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Wilsonville football schedule preview


The Wilsonville football team has a difficult but manageable schedule this season.

Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO - The Wilsonville Wildcats do not have to play  Sherwood this season.

The Wilsonville football team as well as the rest of the Northwest Oregon Conference can exhale as perennial league powerhouse Sherwood has moved on to 6A. But with the addition of La Salle and Hillsboro, the conference looks as competitive as ever. Here's a week-by-week breakdown of the Wildcats schedule.

September 5 vs. Mountain View

Last year, Mountain View upended Wilsonville 26-13 during the regular season. The year before, they defeated Wilsonville in the first round of the state playoffs 21-14. The game was Mountain View’s sole playoff win since they won the state title in 2011. However, Mountain View has won seven league titles in the last eight years and will be a tough out for the Wildcats.

September 12 at Sandy

It appears the Pioneers are on the up-and-up. They had their first winning season since 2004, return starting quarterback Spencer Barnett and second-team all-league running back C.J. McKinnis and finished tied for second in a jumbled Northwest Oregon Conference last season. Wilsonville squeaked by Sandy 17-14 at home a year ago, but with home field advantage this time around, Sandy has a puncher’s shot at exacting revenge.

September 19 at St Helens

St. Helens finished 3-6 overall and 1-6 in league play and lost to Wilsonville 21-12 in 2013. And they might not see much improvement, as they must replace NWOC lineman of the year Jacob Zartman and second-team all-league running back Tanner Long. However, last year’s team might’ve been better than their record indicates as they lost to Putnam and Liberty by three total points. Still, its unlikely Wilsonville head coach Adam Guenther circled this game on his schedule unless he’s worried about gas expenditure.

September 26 vs. Milwaukie

Milwaukie struggled mightily last year, accruing one victory and earning zero. The Mustangs lone win came against the Wildcats, who forfeited because they suited up an academically ineligible player. However, the game score read 51-7, Wilsonville. Anyway, the Mustangs hired longtime Oregon head coach Jon Wolf. Wolf has won nearly 100 games throughout his 32-year high school career and should elevate the football program. Still, Rome wasn’t built overnight.

October 3 at La Salle

La Salle managed just a 2-7, 1-4 record last year in the 4A Tri-Valley Conference. After a disappointing season, La Salle got rid of 2011 state championship winning head coach Tim Bowman and hired former Skyview (Vancouver) assistant coach Aaron Hazel. With a first year head coach and residing in a tougher league, La Salle might go through some growing pains this year.

October 9 vs. Parkrose

Parkrose found itself in the four-way tie for second place last season. However, like Sandy, and unlike Wilsonville, they did not reach the state playoffs after losing to Churchill in the play-in game. This year, Parkrose could man a lethal offense led by the dynamic combination of 2013 conference co-player of the year quarterback Jonathan Boland and first team all-league wide receiver Marshawn Edwards. Plus, they return second team all-league wide receivers Michael Hurlic and Vincent Vy. Suffice it to say, it’s going to take a concerted effort for any team to stop the Broncos passing attack. Ironically, Broncos corner Andre Johnson may be best suited to shut down opposing wide receivers of anyone in the conference. Wilsonville will have to dominate up front, get pressure on Boland and corral Parkrose receivers to win this one.

October 17 at Putnam

Putnam defeated a fourth ranked Wilsonville team by two points in double overtime last year. The game was Putnam football’s crowning achievement of 2013, as they were otherwise only able to defeat downtrodden St. Helens and Milwaukie. This year, they hired former Lewis & Clark College defensive coordinator Tim Jacobs as the new head coach. Wilsonville personnel won’t lose too much sleep over this one.

October 24 vs. Liberty

Wilsonville walloped Liberty 45-7 last year, but strangely wound up with the same 4-3-league record. This is because, unlike Wilsonville, Liberty defeated Parkrose and didn’t forfeit their victory over Milwaukie. Liberty returns star-studded first-team all-league wide out and cornerback Byron Greenlee. In combination with returning starting quarterback Blake Walker and senior receiver Austin Mason, Greenlee and a Liberty attack that scored at least 29 points in five games last season, could be even better this year.

October 31 vs. Hillsboro

Hillsboro must be happy to break free from the stout 6A Pacific Conference that featured 6A semifinalist Tigard. Now that they are in the NWOC, they should have the opportunity to win more than one league game. In fact, one of their two victories came against Liberty in the first game of last season. However, their only notable returning player is senior receiver Dylan Frederick.