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OPINION: Scappoose football tied down by struggling Cowapa League

The Cowapa League has tripped up in non-league competition, meaning Scappoose doesn't benefit from a 5-1 record as much as they should

I still firmly believe Scappoose and Gladstone to be the two best football teams in the state, and think they deserve a rematch in the state title game — a rematch the Indians have every chance of winning.

Unfortunately, they may not get their chance.

   If you're Scappoose and you're scoreboard watching, you needed two things to happen last Thursday. The first was for the Indians to blow the doors off of Valley Catholic, which went exactly as planned. The second was for Banks to roll over and lose to Seaside.

And what do you know, Banks couldn't come through. The Braves finally got their offense rolling a week after getting steamrolled by Scappoose and two weeks removed from a stretch where Banks put up seven points in two combined contests.

The win keeps playoff hopes alive for Banks and throws a wrench into the picture-perfect league finish Scappoose had been waiting for. Had Seaside won, they would ride a four-game streak into Astoria. A win over the Fishermen would pit two one-loss teams against one another in the season finale.

Not only would the winner takes home the league trophy, but if Scappoose pulled out a victory, they'd get a boost in the power rankings, where they currently sit in fourth behind undefeated No. 3 Mazama and No. 2 Cascade.

Wait, you say. Cascade? The same Cascade who sat back and watched Scappoose roll to an easy victory in the season opener?

Yes, that Cascade. And while Cascade's success has certainly bolstered the Indians' ranking, it's frustrating to see the team held down by a troubled conference.

The Cowapa League hasn't been great this year, aside from Scappoose. The non-league games went especially poorly for the league, which saw two of the state's power conferences — the Tri-Valley and the Oregon West Conference — step in and step over what should have been dangerous Cowapa League opponents.

It's no surprise that both conferences have a pair of teams ranked in the top-10. They took care of business in their non-league games, and even when they play one another, won't drop much because of their high ranking.

It's a reality that impacts Scappoose in two ways. First, the Indians get games like last week's debacle at Valley Catholic. Scappoose led 49-0 in the first half and sat many of their starters for the final two quarters. It doesn't make for a battle-tested squad come postseason.

In addition, playing teams like Tillamook (1-5, 1-2 Cowapa) and Valley Catholic (2-4, 0-3 Cowapa) only serves to lower the Indians' seeding in the postseason bracket. Odds are, should Scappoose run the table in the Cowapa League they'll get that first-round bye and host the first leg of the championship bracket. If things pan out well, they'll host the second round as well.

But right now, that's all they'll be getting. The Indians are ranked fourth, meaning that they're in the bracket with Gladstone. I think Scappoose has every shot of beating the Gladiators in a rematch, but I'd rather see it on Nov. 29 than two weeks prior in the quarterfinals.