Each week during high school football season KATU sports photographer Mike "Rossy" Rosborough previews the upcoming action on High School Blitz, which airs Friday nights at 11:35 p.m. Here is Rossy's look ahead at the final week of HS Blitz!
The sixth week of the Blitz usually falls on the week of state in-service day, which means a split schedule between Thursday and Friday. Originally, the majority of schools played Thursday with students off the next day. It has since evolved into an even division of games across qualifications. The Blitz has followed the Thursday schedule for years now with success and will continue the same thing this year. It gives a chance to hone in on the games available and get a better league flavor in return.
The Three Rivers league has established its credentials as the most competitive this season, and our "Game of the Week" showcases that. Lake Oswego (1-1, 2-4) took their lumps in September as they struggled to put the pieces in the right places. Signs of that turnaround appeared last week as the Lakers handled Canby and now they get to build on that win by busing to Clackamas (2-0, 6-0) to meet the Cavaliers. The Cav's road to the top of the TRL has to go thru the Lakers, the defending title holder. They have the man for the job in Dan Sherrell, a tough to tackle bowling ball with breakaway speed. Don't go to sleep on Clackamas' passing game, but LO served notice that they won't go meekly onto the field. Tune in at 11:30 p.m. for the result and the highlights, courtesy of our GOW crew as they go live with the winners during the show. It's great fun each time!
The other two TRL matches make it to live TV, as well. West Linn (1-1, 3-3) makes the short trip downhill to Oregon City ( 2-1, 5-1) in one of the oldest rivalries west of the Mississippi River. In a league rich in RB's, two more will go at it here. Louie Germaine of WL and Conner Mitchell of OC both give their teams a hard-nosed running game that sets up the pass. Defenses will decide the winner here as whoever stops the other's strength will advance.
Basic defense will be Canby's ticket as they visit Lakeridge. The Cougars (1-1, 3-3) were still reeling from the loss of team leader Sam Bodine to injury as the lost to Lake O last week. This week they face the Pacers' (1-2, 4-2) quick strike attack. Keyed by Tony Dungey at QB, they will test Canby's defense all over the field. How the Cougars adjust will tell the story.
The Mt. Hood league is on board this week. No. 1 Central Catholic (2-0, 6-0) faces David Douglas (0-2, 0-6) as the Rams continue their drive to the league's top seed against the hard luck Scots, who won't see their fortunes improve this week. Surprising co-leader Centennial (3-0, 3-3) meets Reynolds (0-3, 1-5) at MHCC as the Eagles, dinged up last month but healthy and happy in October, take their veer offense against the pass-happy Raiders who haven't been on the winning side of the ledger much but can score points in a bunch (see 75 versus McKay). Reynolds will get on the board here but not enough as the Eagles shout "fear the veer."
Things are heating up in the Central Valley for Sprague as they head for a showdown with West Salem. The Olympians (2-0, 4-2) have their A-game on for McNary (0-2, 1-5) but better not overlook the Celtics this week because McNary will be fired up to avoid the play-in game. Two other CVC teams hoping to avoid the same fate are South Salem (0-2, 2-4) and McKay (0-2, 1-5). This game is a real toss up as both squads have struggled to be competitive so far.
A chance to check in on the PIL is welcome. 6A Grant, cursed with 8 road games in a 9 game season, plays against Aloha at a neutral site. It doesn't get more neutral than empty Marshall HS, as both teams, contenders last year and pretenders this time, are playing out the string. Grant's one hope being their one game Special District match with Lincoln for the only seed in two weeks. Aloha awaits the play-in scenario at 5A.
Front running Roosevelt (4-0, 5-1) hosts surprising Franklin (2-1, 5-1) in North Portland as the Roughriders look physical and tough in league play and the Quakers have a top QB and receiving corps. The 'Riders have a strong QB in Kimane Domena, player of the year in PIL, and can clinch a tie for the top spot with a win.
At the bottom end of the standings, Madison (1-1, 2-4) and Cleveland (0-4, 1-5) need a jump start game to have a chance in November.
4A Tri- Valley league play rounds out the schedule as Madras makes the long bus ride to LaSalle Prep. Two years removed from a state title, the Falcons haven't recaptured the magic yet and the White Buffalos are about the same. But in a season with no clear front runner both have a solid chance to string some wins together and climb the standings.
Remember to join in on the fun by tweeting your pictures with #K2Blitz during games as our crack production crew try to fit it all together into the best highlight show on television. The Blitz is on Thursday night at 11:30 p.m. after the Emmy winning news team wraps up and we go live in studio with Craig Birnbach. Count how many "Craigisms" turn up and let me know the score. Have a great weekend!