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Oregon high school football Round 4 recap: Top stars, best performances from state championship games

The Oregon high school football season concluded this weekend with state championship games
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The Oregon high school football season concluded this weekend with state championship games.

Here’s a look at some of the top stars and memorable performances. 

Our Round 4 predictions:

How did we do?

CLASS 6A | Bracket

No. 4 Central Catholic 49, No. 2 Tualatin 21 | Story

The Rams (13-0) set a state championship game record by amassing 639 total yards and scored 35 unanswered points in defeating the Timberwolves (11-2), who saw two of their top playmakers sidelined by injuries within a span of seconds in the second quarter. 

Senior quarterback Cru Newman, who also led Central Catholic to the 2021 title against Tualatin, was 19 of 24 for 346 yards and a touchdown and rushed for a game-high 96 yards and two touchdowns at Hillsboro Stadium. 

“I would say this one is more satisfying,” Newman said. “I’ve been with all these guys the last four years, and it’s finally coming to an end. And going out with one feels amazing.”

His 50-yard touchdown pass to Landon Kelsey 1:02 before halftime gave the Rams their first lead at 28-21. 

“Cru’s a magician,” said Rams senior Timmy Mitchell. “He just does things. That’s how it is, you know? I love that guy.” 

Photo by Leon Neuschwander 

Photo by Leon Neuschwander 

Tualatin scored on each of its first three possessions but lost junior quarterback Nolan Keeney one play after he was sacked on their third drive. Two plays after Keeney exited, senior Jayden Fortier — an Arizona State commit — suffered a possible ACL injury in his left knee while converting a fourth-down run.

Senior AJ Noland, who moved from receiver to quarterback to replace Keeney, led Tualatin to a touchdown to finish that drive, but those would be the Timberwolves’ final points. They were held to 102 yards on their final seven possessions.

“Give credit to my kids — they battled and they fought,” Tualatin coach Dom Ferraro said. “They kept fighting, regardless of what happened. But it’s tough when you lose your two dudes. We just got outgunned out there.” 

The victory improved Rams coach Steve Pyne’s record in championship games to 5-1 since 2013. His fifth title tied Dayton’s Dewey Sullivan for third on the all-time state list.

The Timberwolves have not won a state title in four final appearances. 


No. 21 Sunset 34, No. 18 South Medford 21

Senior quarterback Drew Nees was 22 of 25 for 240 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another score as the Apollos (9-4) finished the season with a sixth consecutive victory to win the second edition of the OSAA Columbia Cup at Cottage Grove High School. 

The Craigwell brothers — senior Derek and sophomore Justin — also had big games for Sunset, with Derek catching 11 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown and Justin running for a game-high 115 yards as the Apollos amassed 443 yards of total offense.

Apollos coach Damien Merrick had talked about how his team had a choice to make after its Week 7 loss to Jesuit dropped them to 3-4. 

“The seniors made the decision that playing for as long as possible was something they wanted,” Merrick said. “And they made sure that everyone else was on board for the ride. These guys just truly love each other and love playing together.”

Photo by Leon Neuschwander 

Photo by Leon Neuschwander 

The Panthers (9-4) managed just 222 total yards but were within 21-14 when Ajani Ingram hauled in a 64-yard touchdown pass from Colby Schwartz with 7:36 to play.

They forced a punt, but a fumble on the return was recovered by Sunset’s Chris Richardson, and Nees cashed in the turnover one play later with a 4-yard touchdown run.

Nees intercepted a pass on South Medford’s next series, then directed a 13-play drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass to Derek Craigwell for a 34-14 lead with 10:16 to play.

Blake Hurley also caught two touchdown passes for the Apollos and had an interception.

Schwartz was 3 of 8 for 72 yards and scored on two short runs for South Medford. Kameron Rague had a game-high 14 tackles for the Panthers, and Makani Manuwai had eight tackles (three for loss) and a sack. 

