CAMAS VALLEY — For the first time in a long time, the Elkton and Camas Valley eight-man football teams were not in the same league this season.
But both squads are in the OSAA Class 1A playoffs and will square off in a first-round game at 2 p.m. on Saturday on the Hornets’ field.
Ninth-seeded Elkton (8-1) finished second in Special District 1 South. No. 8 Camas Valley (6-1) won the Special District 2 West title.
“It’s good to be at home,” said C.V. coach Eli Wolfe. “We’re playing somebody we’re very familiar with and know the task at hand, and this should be a fun game. There are seven or eight teams I’d prefer to play before Elkton. I think of this as a quarterfinal or semifinal type of game.”
Elkton coach Bill Shaw has high respect for the Hornets. Camas Valley is ranked No. 5 and Elkton No. 7 in the OSAAtoday 1A coaches’ poll.
“I know they’re a good football team,” he said. “We’ll have to show up to have a chance. They have a lot of playoff history and success, and I’ve got a whole bunch of seniors struggling to keep their season alive. They’ve worked us over pretty good, so we’ve got to improve.”
Camas Valley has dominated the series since 2010, winning eight straight by 44 points or more. Elkton last tasted victory in 2009, handing the Hornets a 26-14 loss at C.V.
“I think we match up better this year than we have in the past,” Shaw said. “It’s going to be a more physical football game than anything we’ve seen and we have to be ready for that. You can’t give them a chance to jump out to a big lead ... we have to step up and compete.”
Elkton is coming off a 62-0 rout of Siletz Valley in a District 1 cross-over game. The Elks’ lone loss came to Lowell, 38-28, at home in Week 5.
Camas Valley, which has won six straight since opening with a 14-point loss to Crane at the Dufur Classic, didn’t play last week.
“You always want to continue to play, especially when you’re on a streak and winning,” said Eli Wolfe. “Our starters haven’t gotten an opportunity to play a lot in league (with the five blowouts). You always worry about staying sharp and on point.
“We’re healthy, that’s the good side. We’re ready to go and get going. I could see it being a low-scoring game.”
Both clubs feature potent offenses and hard-hitting defenses.
The Hornets average 52 points a game, Elkton 51.1. The Elks allow an average of 14.7 points, Camas Valley 20. C.V.’s defensive numbers are a little misleading, though, since most of the points have been scored on its reserves.
“From top to bottom, they put out eight solid kids,” said Eli Wolfe. “They fly to the football, and play it fast and fierce — how it’s meant to be played. I don’t see a lot of weaknesses. We’ll have to play good, sound football to win this game.”
Each team is directed by a senior quarterback, Austin Luzier for Elkton and Bryson Wolfe for Camas Valley. Wolfe, the son of the coach, was moved from running back to quarterback this year.
“Bryson Wolfe has done a great job,” said Shaw. “He’s a great athlete and has a good football IQ. He’s blessed with one thing you can’t teach — speed. He’s got a dose of that and that makes him a handful to deal with.”
Eli Wolfe is impressed with Luzier, a three-year starter at QB.
“He’s an athletic kid, a baseball player. He can fling the rock,” the coach said. “He’s pretty quick-footed, and we have to make sure we’re dialed in and make the window small for him.”
There are other playmakers on both teams. Senior running backs Spencer Moore and Trentyn Halstead are right around 1,000 yards rushing for the season for the Elks, according to Shaw. Senior Justin Standley and junior Jared Hunt, a first-year high school player, are capable of doing damage for C.V.
The Elkton-C.V. winner will meet the winner between No. 16 Bonanza (6-3) and No. 1 Dufur (9-0) in the quarterfinals. Dufur has won the last three state titles.
In other first-round contests: No. 12 Pilot Rock (6-2) at No. 5 Adrian (6-3); No. 13 Riddle (7-2) at No. 4 Hosanna Christian (7-0); No. 14 Elgin (5-4) at No. 3 St. Paul (9-0); No. 11 North Douglas (5-4) at No. 6 Crane (7-2); No. 10 Imbler (7-2) at No. 7 Lowell (6-3); and No. 15 Falls City (6-3) at No. 2 Wallowa (7-2).