Bowmen set to take on Mountain View in state title tilt
The Class 5A championship game will start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium
HILLSBORO - The seniors on the Sherwood High School football team have done a lot of winning in their four years at the school.
In fact, all they've ever done on the football field is win.
Now, those Bowmen seniors are just one win away from wrapping up four years of perfection.
And, if they do that, they'll also be celebrating another state championship.
Sherwood will be looking to win its second straight state crown when it faces Mountain View of Bend Saturday in the Class 5A state championship game, set to start at 5:30 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium.
'We've been getting ready the entire year for this,' Sherwood senior quarterback Dusty Crabtree said following the Bowmen's 61-28 win over West Albany in a state semifinal game played last Friday at Willamette University in Salem. 'We're going to come out, play our game and hope for the best. We'll be ready.'
Sherwood, the Northwest Oregon Conference champion, brings a perfect 13-0 record into Saturday's title tilt. The Bowmen have also won 26 straight games of the past two seasons, including a 26-23 overtime win over Marist in the 2010 state title contest.
Winning is nothing unusual to the seniors on the Bowmen squad.
In their first year at the school they were unbeaten as a freshmen team. In 2009, the current Sherwood seniors were undefeated competing as sophomores at the junior varsity level. Last year, of course, they were part of the 13-0 state title-winning Bowmen varsity squad.
Now, only one game is left.
'The seniors haven't lost all through high school,' Sherwood senior fullback/linebacker Travis Dyer said following the win over West Albany. 'Now, there's one week left to seal the deal.'
'Repeating has been our goal all season,' Sherwood senior receiver/cornerback Brandon Blackshear said. 'For the seniors, this has been our goal since we were freshmen. Everything we've done is a culmination of all our hard work.'
While Sherwood is aiming at its second straight crown, Mountain View will be playing in its first-ever state championship game. The Cougars, who are the No. 1 team out of the Intermountain Conference while standing at 11-1 on the season, should also be plenty motivated coming into Saturday's title contest.
That's because Mountain View's last two losses have come at the hands of Sherwood. The Bowmen downed the Cougars 42-22 in the semifinal round of the state playoffs last year and, earlier this season, Sherwood posted a 41-18 win over Mountain View in a non-league game played Sept. 16 at Sherwood High School.
'We're familiar with them,' Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence said, adding that the teams also match up during the summer at the Linfield team camp. 'Right now, we're up on them, but all of that is out the door now. I expect it to be a good game. I expect a hard-hitting game.'
Mountain View is coached by Steve Turner, who, when he was in charge at Cascade High School, coached against Lawrence when he was a star running back at Gladstone.
'He'll have his kids prepared,' Lawrence said. 'And we'll do the same.'
'We expect the best out of Sherwood,' Turner said. 'They're the champions, and never underestimate the heart of a champion. I expect it will be like two heavyweight fighters going at it.'
Since the loss at Sherwood back in September, Mountain View has won nine straight games, including a 31-14 victory over previously unbeaten Marist on Friday in the other Class 5A state playoff semifinal contest.
'Any time you get a win this time of year it's a good win,' Turner said.
Senior running back Dimitri Dillard (5-foot-9, 170 pounds), rushed for 234 yards on 28 carries in the win over Marist. Senior running back Joel Skotte (6-3, 230) added 82 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Mountain View senior quarterback Jacob Hollister (6-3, 195) completed 14 of 22 pass attempts for 177 yards and a touchdown in the semifinal win.
For the season, Hollister, who was named the Intermountain Conference Offensive Player of the Year, has completed 96 of 137 passes for 1,530 yards with 27 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Dillard leads the rushing attack with 1,187 yards and 14 touchdowns on 169 carries. Skotte has added 598 rushing yards and seven TDs.
Senior Cody Hollister (6-3, 195) is the Cougars' leading receiver with 52 catches for 892 yards and 15 touchdowns. Junior John Carroll (6-3, 181), who missed the game at Sherwood earlier this season, has 32 receptions for 583 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Mountain View also looks strong on the offensive line, as senior guard Matt Miler (5-10, 184), junior tackle Chad Bach (6-3, 230) and senior tight end Nick Gentry (6-3, 218) were all first-team all-league selections.
'They mix it up well with the run and pass,' Lawrence said of the Mountain View offense. 'They do a good job. But I know Monty (Sherwood defensive coordinator Wes Montgomery) will do a great job coming up with a game plan.'
On defense, the Cougars are led by Skotte, who plays at inside linebacker, and Dillard, who plays in the secondary. They shared the Intermountain Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Other first-team all-league picks on defense for Mountain View include senior defensive lineman Dylan Johnson (6-3, 251), Gentry at outside linebacker and Carroll at outside linebacker.
The Mountain View defense will probably be soundly tested in the title game by a Sherwood offense that is averaging 48.6 points a game and 339.9 rushing yards a game.
'We're going to want to control the ball as much as possible,' Lawrence said.
While the Bowmen look to have many weapons on offense, the team's top threat this season has been senior halfback Paul Dodson (5-8, 170), who was tabbed the NWOC Offensive Player of the Year.
For the season, Dodson has rushed for 974 yards and 17 touchdowns on just 72 carries. He also has 226 receiving yards and three receiving TDs.
Dyer (5-11, 200) has rushed for 754 yards and 11 touchdowns on 102 carries. Senior halfback Connor Munro (6-1, 190) has added 572 rushing yards, senior halfback A.J. Spencer (6-1, 190) has run for 479 yards and senior fullback Cody Setere (6-0, 175) has 464 rushing yards.
Crabtree (6-3, 190) has completed 47 of 95 pass attempts for 1,119 yards and 15 touchdowns with three interceptions.
Munro has 11 catches for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Blackshear (5-11, 180), who missed three games on the season, has 11 catches for 222 yards and four TDs.
The Bowmen also have two first-team offensive linemen in senior tackle John Powers (6-1, 270) and senior guard Bryan VanOrman (6-3, 230).
On defense, Sherwood features Dyer at linebacker and senior Zane Groves (6-1, 270) on the defensive line. Dyer shared the league's Defensive Player of the Year honor while Groves shared the Lineman of the Year accolade.
Other first-team all-league defenders for the Bowmen include Blackshear at cornerback, senior Dylan Flannery (6-1, 185) at linebacker and Spencer at safety.
'We're definitely excited for the finals,' Flannery said. 'We're going to need a great week of practice and then come out focused and fired up.'
'Last year, we had a great week of practice before the championship, so we'll have to do that again,' Groves said. 'I think we're going to be way more ready this year.'
'It's our final game - how can you not be fired up?' Dodson said.
And, of course, there are the usual keys to victory for both teams.
'Turnovers will be a key,' Lawrence said. 'If we can take care of the ball and capitalize on the turnovers they have, that will be big for us.'
'I think both teams will do what they do best,' Turner said. 'Whoever executes best on offense and defense, as well as on special teams, will have a good chance.'
In the teams' first meeting this season, Dyer rushed for 82 yards on 14 carries and he also scored on a 1-yard run. Dodson rushed for 65 yards on five carries and he had three receptions for 96 yards. He scored three touchdowns in the win, two coming on passes from Crabtree, who completed five of seven attempts for 125 yards.