Take a look at the top quarterbacks from the Three Rivers League
Everybody knows how tough the Three Rivers League is in football this year.
There's top-ranked Tigard, second-ranked Lake Oswego (the 2018 Class 6A state champion), third-ranked West Linn, once-beaten (and former No. 2) Tualatin and on and on and on.
One of the reasons those teams are so good is that they all have strong quarterbacks, so here's a team-by-team look at the TRL's seven starting signal callers.
DREW CARTER, JR., TIGARD
Carter took over the starting quarterback spot for the Tigard football team midway through his freshman season and he hasn't let go of it. Carter, a second-team All-Three Rivers League selection last year as a sophomore, is having an outstanding junior season, helping the top-ranked Tigers get off to a 7-0 start in 2019. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Carter not only has a big arm when it comes to deep throws, he has shown a precision touch on short throws and a real knack on connecting with speedy senior Max Lenzy on deep, play-action passes. Carter has also scrambled more this season than in the past, turning into a running threat as well for the Tigers.
Stats: Through seven games, Carter has completed 64 of 98 passes (65 percent) for 1,073 yards and 15 touchdowns, with just one interception. He also has rushed for 85 yards and two more scores.
BLAKE JACKSON, SR., TUALATIN
Before the 2019 season started, Tualatin coach Dan Lever referred to new Timberwolves starting quarterback Blake Jackson as a "throwback quarterback." The gritty, 6-foot-0, 190-pound senior certainly seems to fit that description, as he seems just as happy running over an opposing linebacker as he does throwing a deep pass. Jackson also starts in the secondary for the Tualatin defense, a rarity for any quarterback. Jackson has certainly been a dual threat for the Wolves, both running and passing the ball, while also being a team leader and helping the team jump out to a 6-1 start to the season.
Stats: Through seven games, Jackson has completed 71 of 105 passes (67 percent) for 1,056 yards and eight touchdowns, with five interceptions. He also has rushed for 383 yards and three touchdowns on 68 carries.
J.J. WOODIN, JR., LAKE OSWEGO
Lake Oswego junior quarterback J.J. Woodin may have been an unknown outsider when he started the 2019 football season, but he is certainly not that any longer. Woodin, who transferred to Lake Oswego from Westview midway through his sophomore year, has come into his own as the Lakers' season has progressed. Woodin has shown an increasingly solid command of the Lake Oswego offense, an ability to throw quick outs as well as accurate deep balls to the Lakers' talented wide receivers and tight ends, and has used his throwing ability to keep star running back Casey Filkins viable despite the outsize attention he is paid by opposing defenses.
Stats: Through seven games, Woodin has completed 70 of 120 passes (58 percent) for 1,003 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.
COOPER JUSTICE, SR., LAKERIDGE
Lakeridge senior quarterback Cooper Justice is a first-year starter for the Pacers, a status has led to some ups and downs during his inaugural campaign at the helm of the Lakeridge offense. That said, Justice is proving his ability to throw accurate crossing routes, dangerous deep balls and serve as one of the leaders of the Pacers' offensive unit. He has thrown for more than 200 yards in three of his last four games, and has used his 6-foo-6, 220-pound size to effect as a runner, picking up 263 yards and five touchdowns through seven games.
Stats: Through seven games, Cooper has completed 66 of 128 passes (49 percent) for 1,129 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.
ETHAN COLEMAN, SR., WEST LINN
West Linn senior quarterback Ethan Coleman wasn't exactly brand new as a starter in 2019 — he led the Lions in starts against both Sheldon and Tigard in 2018 — and that familiarity has fueled his success this season. Coleman has helped the Lions pick right up where they left off a year ago, leading West Linn to a record 5-2 through seven games — the same as a year earlier — a No. 3 ranking and to just 11 fewer points than in 2018. Coleman has also proven his ability to throw every kind of pass the Lions' "O" requires and has 16 more TDs than interceptions.
Stats: Through seven games, Coleman has completed 102 of 151 passes (68 percent) for 1,537 yards with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions.
TREY MARTIN, JR., OREGON CITY
Trey Martin, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior, transferred to Oregon City from Jefferson and spent most of preseason training camp in a battle with sophomore Paxton Page for the Pioneers' starting job before Page went down with a season-ending knee injury in Oregon City's Aug. 30 jamboree. Martin is the third quarterback to transfer into Oregon City and take over the starting job in Dustin Janz's three seasons as the Pioneers' head coach. Martin is more of a dropback passer and less likely to run than either Austin Bonner or Colby Iverson — the two quarterbacks who preceded him — but he has made plays with his legs when needed.
Stats: Through seven games, Martin has completed 132 of 216 passes (61.1 percent) with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In his Pioneers' debut, Martin completed 39 of 54 passes for 377 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-39 come-from-behind home win over Grants Pass.
MIKEY GIBSON, SO., CANBY
While the Canby sophomore did not start the season as the Cougars' quarterback, his talent was on display in game one. Gibson's reverse pass to receiver Chance Miller for a 27-yard gain against Lincoln was Canby's first big play of the 2019 season. Gibson then got his first snaps at quarterback in mop-up duty against Newberg in week four, leading the Cougars to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and he has started since. While Gibson is still learning the position and looks more confident running the ball than throwing it, he did pass for 213 yards and four touchdowns in his first start at Tualatin.
Stats: Through seven games, Gibson has completed 48 of 78 passes (61.5 percent) for 720 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also rushed for 178 yards and a touchdown.
— Miles Vance, Dan Brood, Jim Beseda and Derek Wiley contributed to this story.
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