CLASS 5A | Bracket

No. 1 Wilsonville 29, No. 3 Mountain View 23 | Story

Senior quarterback Kallen Gutridge shrugged off two interceptions to go 18 of 29 for 291 yards and four touchdowns, including a 30-yard scoring pass to Nick Crowley with 4:56 remaining as the Wildcats (12-1) rallied from a 20-7 halftime deficit to defeat the Cougars (12-1) at Hillsboro Stadium and win their first title since 2004.

Wilsonville also overcame 16 penalties for 161 yards — both figures the most in a state title game since 2010 — and a solid game from Mountain View quarterback Connor Crum, who was 14 of 22 for 136 yards and threw and ran for touchdowns. 

Connor Calvert kicked field goals of 37, 44 and 36 yards, with the last pushing the Cougars’ lead to 23-14 with 11:09 to play. His three field goals tied the record for most made in a state final. 

Wilsonville answered with a nine-play drive capped by a 6-yard touchdown pass from Gutridge to Crawley, who finished with five catches for 111 yards and two scores.

Will Ingle’s fourth-down sack of Crum with 5:02 to play set up Gutridge’s winning touchdown pass to Crowley.

“It was really just one foot in front of the other, just staying persistent,” said Wildcats junior Mark Wiepert, who made a game-high 17 tackles and caught a touchdown pass. “It’s really hard to keep things rolling when things like that happen, but that just speaks to the character and heart of this team.”

Photo by Leon Neuschwander 

Photo by Leon Neuschwander 

Ingle had a sack on Mountain View’s final drive after a 21-yard completion from Crum to Kaden Alayan gave the Cougars a first down at the Wildcats 12-yard line. Ingle finished with three sacks to tie the record for most in a state final. 

The Wildcats held sophomore Angel Valenzuela, 5A’s top rusher with 1,756 yards and 27 touchdowns entering the game, to 71 yards on 24 carries. 

Wilsonville reached the state final in 2016, 2018 and last year but fell short each time.

Mountain View was playing in its second state final, winning in its only previous appearance in 2011. 

CLASS 4A | Bracket

No. 1 Henley 42, No. 2 Marist Catholic 28

The Hornets (13-0) completed their first undefeated season since 1947 and won their first state championship since 1982, with sophomore quarterback Joe Janney coming up big in the absence of senior Logan Whitlock to lead the Klamath Falls school past the Spartans (11-2) at Bend’s Caldera High School. 

Hornets coach Alex Stork said many players from that 1982 championship team sent motivational videos ahead of Saturday’s final.

“We are very thankful to share this victory with them,” Stork said. “Getting to do it with this team is such a blessing.”

Janney ran for 180 yards and four touchdowns, threw for another score and returned an interception 36 yards for a critical fourth-quarter score.

Whitlock, who rushed for 1,944 yards and 42 touchdowns during the season, suffered a knee injury during last week’s semifinal victory against Scappoose.

“I’m so proud of Joe and his play tonight on both sides of the ball,” Stork said. “He’s such a competitor.”

Marist Catholic junior quarterback Nick Hudson threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, but the Hornets intercepted him four times in the second half, cashing in three for touchdowns to help them pull away after trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter.

The turning point came late in the second quarter after the Hornets held on fourth down at their 30-yard line. Rather than kneel out the half, Janney took off on a quarterback keeper and scampered 70 yards for the go-ahead score 15 seconds before halftime. 

Janney’s 12-yard scoring run late in the third quarter pushed the lead to 28-14, but the Spartans answered as Hudson hit Kaden Erlenbush from 4 yards 10 seconds into the final period. 

Dennis Jackson Jr. intercepted Janney around midfield to set up the Spartans, but they couldn’t take advantage. After an exchange of punts, Janney intercepted Hudson and returned it for a touchdown with 6:26 to play. 

Nichols’ interception on the ensuing drive set up Janney’s fourth rushing score from 25 yards with 3:44 left. 

CLASS 3A | Bracket

No. 2 Cascade Christian 34, No. 1 Banks 24 

The Challengers (13-0) took advantage of three turnovers to build a 34-6 lead, then held off a furious Banks rally at Cottage Grove High School to complete a second consecutive undefeated season and win the program’s fifth state title.

