Indians football hungry for return to state championship game
Revived Seven-Mile War set for 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 in St. Helens
It's a quick turnaround for Scappoose football after its first state title appearance in 13 years.
Michael Gift, a Class 4A all-state senior defensive back, is the only of 11 all-state Indians to return as defensive lineman Boogie Davis transferred to Class 6A Westview.
"As seniors [16 in all] this year, we are quite smaller than any other class that we have, but we are a very tight-knit group that has been together since we started playing," Gift said. "I think everyone realizes that two-a-days are hard, but the team realizes what needs to be done and how important it is to the season while having the most fun doing it."
Scappoose opens with a jamboree at Gladstone, which the Indians knocked from the first round of state last season after falling to the Gladiators in the semifinals in 2014, at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26.
New Westminster (British Columbia, Canada) comes to town at 7 p.m. on Sept. 2.
The Hyacks, named after a Chinook Jargon term meaning 'fast' or 'swift,' revived their program in 2002 and have reached the provincial semifinals the last three years.
"They've come to our team camp in the past," said Sean McNabb, the defending Cowapa League Coach of the Year whose Indians won three Class 3A championships from 2000-2002. "They're always solid, and they run a Wing T [a run-heavy formation with play-action]."
Scappoose enters the revived Seven-Mile War at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 in St. Helens. The Indians scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns and beat the visiting Lions 43-25 in 2011.
St. Helens reached the first Class 5A state first-round game in four seasons last year and will give the Indians a tough go.
"We like playing St. Helens," McNabb said. "It's always been a good game with a big crowd."
The Indians play at returning Class 4A play-in qualifier Cottage Grove at 7 p.m. on Sept. 16. Banks, a state semifinalist, comes to town at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7. Astoria, back from the first round of state, visits in the season finale at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21.
"Us younger guys have big shoes to fill this year, and I'm just really excited to see us compete," said quarterback/safety Jerad Toman, one of 18 juniors. "Two-a-days are good: We all have been pushing each other every day to get better, even through how hot it's been. There are no rules [between morning and afternoon practices], we just eat lunch and we are back at it."
Scappoose has won back-to-back Cowapa League championships and is 27-7 overall and 14-1 in league play in the last three years. The fleet Indians outscore opponents by an average of 42-18 since then.
"Our staff is all onboard with [excellence]," McNabb said. "We are shooting for perfection, and we are uncommon in what we do. Those are the expectations."
The first round of the Class 4A state playoffs is scheduled for November 4-5. The championship game is set for Dec. 3 in a location to be announced on Sept. 30.
Scappoose reached no less than the state quarterfinals in each of the last four years after falling to eventual state champion Baker in 2012.
Cascade (Turner) beat the Indians in the state championship game last year for its second state title, its first in 35 years.
CONFERENCE: Class 4A Cowapa League
COACH: Sean McNabb
2015 FINISH: 10-2 overall, 5-0 Cowapa League (reached state championship game)
Max Amaro, so., LB/RB
Andrew DeGrande, so., QB/LB
Nate Maller, jr., OL/RB
Jerad Toman, jr., QB/S
Nate Rieman, sr., WR/DB
Jack Margheim, sr., WR/DB
Josh Wills, sr., WR/DB
NJ Johnson, sr., QB/LB
Tanner Kramer, sr., WR/DB
Jacob Mizee, sr., WR/DB
Michael Gift, sr., WR/DB
Carson Witt, jr., RB/DB
Quinn Searle, sr., QB/DB
Nate Riffle, so., WR/DB
Benji Davidson, jr., WR/K
Nate Sullivan, so., RB/DB
Mason Smiens, so., WR/DB
Ryan Warner, so.
Gavin Larson, jr., WR/DL
Connor McNabb, so., WR/DB
Jimmy Jones, jr., RB/DB
Ben Sanders, so., WR/DB
Isaac Cook, jr., RB/LB
Jack Eggers, jr., RB/LB
Willy Lohman, jr., WR/LB
Tristan Miller, jr., WR/DB
Colton Wilmot, sr., WR/LB
Colton Bush, sr., RB/DB
Jesse Porter, so., WR/LB
Zeddy Jamerson, jr., RB/DL
Blake Palmer, so., OL/LB
Terrence Lewis, so., DL/OL
Lorenzo Brown, so., OL/DL
Liam McMullen, so., OL/DL
Ross Parsons, jr., OL/LB
Zach Rice, sr., OL/LB
Connor Cason, sr., OL/DL
Grant Briley, so., OL/DL
Matthew Roth, so., RB/LB
Alex Hansen, sr., OL/DL
Garrett Wood, jr., OL/DL
Bret Couch, so., OL/DL
Josh Stofiel, jr., OL/DL
Josh Dickerson, sr., OL/DL
Tommy McKedy, fr., OL/DL
Antonio Guajardo, sr., TE/OL
Trey Bispham, jr.
Jake Gray, jr., WR
Brendyn Nollette, so., WR
Joe Abbott, jr., DB
Tevin Jeannis, jr., WR
Steven Hensley, sr.
Aug. 26 Scappoose at Gladstone Jamboree, 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 New Westminster (British Columbia, Canada) at Scappoose, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 Scappoose at St. Helens, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 Scappoose at Cottage Grove, 7 p.m. *
Sept. 23 Scappoose at Seaside, 7 p.m. *
Sept. 30 Tillamook at Scappoose, 7 p.m. *
Oct. 7 Banks at Scappoose, 7 p.m. *
Oct. 13 Scappoose at Valley Catholic, 7 p.m. *
Oct. 21 Astoria at Scappoose, 7 p.m. *
* - Cowapa League game