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Tradition-rich Foxes next Scappoose Indians foe in OSAA Class 5A football playoffs

PMG PHOTO: STEVE BRANDON - Coach Sean McNabb, addressing the Scappoose High football team after a win, will take the Indians to Silverton on Friday night with another playoff upset in mind.The Scappoose Indians football team will explore some new Oregon territory on Friday, hoping to get to somewhere in the playoffs they have never been.

The Indians are headed to Silverton as the underdog in a quarterfinal game against the Foxes.

If Scappoose wins, it will advance to the state semifinals for the first time in its history as a Class 5A school.

Which really would be saying something, because the Indians have only been in 5A for two years, having moved up after years of success in 4A.

The Indians and Foxes will kick off at 7 p.m.

This is the second year Scappoose has reached the final eight in Oregon School Activities Association 5A football.

Last year, the Indians won their first-round game at home, defeating North Bend 20-14.

Last week, the Tribe had to go on the road to meet Pendleton, a team that was 4-0 against them over the past two seasons. Scappoose pulled off that upset, winning 23-14 at Round-Up Stadium to eliminate the Buckaroos and move on to the next round.

Silverton, on paper at least, will present an even more formidable challenge than Pendleton. The Foxes are ranked fourth in the state; Pendleton was No. 5. And Silverton has an illustrious 5A recent history in football.

The Foxes are in the playoffs for the ninth year in a row. They were second in the state in 2014 and reached the semifinals as well in 2012 and 2013. So, since 2011, they've been in 18 5A playoff games already.

"They have a lot of support in that community," Scappoose coach Sean McNabb said. "It's a one-high school town, and they love their football."

Silverton and 13th-ranked Scappoose haven't had any common opponents this year, but the Foxes' resume looks good — they are 9-1, with the only loss coming Nov. 1 to West Albany, 28-21, in what was a battle for the Mid-Willamette Conference championship.

West Albany, which is ranked third, is 10-0 going into a home game on Friday against No. 6 Ashland (9-1).

Silverton really got it going in football under coach John Mannion, who left in 2017 to take over the program at a new and already tough 6A school in Beaverton, Mountainside High.

Mannion came from California, where he was a winning high school coach, and his son, Sean, was a star quarterback for Oregon State who has played in the NFL since 2015 and is a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Mannion's replacement was and is Josh Craig, a former Silverton receiver and defensive back. The 2009 graduate began coaching at his alma mater right out of high school, then took a break to get a degree at OSU. He's 28 years old.

"Mannion did a really good job with those guys, and it created a lot of tradition and momentum, and their new coach took the reins and ran with it," McNabb said. "You can tell they're well-coached."

Silverton has had only one other really close game this year besides the clash with West Albany. The Foxes edged host Lebanon 29-25 on Sept. 20.

Last week, Silverton opened the playoffs with a 55-7 rout at home against La Salle Prep.

The Foxes are averaging 40.3 points per game and allowing 12.3. Scappoose has scored 34.7 points per outing and given up 22.0.

The Foxes play their home games on a turf field, and while they have no shortage of athletes, they rely on a lot also on their system, offensively and defensively.

"They're really big up front and have a couple of running backs that run really hard," McNabb said. "They'll be different from Pendleton, which was all shotgun and spread formation. These guys pretty much always have the quarterback under center, with one or two backs in the backfield. They have a quarterback (6-1, 165-pound sophomore Jordan McCarty) who throws the ball really nice, and they will throw, but what they want to do is run the ball and keep it out of your hands.

"On defense, they do some things we're not used to seeing, so we're going to have to find little holes to be able to move the ball. But I feel we match up well, because we're big up front, too. We're going to have to throw the ball better, though, and try our best to find some holes in their defense."

What else will it take for Scappoose to win?

For one thing, the Indians can't rest on the laurels of their victory at Pendleton.

"You wake up Saturday after a win (at Pendleton) and have a smile on your face, but then reality sets in that this thing isn't over," McNabb said. "So, let's learn from the win and use it as momentum, but now we've got to get on to the next thing, and not be complacent or just happy that we got here.

"Let's make a dent in this thing and keep it going."

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