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Young Braves - led by Cooper Gobel - pick-up from the last two years of unprecedented success.

COURTESY PHOTO: STEWART MONROE - Banks quarterback Cooper Gobel scrambles from the pocket during the Braves' 48-0 win over Valley Catholic Friday night, March 12, at Valley Catholic High School.Two seasons removed from a state championship and one from a state runner-up, the Banks Braves — despite the loss of more than a handful of key players — once again hit the ground running, improving to 2-0 following a second straight lopsided victory, the latest of which was a 48-0 win over Beaverton's Valley Catholic.

Banks put 41 points on the Valiants in the first half, then after a score on the third quarter's first possession, eased-up on Valley en route to the second of consecutive blowout wins.

"I'm excited for our kids," Banks head coach Cole Linehan said. "I feel like they've been putting in the work in the short amount of time we've had and been able to pull it off. We're playing well and I like our chances against anyone."

The Braves are anchored by a formidable front, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. But in addition to the work in the trenches, Linehan said he's been impressed with first-year junior quarterback Cooper Gobel, who completed 19 of his 25 pass attempts versus Valley for 358 yards and five touchdowns — mostly all in the first half.

"Cooper (Gobel) has numbers that are hard to compete with," Linehan said. "He could've had 400 yards in that first half. He's really putting it on guys."

The performance comes on the heels of an equally impressive debut in the Braves' 48-19 opening week win over Astoria. Taking over from last year's starter Tanner Shook, and standout Hayden Vandehey the year prior, Gobel is a combined 39-for-49, with 625 yards and 10 touchdowns in his two starts this year.

Amongst others, Linehan also noted the performance of juniors, tight end Charlie White and receiver Aaron Brown, saying both have made a leap from this year to last.

"Charlie White's been off the charts," Linehan said. "He's been special for us, and Aaron Brown has really stepped up. So guys are stepping up and it's been really fun."

The Braves travel to Seaside this week for a game against the rival Seagulls. Linehan said it will likely be the toughest of this season's five-game slate, but whether it be this week, last, or any game going forward, it's just good to be playing football again.

"Sure, it's been different, but we're still playing football, still happy about it, and the kids are playing hard."

Other games of note:

After dominating St. Helens a week prior, Hillsboro fell hard in their home-opener against Canby, losing to the Cougars 48-0. Canby scored 14 in the first quarter, 13 in the second, and 21 in the third before calling-off the dogs in the final stanza. Slade Shufelt led the Spartans with 53 yards rushing on 11 carries. Liberty dropped to 0-2 with a 38-8 home loss to Newberg. The Falcons were coming off of a 42-22 loss to Glencoe in their season-opener and will look to get their first win next week at McMinnville. Forest Grove lost their second consecutive game, last week falling at Scappoose 48-0. The Viks will travel to league power Wilsonville next week for a 7:00 p.m. game with the Wildcats. Lasty, Gaston improved to 2-0 on the season, following-up a week-1 28-22 win over Sheridan, with a 26-0 performance over Colton. The Greyhounds will host Knappa at 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 19.


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