Cascade Christian notched its 26th consecutive win to become the first school since Dufur (2017-18) to go unbeaten in back-to-back seasons and the sixth in the past 20 years. 

“The feeling is one of joy and satisfaction at what these young men and coaches sacrificed and the work they put into the season,” said coach Jon Gettman, who won his fourth state title since taking over the program in 2010. “I am definitely blessed to be part of this community.”

Ashton Moody was 9 of 21 for 149 yards and a touchdown in his final game for the Challengers, ran for 158 yards and two scores on 21 carries, and made six tackles (three for loss) and two sacks. 

“Ashton’s toughness is what stands out to me,” Gettman said. “He just plays the game with such intensity and comes up big when we need it.”

Mason Hoffman opened the scoring for Cascade Christian with a 31-yard field goal. Banks (12-1) fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Caleb Scaglione returned the ball 16 yards for a 10-0 lead. 

After a three-and-out, the Challengers quickly made it 17-0 as Moody found Deryk Farmer for a 67-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left in the opening quarter.

“Getting the scoop-and-score was a huge play for us,” Gettman said. “It gave us the momentum.” 

Kade Long’s 48-yard touchdown pass to Lane Gilbert drew Banks within 17-6, but Moody scored on a 6-yard run just before halftime. After Hoffman’s 25-yard field goal on Cascade Christian’s opening drive of the third quarter, Moody scored on a 72-yard run to give the Challengers a 34-6 lead with seven minutes left in the period.

Banks rallied over the final 14 minutes with three touchdowns — a 4-yard run by Ashton Crossen and Long’s touchdown passes of 26 yards to Justin Walters and 12 yards to Max Walker.

Long finished 20 of 42 for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Walters led Banks with eight tackles. 

CLASS 2A | Bracket

No. 3 Lowell 74, No. 1 Weston-McEwen/Griswold 42 

The Devils (12-1) entered Hillsboro Stadium with a TigerScot-sized chip on their shoulder. 

They exited with the first football state championship in school history, pulling away in the second half to defeat Weston-McEwen/Griswold (11-1), avenging losses to the TigerScots in last year’s playoffs and Week 4 this season. 

“We just had that fire in us,” said junior JaMar Thurman, who ran for 266 yards and five touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass and had six tackles and an interception on defense. “We really wanted to beat them. I mean, we were 0-2 against them, and we were, to be honest, really pissed off about that. So, we came in here, made our adjustments. We showed up and played ball.”

Photo by Rene Ferran 

Photo by Rene Ferran 

Thurman’s five rushing touchdowns tied for second-most in an OSAA state final at any classification, trailing only Keanon Lowe (now the Mountainside coach), who scored six in Jesuit’s 2009 victory over Sheldon in the 6A final. 

“He’s the best running back that we have seen,” said TigerScots coach Kenzie Hansell, whose team lost to Oakland in last year’s final. 

Lowell had been in one previous state final in 2013, but with first-year coach Ray Yarbrough leading the way, the Devils won the program’s first title.

“He pushes us,” Thurman said of Yarbrough, who coached at Illinois Valley, Churchill and Oakridge and was an assistant at Lowell last year. “He wanted to be a champion, and he made us champions.”

Lowell quarterback Carter Harris, who missed the second half of last week’s win against Oakland with a neck injury, returned to practice this week and finished 11 of 17 for 270 yards and four touchdowns. 

“Absolutely not,” he said about possibly missing the final. “I was icing it, stretching it, heating pads, all that, getting ready for this big game. I was super excited to be here. We were just looking for revenge. We wanted that win. We all stepped up and did what we could, and we balled out.” 

Sean Roggiero’s 62-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second half drew the TigerScots within 29-28, but the Devils scored on three consecutive possessions to extend the lead to 51-28 late in the third quarter.

Lowell finished with 618 total yards, with Justus Thurman catching four passes for 146 yards and a touchdown and Rowan Files catching two touchdown passes and making nine tackles and an interception. Brody Thurman had five tackles (three for loss) and two sacks. 

Easton Berry was 15 of 24 for 299 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions for the TigerScots. Roggiero made a team-high 10 tackles and caught a touchdown pass.

