Four games in and the Taft 7-12 football team holds a record of 2-2 overall.
After last week’s disappointing 37-6 loss to Yamhill-Carlton, the Tigers now have a chance to wipe the slate clean this week going into league play.
As Taft hopes to put the pieces together this week out at Amity, another Lincoln County team is thriving and has been dubbed the No. 1 team in the state for 2A football. The Toledo Boomers are a perfect 4-0 through preseason play and with league games beginning this week, the question is, can anyone stop that high-powered offense?
In other news, the Cubs pulled off a big win at home last week over Philomath to gain their first league win. Could that be the momentum shift Newport needed to turn the season around? That remains to be seen.
The good news for all three of these teams is that each has made their way into the win column and from this point out, league wins are the only thing that matters.
Here’s who I’m picking this week:
Taft at Amity
The Tigers battled through injuries last week and faced a red-hot Yamhill-Carlton team that successfully defended their home turf and then some. But with a week to heal their wounds (both physically and emotionally) the Tigers can set the tone for the season with a big road win at Amity to start league play. Unfortunately, they are running into one of 3A’s top teams in the Warriors, who sit 3-1 after a dominating win over 2A power Coquille last week. The key for Taft this week is figuring out how to score early and often in these type of road games. But ultimately, I think this not a very favorable matchup for the Tigers.
Toledo at Reedsport
Toledo hits the road again this week in the midst of three straight games on the road. They play coastal foe Reedsport this week to open up league play and although the Braves are improved from years past, I think the Boomer offense is going to have a hay day this week. Reedsport’s defense gives up nearly 25 points per game so far this year and that number will undoubtedly rise after this week’s matchup.
Newport vs. Sisters
Newport surprised me last week and got the job done against a weak Philomath team. This week they play Sisters, who have also had their struggles early on, losing their first three games. With both teams coming off their first wins last week, this could be a decent game. But I’m not sold on the Cubs quite yet.
Waldport vs. Perrydale
The Irish came out on the wrong end of a triple overtime thriller last week against Falls City to drop their first game of the season. And unfortunately for Waldport, they’ve drawn a strong Perrydale team this week that’s unbeaten. I don’t think the Irish find much luck this week.
Siletz Valley vs. St. Paul
Speaking of tough matchups… this is likely the worst. It’s no secret that St. Paul is one of the most dominant 1A teams in Oregon high school football history, so regardless of their opponent, I find it tough to pick against them. Siletz will get a win this season, but it’s not happening this week.
Winner: St. Paul
Eddyville Charter vs. Crow
The Eagles proved me wrong last week and took care of Jewell on the road. This week they play a Crow team that is in a very similar position in terms of wins, losses and opponents played. I’ve got a good feeling about Eddyville this week at home.
Winner: Eddyville Charter
Other Notable Games
Rainier at Clatskanie
Clatskanie enters this week’s contest as the underdog, but I don't buy that description of the Tigers. Yes they are 2-2, but every opponent they’ve played has been a solid squad. We all know that Rainier is going to be a tough out for any team this year and a possible favorite for a state championship repeat. But I’m predicting an upset in this age-old rivalry game.
Cascade Christian vs. Hidden Valley
This is the top game in 3A Friday night. Two unbeaten teams with uncanny similarities and one that should be a barnburner. I don’t have much knowledge of either these teams, so I’ve flipped a coin to determine the outcome. Oftentimes, that out rules analysis anyways.
Winner: Hidden Valley