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Instant analysis: 10 things to know from Week 3 of Oregon high school football

10 takeaways from the third weekend of action
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Here are 10 takeaways (in no particular order) from the third weekend of the Oregon high school football season. 

Photo by Michele Bunch 

Lake Oswego Lakers can take advantage of whatever defenses give them 

Lake Oswego featured its dynamic running-back duo of sophomore LaMarcus Bell and senior Zavier Russell in its first two games. 

On Friday night at Mountainside, it was quarterback Liam Davis’ turn to show off. The junior left-hander threw for 226 yards and four touchdowns to lift the fourth-ranked Lakers to a 28-14 victory in Southwest Beaverton. 

“We liked our guys on the outside a lot based on the defense they were playing,” Davis said. “We watched film on them and knew what we were going to do, and I’d say we executed fairly well.”

Liam Davis Lake Oswego Rene Ferran

Despite being 3-0, Davis said the Lakers still have a long way to go with one more nonleague game next week against McMinnville before kicking off their grueling Three Rivers League schedule against defending 6A state champion West Linn. 

“We’ve got to make leaps in practice and leaps in games,” he said. “But you know, if we keep on the track we’re on, I think we’ll be a pretty solid squad.”

Bell burst out of the gate in the first two games, leading the TRL with 390 yards and averaging more than 10 yards per carry.

The Mavericks held him to 55 yards on 17 carries, but that effort came at a price. They played man in the secondary, often leaving their corners in one-on-one matchups.

“They were determined to stop the run, and Keanon (Mavericks coach Keanon Lowe) had a good plan,” Lakers coach Steve Coury said. “So, we took some opportunities. I thought Liam threw the ball really well, and the guys made some key catches. I was glad to see the adjustments that we made.”

Davis finished 15 of 24 and has not been intercepted through three games. He matched his career high with his fourth touchdown pass when he hit James Bauman over the top for a back-breaking 38-yard score with 8:58 remaining. 

Emotionally drained Milwaukie plays for ‘Coach Aum,’ falls to Molalla

A rough week for the Milwaukie football program unfortunately didn’t have a happy ending.

Beloved assistant coach Roland Aumueller passed away last Friday on the Mustangs’ bus ride home from their 49-43 victory at Parkrose.

The loss devastated not only the football team but the entire school, which spent the week consoling one another while absorbing everything that Aumueller meant to the community.

But the show must go on, which meant the Mustangs took the field Friday for the first time in more than three decades without “Coach Aum” prowling the sideline.

“I just hoped they would be inspired to play tonight,” said head coach Tim Price.

As inspired as the Mustangs were, they also played with heavy hearts, and Price could see it in their play and in their eyes. A late comeback fell short, and they lost 17-14 to Molalla. 

“The kids definitely were not totally there tonight,” Price said. “They were in the game all night but just couldn’t finish down the stretch.”

West Linn drops Jesuit to first 0-3 start since 1977

That West Linn is 3-0 at this point of the season comes as little surprise to many Oregon high school football observers.

That Jesuit is 0-3 following its 43-14 loss to the Lions? That might have some observers in shock. 

The Crusaders hadn’t started a season with three consecutive losses since 1977. They haven’t had any easy schedule — the combined record of their three opponents (Skyview, Central Catholic and West Linn) is 9-0 — but that’s been the case for the program for many years under longtime coach Ken Potter. 

Junior Baird Gilroy continued his solid start behind center for the Lions, throwing for 216 yards and four touchdowns. West Linn held Jesuit to 243 yards of total offense.

Sunset bounces back to romp past Liberty 

Sunset rebounded from a roller-coaster 45-44 defeat to South Salem last week to put up one of the most dominant victories of Week 3, romping past Liberty 54-19.

The Apollos trailed 21-0 early against the Saxons, then grabbed a 44-31 lead before watching it evaporate in the final six minutes. There was no hangover against a Falcons team that looked solid in winning its first two games.

Sophomore Justin Craigwell ran for three first-half touchdowns, and after Liberty closed to within 21-19 late in the half, Drew Nees hit Derek Craigwell for a 4-yard score just before halftime.

The second half was all Apollos, as Justin Craigwell followed a safety by returning the ensuing kickoff 60 yards for another score. Blake Hurley added a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown. 