CLASS 1A 8-MAN | Bracket

No. 1 Lost River 30, No. 2 Crane 20

Senior quarterback Chase McAuliffe accounted for 219 total yards and four touchdowns, and he had a team-high eight tackles as the Raiders (11-0) clinched back-to-back state championships at Bend’s Caldera High School while denying the Mustangs (10-1) their first title. 

“I just know it’s not an easy task to complete, so it’s very satisfying,” coach Dennis Dunlea said. “I think our boys were tough, resilient and focused. They beat a good Crane team that made some big plays throughout.” 

Dunlea watched the second of his four sons, Connor, play his final game, in which he finished with 184 all-purpose yards, caught a touchdown pass and made seven tackles.

“I’m not sure it was much of a conversation with Con afterward — I may have been a little emotional,” Dennis said. “I was very proud of him today and throughout. I don’t think it’s easy being the coach’s kid, and he handled it well. A great player who really became a special leader for us.”

McAuliffe’s second touchdown run was an 8-yarder 1:20 before halftime to give Lost River a 24-14 lead going to the locker room. 

The Raiders took the second-half kickoff and drove 63 yards in 13 plays, taking more than 7½ minutes off the clock before McAuliffe found Emmett O’Brien from 4 yards to push the lead to 30-14. 

Josh Zander’s third touchdown pass of the game — a 32-yarder to Trenton Potter with 7:24 to play — brought Crane within 30-20. The Mustangs then forced a fumble that Keegan Sallee recovered at their 48-yard line, but O’Brien made an open-field tackle to stop Carter Nichols a yard short on a fourth-down pass with 5:12 remaining. 

Lost River kept the ball the rest of the way, with a critical penalty allowing the Raiders to convert on fourth-and-5 with 1:14 to go. 

Zander finished 16 of 28 for 187 yards, and Nichols ran for 88 yards on 20 carries and made 10 tackles. 

CLASS 1A 6-MAN | Bracket

No. 10 Echo 47, No. 4 Joseph 40

When the Cougars started the season 1-3, the odds they would win the program’s first state title were quite long. 

Eight weeks later, with nearly the entire community making the 9-mile drive down Highway 395 to Hermiston High School, they could celebrate the school’s first state championship since the girls basketball team’s 1981 Class B title. 

“The amount of community support we’ve had the last four weeks has just been enormous,” said third-year coach Thomas VanNice. “And to be able to wrap this game up and bring this home for them is huge. That feeling in the stadium was amazing.”

Senior Dom Curiel, the league’s offensive player of the year, ran for 102 yards and a touchdown and was 12 of 14 for 171 yards and two scores as Echo (9-3) rallied from a 19-0 first-half deficit to avenge a Week 1 loss to the Eagles (9-2) and end a five-game losing streak in the series. 

“That’s definitely been our motto all year — resilience,” VanNice said. “We were never out of it, and that was evident today. We were trailing 19-0, and our kids realized that we’re not out of this. We fought back with everything we had.”

Joseph led 19-0 after one quarter, with Gavin Russell running for one score and catching a touchdown pass.

But by halftime, Echo was up 21-19 as Sam Wyse ran for a 52-yard score and caught a 41-yard pass from younger brother Kohlvin with 14 seconds left in the half. 

The Eagles briefly regained the lead at 26-21 on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Kane Johnson to Kellen Crenshaw on the first play of the second half. The Cougars answered with a 38-yard touchdown run by Isiic Wade. 

After forcing a turnover on downs, Echo needed one play to build a two-score advantage on Kohlvin Wyse’s 59-yard touchdown pass to Keegin Chitty. 

Johnson was 22 of 35 for 284 yards and three touchdowns for Joseph, which was in its first final since 2008 and sought a first football state title. Jaxon Grover caught six passes for 126 yards and a touchdown, made a game-high 13 tackles and recovered a fumble.


Our championship game predictions: How did we do?

Breaking down each of this weekend's state championship games

State semifinals: Top stars, game by game recap

Regular-season stats leaders: Class 6A | Class 5A | Class 4A

Postseason stats leaders: Class 6A | Class 5A | Class 4A