There are several players who have stepped up this season and helped the Camas Valley football team advance to the quarterfinals of the OSAA Class 1A eight-man playoffs.
Right at the top of the list is Bridger Godfrey.
The 6-foot, 180-pound senior guard/defensive end has played a major role for the eighth-seeded Hornets (7-1), who visit No. 1 Dufur (10-0) on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Godfrey, a four-year football letterman, was selected the Special District 2 West defensive player of the year in the all-league voting and also made the first-team offense.
“I wasn’t surprised one bit,” Camas Valley coach Eli Wolfe said of Godfrey being named the top defensive player. “Nobody said a word (at the coaches all-league meeting). When I said Bridger Godfrey everybody just nodded their head and we didn’t even put it to vote. It was pretty unanimous.
“He creates a lot of havoc, people have to game plan for him,” Wolfe added. “He’s not our leading tackler, but makes things happen. He had three fumble recoveries against Riddle and not very often have I seen that.”
The 17-year-old Godfrey contributed six tackles and a fumble recovery in last Saturday’s 40-12 first-round playoff win over Elkton at home. Camas Valley held the Elks 39 points below their scoring average.
“(Getting player of the year) means a lot to me,” Godfrey said. “It means I did my job right and was able to help my team the best I could.”
Wolfe spoke highly of Godfrey’s work ethic and character. He carries a 3.4 GPA.
“Bridger’s a special kid,” the coach said. “He works for everything he gets. He’s not the fastest kid, not the strongest, but he has a motor and has become a force. He gets everything out of what he’s got. It’s been special to watch him develop as a football player and young man.”
The Hornets’ offensive line — Godfrey, Garrett Casteel, Max Brown and Nate Powell — paved the way to big rushing days for quarterback Bryson Wolfe and running backs Jared Hunt and Justin Standley against Elkton. C.V. finished with 470 yards total offense, 365 coming on the ground.
“We did real good on our blocking assignments and the backs hit the holes hard,” Godfrey said. “The line hasn’t done the best this year, but we’re starting to come along and stick with our blocks.”
“Bridger’s a leader on the line. People listen to him,” Wolfe said. “He leads by example.”
Godfrey and his teammates will face their biggest challenge of the season in Dufur, the three-time defending state champion which has won 30 straight games dating back to 2016. The Rangers, who pounded Bonanza 62-7 last week, are averaging 48.5 points and allowing 13.3 points a game.
The Hornets average 50.5 points and allow 19.
“We’ll work as hard as we can and give 100 percent every play, and try to get a rush (on the quarterback),” Godfrey said.
Bryson Wolfe leads C.V. in rushing with 968 yards and has scored 16 touchdowns. Standley has run for 515 yards and two TDs, while Hunt has 378 yards and five scores.
Bryson Wolfe has passed for 1,041 yards and 22 TDs, with no interceptions. The top receivers are Hunt (17 catches, 478 yards, seven TDs) and Tristan Casteel (17, 353, nine TDs).
Eli Wolfe knows Dufur coach Jack Henderson well. The two clubs haven’t met since 2011, when the Hornets routed the Rangers 60-0 at home in the quarterfinals. C.V. went on to win the first of its back-to-back state titles that season.
“First and foremost is their speed,” Wolfe said of the Rangers, who won the Special District 3 West crown. “They’ve got a lot of athletic kids. We have to make sure we’re disciplined in our assignments. It gets this time of the year, and it’s who makes mistakes and who doesn’t.
“We hope to make them a little uncomfortable and get them out of what they normally like to do. What they do, they do efficiently. It’ll be a great test. We’ll go up there and get after it.”
The Camas Valley-Dufur winner will face the winner between No. 5 Adrian (7-3) and No. 4 Hosanna Christian (8-0) in the semifinals.
The other two quarterfinals pit No. 6 Crane (8-2) at No. 3 St. Paul (10-0) and No. 7 Lowell (7-3) at No. 2 Wallowa (8-2).