The HRV football team is riding high after winning its sixth straight game and setting a new state playoff record for points (84) last Friday against Lakeridge.
Likewise, this Friday’s opponent, Canby, is on top of the world after winning its 10th straight game, 34-19 over Glencoe.
“This is a confident football team,” Cougars coach Mike Doty told The Oregonian after the team’s first playoff appearance in four years. “It doesn’t matter who we play. This is a solid football team that can beat anyone.”
The Eagles will travel to Canby on Friday (kickoff is 7:30 p.m.) to face the fourth-ranked and undefeated Cougars, the champions of the Pac-9 Conference. They will try to hitch a ride on Jacobe Krizman’s back as he looks to add to his state-record total of 2,701 yards.
However, the Cougars are a
defensive-minded squad, and will try to accomplish something that no other team has been able to do this season: shut down Krizman.
In their 10 wins, the Cougars have taken advantage of a plus-23 turnover margin on the way to their first top-five ranking in years. Canby has been called “soft” by some critics because, in the Pac-9, they play a weaker schedule than some other contenders. But they did post wins over strong clubs from Tigard and McMinnville, as well as No. 8 state-ranked South Medford.
Not just a defensive team, the Cougars can also spread the field with their patented “wing-T” offense, spearheaded by running backs Shawn Doman (Soph.) and Josh Gustafson (Sr.). Senior Roland Stegemier is the playcaller, while senior tight end Eddie Brower is the No. 1 receiver.