With the fall sports season at Canby coming to an end, just one team remains in the 2009 campaign.
The No. 3 Cougars travel down to face Sprague on Friday night at 7 p.m. in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs. And who really knows what's going to happen.
Sprague is one of the sleeper teams who could dethrone Canby as the Olympians were once ranked No. 3 in the state. However, illnesses took out most of the football team in late October
in a stretch that saw Sprague lose two of three in conference play. It forced the Olympians to cancel a late-season test against Lake Oswego.
Sprague (7-2) is coming off another stellar offensive performance, scoring at least 40 points for the seventh time in nine games this season, in last week's 41-14 victory over Lincoln in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
The combination of quarterback Jeff Kidd and Chad Coburn dismantled Lincoln's defense, and should give Canby one of its stiffest tests this season.
Luke Andrews, The Oregonian, Olympians earn gold on offense and defense
"Sprague's defense forced four turnovers, including three interceptions, to help turn what appeared to be a potential shootout in the first half.
The Olympians (7-2) held Lincoln (6-5) without a score in the second half.
"We've done that all year," Sprague coach Robin Hill said of his offense. "But that (turnovers) is what we've been missing. When you play good teams, sometimes that can be the difference, and it was tonight."
"We feel very fortunate to have a lot of playmakers," Hill said. "Weused a lot of play-action plays, and they had a tendency to stare in the backfield. Chad (Coburn) is so athletic, he only needs a step. It was his night tonight." "
The Kidd to Coburn connection will certainly be a matchup to watch for as Canby prepares for Friday's game. According to the Sprague players, they simply haven't seen a defense yet that could stop them.
Dan Itel, Salem Statesman-Journal, Powerful Sprague rolls on in 41-14 win at Lincoln
And there wasn't much Lincoln, the second seed from the PIL, could do to slow down Sprague as the Olympians scored all their points in the first three quarters in a 41-14 road victory.
"We haven't really seen one yet," said Coburn, referring to a defense equal to the task. "So we'll see."
Coburn was one of the biggest reasons for Sprague's red-carpet to the end zone. The
senior wide receiver/running back/defensive back caught seven passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns, had nine carries for 43 yards and a touchdown and, to top it off, broke up a couple of passes on defense.
"He's just an all-around athlete," Sprague quarterback Jeff Kidd said. "I'm so proud of him for making me look so good, making our team look good."
My preview, Canby prepares for defensive challenge
The Cougars finished in the top-third of the state in points allowed, ranking 12th out of 45 teams at 20.1 points per game.
Sprague presents the most dynamic offense outside of No. 1 Sheldon, as the Olympians are ranked No. 2 in the state in points scored at 44.9 per game.
“They’re a very good football team,” Canby coach Mike Doty said. “They’re a lot like us. They’re a wing-T team, they do a lot of the same things we do. They’re a little more interior run-oriented but this year, they’re throwing the ball. They’ve got a very good quarterback.”
Game time for Friday night's game is 7 p.m. at Sprague High School. The winner plays either Clackamas or Centennial next week in the Class 6A quarterfinals. If Clackamas wins, Canby would most likely travel for the quarterfinal matchup. If Centennial wins, the Cougars would host next week's game.