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Cougars seek semifinals

Wallowa, back in the quarterfinals for third time in four years, seeks to get over hump against Triad


Power vs. speed.

That’s what it looks like the Class 1A quarterfinal match between Wallowa and Triad will come down to when the teams meet Saturday afternoon in Klamath Falls.

“They’re fast. They’ve got some speed on the field,” Wallowa head coach Matt Brockamp said of Triad, the No. 1-ranked team in 1A. “We’re looking forward to a good football game. They’re going to be a fast football team, (and) we’re going to stick to our guns.”

The matchup features two of the top offenses in 1A. The ninth-ranked Cougars possess the highest-scoring offense at 58.6 points per game. The Timberwolves come in with the No. 4 offense, putting up 51.6 points per contest.

The modus operandi for the Cougars all season, as it has been during the entirety of Brockamp’s tenure as head coach, is power football. Brockamp believes his team’s physical approach actually matches up well with the Timberwolves.

“We’ve had a great week of prep and a physical week of practice, as well,” Brockamp said.

“If we can dominate the line of scrimmage and be the most physical football team on the field, we’ve got a chance for a big upset. We’re excited about the matchup.”

The Cougars could also pose an issue up front for Triad with their size. The Timberwolves don’t have a player on their roster over 185 pounds. Wallowa has four, topping off with tight end Joe Robb at 230 and lineman Michael Diggins at 260.

“I think they will struggle with our physical brand of football,” Brockamp said. “They do have some speed, but I think, as a team, they’re going to struggle with our
physicality.”

Brockamp said the Timberwolves run a variation of sets on offense, and will even dig into their bag of tricks from time to time.

“They’ll go with a combination of things,” he said. “They will spread it out. They will try and run some iso, run some stretch. They’ll try and go some stretch read. Once we stop the inside running game and the traditional iso, they’ll try to spread things out and go finesse. They’ve got tons of formations (and) tons of trick plays.”

Triad is coming off a 70-22 blowout victory over Yoncalla in the first round of the playoffs, its first win since Camas Valley topped a then-undefeated Timberwolves squad, 34-16, in the 1A Special District 2 championship game.

Triad has rolled over most of its opposition. Camas Valley — in its win and in an earlier 28-14 loss — and Sherman, which lost to the Timberwolves 42-26, are the only teams to stay within 20 points of the Timberwolves.

Wallowa has also breezed past most of its competition. Its eight victories have come by an average of 43 points, and it opened the playoffs with a 44-6 road win at Elkton last week.

The only two teams to beat Wallowa — Crane and Adrian/Jordan Valley — are also in the quarterfinals.

Wallowa is seeking to get past the quarterfinals for the first time since 2005, when the Cougars beat Perrydale, 50-6, on their way to a semifinal berth.

Brockamp, though, said there’s been no talk about getting over the proverbial hump.

“We’ve talked about just being 1-0, playing our best football, (giving) our best effort and being physical on every single play,” he said. “If we do that, whether we go on or not, (if) we play our best effort and play physical it is what it is. We do like our draw and we think we can beat them.”