dropped it out again. Sprague’s one nonconference game of the season against Grant (1-6) give the Olympians a chance to get healthy for a stretch run with games against North Salem and McNary to close the regular season.

McNary's Trent Van Cleave runs the ball as the Celtics defeat West Albany 31-22 in a Greater Valley Conference game on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.

McNary’s Trent Van Cleave runs the ball as the Celtics defeat West Albany 31-22 in a Greater Valley Conference game on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015.

Mid-Willamette Conference

Game of the week

Central at Silverton, 7 p.m.

Tight losses: Central (3-3, 2-2) has lost its past two games by a total of four points. The Panthers have improved significantly on offense from early in the season – Alvin Berroa rushed for 106 yards, Peter Mendazona passed for 238 yards and four touchdowns and Peter Mason had 130 yards receiving in a 36-35 loss to Lebanon – but the team has given up 36 points in each of its past two games.

Reeling Foxes: Two straight losses have sunk Silverton (3-3, 2-2) and dropped the team out of the top 10 polls. Silverton quarterback Sam Morrison threw five interceptions in last week’s 41-8 loss to South Albany, and the Foxes were once again without senior running back Noah Dahl.

Corvallis at Woodburn, 7 p.m.

A tall order: After missing a game due to injury, Corvallis senior running back and linebacker Hunter Mattson has made an impact. He rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries last week against Dallas. His impact on both sides of the ball is massive and Woodburn (0-6, 0-4) has a tough task in trying to control him.

Crescent Valley at Dallas, 7 p.m.

Still a running team: In last week’s 35-0 loss to Corvallis, Dallas (1-5, 1-3) had its most success on the ground. The Dragons rushed for 193 yards on 49 carries, including Alex Hofferber rushing for 97 yards on 25 attempts. Crescent Valley has been vulnerable on the ground, and the Dragons will need to exploit that.

Blanchet's Jared Myers (48) is tackled by Scio defender Steven Copple during their game on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, in Scio, Ore.

Blanchet’s Jared Myers (48) is tackled by Scio defender Steven Copple during their game on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, in Scio, Ore.

Oregon West Conference

Game of the week

No. 4 Cascade at No. 6 Stayton, 7 p.m.

Meaningful rivalry game: This rivalry game hasn’t meant this much in years. No. 4 Cascade (5-1, 2-1) and No. 6 Stayton (6-0, 3-0) have had up-and-down cycles in the past decade and them both being relevant at the same time makes this a premier game in the state.

Newport at North Marion, 7 p.m.

Good time for a comeback: The Huskies (2-4, 1-2) have been limited to one touchdown in each of their past two games, losses to Philomath and Stayton, and their best chance of making the postseason is to beat Newport (0-6, 0-3) and Cascade next week.

West Valley League

Game of the week

Amity at Santiam Christian, 7 p.m.

League-leading Eagles: Santiam Christian (5-1, 3-0) owns sole possession of first place in the West Valley. A 19-18 win against Taft gave them the outright lead and the inside track on the league title.

Overcoming: The Eagles came back from four turnovers and an 18-7 third-quarter deficit to win last week’s showdown against Taft. The Eagles are a ball-control team and must control the time of possession against an Amity team that relies heavily on the running game.

Horizon Christian at Sheridan, 7 p.m.

Tables turning: Not long ago it would have seemed Sheridan would be a shoo-in to win a game like this – Horizon Christian (2-4, 2-2) forfeited its second game of the season to Salem Academy due to having numerous injuries – but Sheridan (1-4, 0-3) has struggled, scoring 52 points this season and Horizon Christian pulled off a 30-8 upset of Amity a week ago.

Willamina at Taft, 7 p.m.

Pass-heavy offense: Most high school teams try to be balanced or rely mostly on the run. Taft is the opposite, and everyone knows it. Junior quarterback Everett Thomas is 142 of 251 passing for 1,558 yards and 13 touchdowns this season as the Tigers have struggled rush for 70 yards a game. Willamina (0-6, 0-3) has a tough task defensively, but the Bulldogs have some athletes to keep up with the high-flying Tigers.

Salem Academy's Skyler Williams (1) blocks Jefferson High School defender Jacob Sobel (20) during their game on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, in Jefferson, Ore.

Salem Academy’s Skyler Williams (1) blocks Jefferson High School defender Jacob Sobel (20) during their game on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, in Jefferson, Ore.

PacWest Conference

Game of the week

Blanchet Catholic at Salem Academy, 7 p.m.

On the air: Radio on KYKN 1430 AM

Different ways of doing things: Blanchet (5-1, 2-1) is a heavy run team out of the wing-T offense; Salem Academy (5-1, 3-1) relies on the pass and does it well. Salem Academy senior quarterback Andrew Baker is 67 of 110 passing for 1,202 yards and 15 touchdowns.

For second place: The winner of this game will take over sole possession of second place in the PacWest. Blanchet still has to play a tough Colton team, which can change things, but after this game the Cavaliers play their final two games of the regular season at their home field at McCulloch Stadium.

Scio at Gervais, 7 p.m.

Opposite ends: Scio is 6-0, 3-0 in the PacWest and No. 1 in the OSAA’s power rankings. Gervais is 0-6, 0-4 in the PacWest and No. 32 of 32 teams in the OSAA’s power rankings.

Jefferson at Chemawa, 7 p.m.

Can the Braves win two straight: Chemawa’s 18-12 win against Gervais a week ago ended a 16-game losing streak dating to 2012 and was the program’s first conference win in more than a decade. Jefferson (1-5 1-3) struggled to score the past two weeks, and Chemawa has its best shot at a winning streak in a long time.

Tri-River Conference

Game of the week

No. 1 Kennedy at No. 4 Central Linn, 7 p.m.

The league lead: One of these teams will leave this game leading the conference and one will be second. Kennedy (6-0, 2-0) and Central Linn (6-0, 1-0) are No. 1 and 2 in the OSAA’s power rankings.

Defensive challenge: It’s no surprise what Central Linn does. The Cobras run the ball heavily out of the single-wing offense, and they do it well. Braden Nightengale has rushed for 433 yards and seven touchdowns, Chandler Jeppsen has rushed for 413 yards and six touchdowns and Jesse Wibbens has rushed for 318 yards and six touchdowns.

Santiam at St. Paul, 7 p.m.

Falling Wolverines: This season started bright for Santiam (3-3, 0-2) with three straight wins, but a three-game losing streak and being in the heart of the tough Tri-River schedule isn’t doing the team any favors. St. Paul (3-2, 0-1) has been streaky, but the Buckaroos are coming off a bye week and still have state playoff potential.

Oakland at No. 9 Regis, 7 p.m.

Still highly respected: That a 3-3 team such as Regis is No. 4 in the OSAA’s power rankings is of no surprise. The Rams (1-1 TRC) have played a tough schedule thus far and have the athletes to go deep into the playoffs. This nonconference game against Oakland (2-3) is a chance for Regis to get back on track.

Class 1A

Game of the week

Falls City at Triangle Lake, 7 p.m.

Surprisingly high: For a team that is 1-5 this season, Falls City is No. 16 of 40 teams in the OSAA’s power rankings. The Mountaineers are still a long shot at making the state playoffs considering they’re 1-0 in 1A Special District 3, but they have played a tough schedule so far.

A budding star: Falls City senior Zac Labrado played huge in last week’s 36-32 loss to Siletz Valley, rushing for 128 yards and three touchdowns. You can bet that Triangle Lake (3-3, 3-1 1A Special District 3) will be watching him every time he gets the ball.

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