The Indians and Lions are ready for the Seven-Mile War, this time on Scappoose High's grass.
The Highway 30 rivals are scheduled to face off at 7 p.m. on Friday for the second of at least six years in a row if the Oregon School Athletic Association's Classification and Districting Committee brings the Tribe up to the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference next fall.
In such a reality, reviewed at the latest classification and districting meeting in August, the Indians (1-0 overall) would replace Class 6A Mt. Hood Conference-bound Sandy and meet new neighbors St. Helens (0-1), La Salle Prep, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Parkrose, Putnam and Wilsonville.
Scappoose has reached state in eight of its first 11 Class 4A seasons while the Lions have made it to Class 5A state three times in the same span.
"I'm looking forward to getting revenge on [St. Helens for a 41-27 loss last year at Doc Ackerson Stadium], and also I'm looking forward to having a fight with my brothers on Friday night," Tribe senior quarterback Jerad Toman said. "It'll be a fun game to watch."
The Indians opened with a 51-13 win at back-to-back Provincial AAA semifinalist New Westminster on Friday, Sept. 1, in British Columbia, Canada, for their most points scored since they rolled host Seaside 61-6 on Sept. 23, 2016, and their fewest points allowed since their 28-0 home shutout of Tillamook the following week.
"Our whole team has been looking forward to this game ever since the end of the fourth quarter of last year's game," said Jake Gray, a Scappoose senior wide receiver and defensive back. "We hate losing any game, but it was even worse losing to them last year. We have all been putting in a lot of work this season, and I just can't wait to see it pay off."
The Tribe's offense is second in Class 4A to No. 1 Cottage Grove, which beat North Marion 56-0 on Sept. 1 in Aurora.
St. Helens is eager to prove itself after its 45-7 home loss to Hood River Valley at Doc Ackerson Stadium, where the Eagles freed themselves from a 10-game losing streak.
"I look forward to beating Scappoose and having a better game than last week," Lions junior lineman and captain Daniel Suon said. "I'm hoping that our defeat last game [St. Helens' biggest since it fell 58-26 in Wilsonville on Sept. 18, 2015] will give us a better understanding of how a varsity game goes for those younger guys playing up and teach them what kind of physicality we need this Friday."
Friday will come down to the quarterbacks: Where last week Toman completed three of five passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns, Lions senior Chase Parkhurst went four-for-eight for 64 yards.
"[What's most important is] seeing our improvements we made from last week and pulling together as a team to beat our most disliked rivals," St. Helens senior wide receiver/linebacker and captain Dylan Kessinger said.
Running games should flourish as Toman ran for 77 yards and two more trips to pay dirt last week, and Lions junior Shawn Lee dashed for 100 yards and a score.
"[It will be] a tough and competitive game for both teams," St. Helens senior running back/linebacker and captain Cody Leanna said. "It's going to take all four quarters to determine the winner of this game. We know what they have and what has to be done Friday. I have played against these guys in many sports: It's going to be a fun game and one to remember."
The Seven-Mile War beat Class 6A head-to-headers Newberg at Centennial, Jesuit at Central Catholic and Beaverton at Lake Oswego with 46 percent of fan votes for KGW's Game of the Week, KGW8 News announced Wednesday.
ST. HELENS AT SCAPPOOSE
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Back to speed: The Indians are eager to repay last year's 41-27 loss at Doc Ackerson Stadium