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Roseburg receiver Austin Parker (88) celebrates with teammate Carson Thompson after scoring a touchdown against Mountain View earlier this season at Finlay Field.

Roseburg High football coach Dave Heuberger called last week’s 42-21 Southwest Conference loss to Grants Pass some of the best football the Indians have played all season.

“I thought our first 3 1/2 quarters were some of the best football we’ve played all year,” Heuberger said. The Indians trailed 28-21 with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter before Grants Pass pulled away down the stretch.

“We were happy to see the core elements of our offense, defense and special teams game plans. I think it was one of the better games for us as far as that stuff showing up and our kids implementing that game plan,” Heuberger said.

Roseburg (2-3, 0-1 SWC) will try to build on its successes from the Grants Pass game and find more consistency on Friday against South Medford (4-1, 0-0). The Southwest Conference contest kicks off at 7 p.m. at Finlay Field.

The Tribe heads into the showdown on a three-game losing streak, not something that concerns Heuberger. He says the players are handling the adversity in a positive way.

“This is not their first rodeo of having a couple losses,” said Heuberger, who added it’s not a tradition they hope to continue.

The Indians had seven players carry the ball for 229 yards against the Cavemen last week, highlighted by senior Carson Thompson’s 98 yards and two touchdowns. Heuberger says Thompson has earned a bigger workload, but he’s happy with how the Tribe has spread the ball around on offense.

“I’m excited … the amount of different guys we have running and touching the ball,” Heuberger said. “We have that, we just need to obviously be a little bit more consistent.”

South Medford has been led by senior quarterback Toren Tuttle, who has passed for 1,119 yards and 15 touchdowns and run for three scores. His favorite target through the air has been Austin Boster, who leads the receivers with 24 catches for 527 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Panthers have relied on multiple runners to carry the ball and have four players with over 100 yards on the season, but none have eclipsed 200.

Roseburg’s defense allowed only 34 rushing yards to Grants Pass last week and it’ll try to keep South Medford in check this week. The Indians will also try to attack South’s run defense, which allows over 160 yards per game.

“There’s some things we feel we can attack,” Heuberger said. “And I’m sure they feel the same way.”

This will be the 36th meeting between Roseburg and South Medford. The Panthers have won the last seven games and lead the series, 19-16.

South Medford’s lone loss this season came to Liberty, 53-41, at Spiegelberg Stadium on Sept. 20.

Joey Keeran is the sports director for KSKR The Score.

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