Football teams hit the playoff road with title dreams

By Observer staff November 09, 2012 01:13 pm

Imblerís Jaden Bales receives a pass in the Panthersí 58-6 victory over Pine Eagle  Nov. 1 at Community Stadium. IHS hosts Triangle Lake Saturday. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer
Imblerís Jaden Bales receives a pass in the Panthersí 58-6 victory over Pine Eagle Nov. 1 at Community Stadium. IHS hosts Triangle Lake Saturday. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer

IMBLER — Only one local football team will be playing at home this weekend as the playoff season kicks off today.

Imbler will be hosting Triangle Lake Saturday at 1 p.m. in the 1A football playoffs.

The Panthers enter the game as the second-ranked team in the final OSAA 1A football poll. 

St. Paul leapfrogged over the undefeated Imbler team to take the number-one spot.

The Buckaroos from the private school south of Portland will be hosting the Powder Valley Badgers today at 1 p.m. and attempt to do something few schools have been able to do this season — stop running back Colton Eubanks.

St. Paul enters the game with a perfect 8-0 record and started the season by hammering Triad 70-28. The Timberwolves (6-3) are also in the playoffs, traveling to play Adrian (7-2) today at 1 p.m. MST.

Perrydale lost to St. Paul by a 50-28 margin in the league finale — the closest game the Buckaroos have had all year.

The Badgers are heading to the parochial school campus near Newberg with a running attack that has allowed Eubanks to gain more than 1,000 yards in a three-game span.

At the same time, quarterback Chace Dixon has developed a strong passing attack with receivers Quin Stephens and Tyler Robinson.

The Badgers enter the game ranked  21st in the final OSAA 1A football poll after finishing the season with a 5-4 record and only a loss to Imbler in Old Oregon League play (4-1).

Cove is also on the road, going to play the defending state champions Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Leopards finished third in the OOL behind both Imbler (5-0) and Powder Valley. 

They are ranked 18th in the OSAA poll in spite of losing a 40-22 decision to the Badgers.

Cove (5-3, 3-2) will be facing an undefeated team that stayed that way all through the playoffs a year ago.

The Camas Valley Hornets are 23-0 in the last two seasons — after winning the 2011 title with a 14-0 record by beating Perrydale 66-20 in the title game.

The last time Camas Valley lost a game was in the 2010 state title game. St. Paul handed the Hornets a 22-8 loss. Camas Valley finished that year with a 12-2 record, giving the team a 36-2 record for the last three years.

Imbler was a finalist in 2009, losing to St. Paul.

In 2010, the Panthers didn’t make the playoffs after struggling through a 5-3 season (2-3 in OOL).

Last season, Imbler (7-2) made it to the quarterfinals before losing to the Triad by a 42-14 margin.

For Triangle Lake (6-3), Saturday’s game will be a case of deja vu — all over again.

Imbler handed the Lakers a 50-6 loss in the playoffs last season at Imbler. 

The Lakers finished in a tie for second place in their league with Crow, both at 5-2. Lowell won the league with a 7-0 record (9-1 overall).

The winner of Saturday’s game will play the winner of today’s Jordan Valley-Perrydale game next week. 

This season, the Panthers have helped coach Lee Lowe notch his 200th career win.

The Panther attack reloaded after the graduation of Andrew Fullerton to fire sophomore speedster Joe Griffin at teams, while quarterback Kyle Johnson spreads the passing around to Casey Robertson, Jaden Bales and Garrett Bigej.

Griffin has run for 1,381 yards while getting just part-time use on the field.

Bales has run for 768 yards this year, while also picking up 186 yards as a receiver.

Johnson has thrown for 1,026 yards.