“We had a great week of practice and a complete effort in all three phases for four quarters,” said Sunset coach Damien Merrick. 

Sherwood defense remains stout in second consecutive shutout

The Sherwood defense posted a second consecutive shutout, following its 36-0 win last week against Clackamas with a 29-0 blanking of defending 5A state champion Summit.

The Bowmen kept the Storm off the scoreboard for the first time since 2019 in recording their first back-to-back shutouts since the 2011 season. 

“Our defense has been playing lights out the last two weeks,” coach Mark Gribble said. “We had four or five sacks tonight. Our kids are playing great.”

Wells gets confidence-boosting win against PIL powerhouse

The last time Wells knocked off PIL rival Grant before Friday night, it was known as Wilson, and President Obama was in office.

The Guardians built a 24-7 lead after three quarters and held on for a 30-21 victory over the four-time defending league champions.

Wyatt Andler ran for two first-half touchdowns and tacked on a third in the second half as the Guardians picked up their first win over the Generals since 2015.

“Grant is a quality, first-class program,” coach Keith Bennett said. “To be able to compete and get the win gives our kids a real boost of confidence.” 

Corvallis takes advantage of star QB’s ejection to beat rival

The crosstown rivalry between Crescent Valley and Corvallis can sometimes get a little crazy.

Such was the case Friday night, when Raiders standout quarterback Rocco McClave was ejected in the final minute of the third quarter for his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The Spartans took advantage, tying the score on RJ Young’s 16-yard run with eight minutes left, then getting the winning touchdown on Axel Prechel’s 1-yard run with 51 seconds left for a 21-14 victory.

After going 0-9 a year ago and dropping their opener to West Albany, the Spartans beat Central last week to end a 15-game losing streak and now find themselves in the hunt for their first playoff berth since 2019. 

Thurston gets big night from QB Blair to avert 0-3 start

Thurston started the 2018 and 2022 seasons 0-2, then turned things around to win a state title in 2018 and reach the semifinals last year.

The Colts haven’t started 0-3 since 2015, when they finished 1-8 — the last time they finished below .500 — and the five-time defending Midwestern League champions made sure that streak remained intact with a 48-14 victory over North Eugene in their league opener.

Noah Blair tossed six touchdown passes, with four going to Walker Bonar in the senior’s return from a collarbone injury and two to Luke Newell, who put a bow on the victory with an interception return for a touchdown with 8:49 remaining. 

Cardiac Kids at Marist Catholic pull off stunner at home

Marist Catholic hasn’t played in a “normal” game this season.

The Spartans went to overtime in each of their first two games, defeating Churchill in Week 1 before falling to Springfield last week in Millers coach Frank Geske’s 250th career victory

They didn’t need overtime this week, but their showdown with No. 1 Mazama went down to the final 90 seconds before they defeated the Vikings 33-29 in Eugene. 

Nick Hudson, who led 4A in passing yards and touchdown passes through two weeks, hit a wide-open CJ Giustina on an 18-yard scoring pass with 1:24 remaining to lift Marist Catholic to the win. 

Big kickoff return sparks Caldera’s shutout victory

Caldera’s 45-0 victory over Madras kicked off with a bang.

Ivan Barrios returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, breaking the school record.

Tommy Morris tossed four touchdown passes and ran for another score, and the Wolfpack posted the first shutout in the two-year program’s history to improve to 2-1. They won three games last season. 

Estacada avoids 0-3 start with big road win over La Grande

Another team expected to contend for a state title that started 0-2 was defending 4A champion Estacada, which lost to fellow contenders Mazama and Scappoose to open the season.

The Rangers were facing a possible 0-3 start when they trailed 7-0 to La Grande at halftime and 14-8 midway through the fourth quarter before rallying for a 16-14 victory.

They tied the score 14-14 with a trick play, as quarterback Andrew Riedel handed off to Lincoln Rathmanner, who then pulled up and hit Ryan Thielke on a 28-yard touchdown pass. The Rangers were successful on the two-point conversion and held on for the win. 


Week 3 predictions: How did we do?

Week 2 recap: 

What we learned in Week 2 of Oregon high school football

Instant analysis: 10 things to know from Week 2 of Oregon high school football

Our Week 2 predictions: How did we do?

State leaders: Class 6A | Class 5A | Class 4A

Media polls: Class 6A | Class 5A | Class 4A