Top high school football games to watch in Multnomah County in 2022
With the high school football season in Oregon upon us, we took a look at the top matchups coming in 2022 for teams in Multnomah County (plus Sandy and Estacada).
As usual, there are plenty of nonleague matchups early on that attract a must-see designation, whether that be top-ranked games, renewed rivalries or rematches from the past few years.
Here is a week by week look at which games this season shouldn't be missed:
Mazama at Estacada, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2
After another trip to the Class 4A semifinals last season, Estacada has its eyes set on the prize in 2022. The Rangers once again have put together an impressive nonleague slate to open the season, but no game will be bigger than opening night at home against Mazama.
The Vikings also were in the 4A semis last season and are aiming high in 2022, so meeting up with the Rangers early on will provide a big test out the gate for both sides. Also, the week one matchup is Estacada's first game on its new home field that was put in over the summer.
Reynolds at Cleveland, Thursday, Sept. 1
After missing out on a normal 2020 fall season, the 2021 season was a much-needed return to normal for many communities last year. For those in Southeast Portland around Cleveland, that never came as the program opted for a JV-only schedule due to a lack of numbers.
Back for 2022, the Warriors have retooled and are ready for varsity competition. They won't have to wait long either to bring Friday night lights back (or Thursday in this case) as they bring in the Raiders week one.
Honorable mention: There's simply too many good games week one, here's a couple more to keep on the radar: Barlow at Lake Oswego (7 p.m., Sept. 1), Central Catholic at Bellevue (Washington) (1 p.m., Sept. 3) and Sandy at Sunset (7 p.m., Sept. 2).
St. John Bosco (CA) vs. Central Catholic, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, Autzen Stadium
One of the best prep football programs in the country is heading north to Eugene to take on two-time defending 6A champions Central Catholic at Autzen Stadium. The Rams will be coming off a week one matchup with Bellevue (Washington), another team that has received some national recognition in the preseason.
St. John Bosco is a different beast though, listed toward the top of most national rankings. This is not only a test of where the Rams are among the best teams in Oregon, but it's a chance to see where they fit on a national scale. Plus, it'll provide a great experience to bring to the Mt. Hood Conference slate and beyond into the playoffs.
Mountainside at Barlow, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9
Two playoff teams from last season in 6A will clash out on the east side of the Portland metro area. Barlow drew a tough round one matchup against Westview while Mountainside had Central Catholic to deal with in round two to end last season.
Both programs lost some key contributors from those 2021 teams, but both aren't programs that rebuild and instead, they retool. This week two matchup will give them both a chance to see where they stack up outside of their league and provide some expectations for how the rest of 2022 will shake out.
Jefferson at Roosevelt, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16
These two were part of the three-team race for the PIL title last season, both eventually losing out to league champ Grant. Both squads enter 2022 with new QBs under center and playmakers to replace at running back and wide receiver.
Matching up early in the league slate gives both the Demos and Roughriders a chance to see where they stack up in the PIL. A win or loss here could go a long way toward deciding the PIL title, and it could help shape the final few weeks of the season for both sides. With two weeks of nonleague under their belt, both sides certainly will be ready and in the groove by week three.
McDaniel at Lincoln, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16
With the top three from the PIL losing plenty of talent from last season, that leaves the door open for someone to come and eat some automatic playoff spots. McDaniel and Lincoln can both say, why not us?
Lincoln will have a new QB under center as well, but either choice between Carson Wacker and Liam Elmdridge is one that will help the passing game. Meanwhile, McDaniel is looking to step up from the cellar of the PIL standings, and taking down Lincoln would be an important step in that climb.
Grant at Jefferson, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23
Grant's lone league loss last season came at the hands of the Demos, so you can bet the Generals are looking for a little rivalry revenge in 2022. New head coach Alex Melson is no stranger to the rivalry having played at Grant growing up, so he'll understand the importance of beating Jefferson not just in the standings, but the bragging rights.
On the Demos side, back to back weeks against the best PIL teams from last year is a tough stretch, but if they can escape 2-0, things could be looking strong for Jefferson down the stretch to close out a league title.
