HS Blitz Preview: Looking at the strange play-in week as playoffs start

HS Blitz Preview: Looking at the strange play-in week as playoffs start

Each week during high school football season KATU sports photographer Mike "Rossy" Rosborough previews the upcoming action on High School Blitz, which airs Friday nights at 11:35 p.m. Here is Rossy's look ahead at the final week of HS Blitz!

The play-in week is a strange beast. It matches all teams from the bottom of the standings, makes them practice another week for the chance, with a win, to practice more next week and travel to a superior team’s turf to get a beat down. It’s hard to get excited for that so all the more credit to the kids who show up every week ready to give it their best effort. It’s great prep for life down the road, although let’s hope next year’s plan leaves this out.

Our Game of the Week has Grant (2-7) meeting West Linn (3-6) in the Lion’s Den. The game features two squads with offensive moments, although they struggle on defense. The Lion’s key is RB Louie Germaine. If healthy he can carry them into the next round. Sam Davis, the General’s QB, needs to be productive in the first half for a change to make a difference. Nate Bynum and company will be live with the winners of this game on KATU’s The Blitz at 11:30 p.m.

Seeing Lake Oswego (3-6) in this bracket is unusual after 8 straight TRL titles, but the highest seed in this round draws the lowest seed, David Douglas (0-9). The Scots have been hard luck all fall, even in the weak Mt. Hood league and will get to put their season away after the Lakers handle them at home.

Thurston (2-7) buses up from Springfield to play Beaverton (4-5) in a contest that should go the home team’s way. The Beavers have contended well in the Metro League and should have the defense to harness the Colts.

North Salem (2-7) visits the higher seed Aloha (2-7) in what is a pick’ em game essentially with the edge to the home team.

Century (2-7) goes down I-5 to South Salem (4-5) for a game that on paper is even across the board. The Saxons home field is the difference maker here and everywhere in this round. The same goes for Hillsboro (2-7) as they go to Gresham (3-6). Here we have two inconsistent teams looking to see who shows up to play. The Spartans have an x-factor this week: a popular coach passed away last week, our condolences to the Hilhi family as they work through their grief, but you can’t overlook the motivation that comes with a reason to play well. Rooting for the Spartans this week.

5A doesn’t mess around. They are into playoff mode now with some good games locally. Summit (4-5) of Bend crosses Mt. Hood to play Sandy (6-3) on their new turf field. The Pioneers have played well under Coach Joe Polamalu and look to slow down the sprinters from Summit long enough to pull out a home win.

Eagle Point (5-4) and Wilsonville (5-4) take matching records into their contest on the Wildcat’s field with the game to close to call.

Parkrose (6-3) had a breakout year but lost their star QB to injury last week and need someone new to step this week to have a chance at home against the Churchill Lancers (4-5). New to 5A but not the playoffs, Marist (5-4) of Eugene comes to Wilson (6-3) and the Trojans strong finish to the PIL year could carry them into the next round.

A little 4A flavor gets into the mix this week. Junction City (5-3) and Central (7-2) meet in Monmouth where the Panthers have a great home field flavor. They are perennial contenders in a tough league and look to advance in the brackets again.

Join us for the best highlight show in the world, The Blitz, after the late news at 11:30 to see soaring passes and crunching runs from our sideline lensmen. Join in the action by sending us your photos and tweets to #K2Blitz and get them on during the show. Your energy just adds fuel to our fire on the air!  Happy Halloween, folks!