Barlow at Clackamas, 7 p.m. Sept. 23
Clackamas and Central Catholic were on a collision course last season for the Mt. Hood Conference title, but in 2022 Barlow hopes to figure into that conversation a little more, and it could start with a road win over the Cavaliers.
The Bruins ran the ball often last season and wanted to win in the trenches, which was and still is an area of strength for Clackamas and their front lines. The winner of this game will be whoever comes out the most physical up front and allows for their RBs to get into some open space.
Parkrose at La Salle Prep, 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29
Both squads went down to Class 4A starting this season after some struggles the past few years at the 5A level. Being league rivals for a chunk of that time, they're no stranger to each other as both sides are working to make strides toward steadying their programs.
Meeting at the midpoint of the season can give the Broncos and Falcons a chance to see where their stack up with one another as they follow similar paths in the 4A realm. Plus, it's the homecoming game for La Salle, which is always one of the highlights of fall.
McDaniel at Franklin, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
Not too different from the highlighted week three matchup between McDaniel and Lincoln, this matchup poses similar traits. The Lightning took fourth last season in the PIL and have a new coach this year in Jamal Jones.
A win or two there for Jones and crew could lift Franklin back into the playoffs, but first they need to take care of business against McDaniel and some of the other programs before challenging for a top four spot. (The PIL will have four automatic bids this year into the 6A playoffs).
Reynolds at David Douglas, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
Reynolds had some tough sledding last season, meanwhile David Douglas made the 6A playoffs and hosted in round one as the No. 15 seed. The Scots hope to continue that success while the Raiders are looking to steal a little bit of that for themselves.
The Mt. Hood Conference is top heavy and whoever can get into the top will get a strong look at the playoffs. Both of these sides hope they can be one of those teams and end up like the Scots last year hosting in November.
Warrenton at Corbett, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7
A playoff team from last season, Warrenton comes into town to take on Corbett in what the Cardinals hope to be a statement game. After going 2-5 last season, taking down a 3A quarterfinals opponent in Warrenton could be a big time step toward getting back to the field of 16 themselves.
Warrenton won last year in Corbett 36-14, so even without a win the Cardinals can give themselves a measure of where any potential improvement lies.
Lincoln at Wells, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13
The battle of the birds is a fight for Southwest Portland supremacy in this matchup. Of course, it's the second straight year the Guardians will host as the Cardinals next step in their school rebuild is their athletic facilities on the site of their old school building.
Rivalries always mean a little more, even if there isn't necessarily a playoff spot on the line in this one come week seven. And if there is, one side will certainly be happy to play spoiler to the other.
Central Catholic at Barlow, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13
Two of the best in the Mt. Hood Conference will collide to help shape the top three going into the final two weeks of the season. The Bruins already have had their dance with Clackamas a couple weeks prior, which is another key to determining this league outcome. For the Rams, this kicks off a tough two-week stretch.
Clackamas at Central Catholic, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21
This seems like the big one once again in the Mt. Hood Conference. Last season, both squads entered this matchup in the final week of the regular season undefeated before the Rams escaped with a 38-20 victory.
Now in 2022, the Cavaliers are looking for a little revenge and to knock off the two-time defending state champion Rams with their arsenal of returners. Central Catholic will have plenty of returners still, but has big shoes to fill with the departure of Emar'rion Winston, Riley Williams and Jordan King.
Grant at Roosevelt, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28
This game decided the PIL title last season, and there's a reason it could end up doing the same in 2022. Grant returns some important starters, like QB Kellen Segel, while Roosevelt has plenty of skill position players back despite losing Imarion Kelly and Lindell Betts.
Plenty of others in the PIL will have a say though ,and this spot could easily be replaced, but for now, the reigning top contenders will be the favorites heading into the season.
Sandy at Barlow, 7 p.m., Oct. 28
Speaking of rivalries, this one will be interesting in 2022 after the Pioneers knocked off the Bruins for the first time in 21 years a season ago. Now back in Barlow, you can bet the Bruins are looking to start a new streak in the season finale.
Not only are bragging rights on the line, but both of these 2021 playoff teams could need this win for a 2022 playoff spot. Plenty will be on the line out east in the final week of the season.
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