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Football: A week-by-week look at Canby's schedule

The 2013 slate begins Aug. 30 at Tigard and continues with anticipated rematches against Camas and Lake Oswego, among others.


by: JEFF GOODMAN - Senior linebacker Sam Bodine, shown during an Aug. 21 drill at practice, leads the Canby football team into its season opener Aug. 30 at Tigard.Analyzing each opponent on the Canby football team’s upcoming schedule, coach Mike Vaught said his players wish they had a guaranteed meeting with Jesuit on this year’s slate.

Indeed, the Cougars won’t cross paths with the Crusaders, who dominated them in each of the last two seasons, unless they’re paired in the postseason.

But Canby seemed to make a strong point simply with its yearning for a grudge match — namely, that this year’s group is out for revenge.

And starting with their season opener Aug. 30 on the road against Tigard, the Cougars will have several chances to prove their progress against top-tier teams that stifled them in 2012.

They’ll face a perennially potent Tigers squad that trounced them twice last season, first in a lopsided opener and again in the second round of the playoffs.

They’ll get a rematch Sept. 13 against Camas (Wash.), which held them scoreless through three quarters in a 31-7 rout.

They’ll also take another crack at Lake Oswego, which enters the season with an astounding streak of 48 conference victories in a row. If the Lakers win their league opener against West Linn, they’ll be going for 50 against Canby.

But what the Cougars are really striving for, senior linebacker Sam Bodine said, is success in the postseason. The program has lost in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs every year since Vaught replaced longtime coach Mike Doty at the helm in 2011.

Canby has made 28 playoff appearances in program history, going 38-27-1 during that span. It has reached the state semifinals six times, including four times since 2002, but it has never earned a spot in the championship game.

The Cougars’ quest to get there begins at Tigard and continues Sept. 6 with their home opener against Keizer-McNary, the only opponent on the schedule that didn’t clash with Canby last year.

The other home games for Vaught’s team this year are as follows: Sept. 13 against Camas, Sept. 27 against Oregon City, Oct. 18 against West Linn and Oct. 25 against Clackamas.

The meeting with Oregon City carries plenty of intrigue for the Cougars, who are vying for their 10th-consecutive series triumph in a streak that dates back to 1992.

Canby went 6-5 overall last year and 4-1 against league opponents, its only conference loss coming against eventual state runner-up Lake Oswego.

A new season beckons.

at Tigard (Aug. 30)

Coach: Craig Ruecker

Last year: 11-2 (7-0 in the Pacific Conference); lost to Lake Oswego in the Class 6A semifinals; defeated Canby twice, first in nonconference play and again in the second round of the playoffs

Key fact: Outscored opponents 608-330 last year while averaging 464.8 yards of total offense per game

Outlook: Although the Tigers lost star running backs Zach Floyd, Kaz Greene and Benny Wick to graduation, standout linebacker and fullback A.J. Hotchkins leads a perennially talented team that wouldn’t surprise many people with a deep postseason run.

vs. McNARY (Sept. 6)

Coach: Isaac Parker

Last year: 4-7 (2-3 in the Central Valley Conference); was shut out by eventual state runner-up Lake Oswego in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs

Key fact: Averaged just 17.1 points per game last year, the program’s first under Parker

Outlook: The Celtics have not had a winning season since 2008, but they’re hoping to end that streak of futility with a senior class of returning starters that includes quarterback Hayden Gosling, running back Brett Hildebrand and receiver Garrett Hittner.

vs. CAMAS (Sept. 13)

Coach: Jon Eagle

Last year: 12-1 (5-0 in the Greater St. Helens League); reached the large-school semifinals before falling to Skyline (Wash.), the eventual Washington state champion

Key fact: Stifled Canby 31-7 during nonconference play last year, holding the Cougars scoreless through three quarters

Outlook: Led by returning quarterback Reilly Hennessey, who has committed to play college football at Eastern Washington, the Papermakers appear to have the makings of a title-contending team in 2013.

at Lincoln (Sept. 20)

Coach: Adam Grimes

Last year: 2-8 (0-1 in Special District 2); fell to Lakeridge in the Class 6A play-in round

Key fact: Started 0-6 in its first season under Adam Grimes last year, when its only wins came against Portland-Sunset and Gresham-Centennial

Outlook: The Cardinals gave up 50 points or more to five opponents last year, so they’ll have to improve defensively in order to stay relevant in Class 6A. Canby coach Mike Vaught said it will be his team’s game to lose.

vs. OREGON CITY (Sept. 27)

Coach: Kevin Strasser / Bruce Reece

Last year: 5-5 (3-2 in the Three Rivers League); lost to Springfield-Thurston in the Class 6A playoffs

Key fact: Has lost nine-straight meetings with Canby, which won 42-20 on the road last year

Outlook: The Pioneers are without four first-team all-conference honorees from last year’s roster, including offensive player of the year Mitchell Thompson, and they enter the season amid allegations that coach Kevin Strasser stole and pawned a student’s wristwatch. Athletic director Bruce reece will serve as acting coach.

at Lake Oswego (Oct. 4)

Coach: Steve Coury

Last year: 13-1 (5-0 in the Three Rivers League); lost to Eugene-Sheldon in the Class 6A final

Key fact: Enters the season with a 48-game league winning streak

Outlook: This season seemingly offers Canby its best chance in years to upend the Lakers, who have reached the state finals in each of the last two seasons but who head into the campaign without Mitch Lomax and Austin Faunce, the co-defensive players of the year, among others.

at Lakeridge (Oct. 11)

Coach: Tom Smythe

Last year: 3-8 (0-5 in the Three Rivers League); lost in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs

Key fact: Gave up more than 600 yards to then-Aloha star Thomas Tyner in the teams’ meeting last season

Outlook: Led by junior quarterback Eric Dungey and senior defensive end Marqueese Royster, who has committed to Portland State, the Pacers will be vying for their first playoff win since 2005. Defense was a major question mark last season for Lakeridge.

vs. WEST LINN (Oct. 18)

Coach: Mike Fanger

Last year: 4-7 (1-4 in the Three Rivers League); lost in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs

Key fact: Returns with 15 of its 22 starters from last year’s team

Outlook: The Lions struggled in their first season under Mike Fanger last year, but they’re back with an experienced quarterback (Hayden Coppedge), running back (Louie Germain) and lineman (Ellis Eaton).

vs. CLACKAMAS (Oct. 25)

Coach: Joe Bushman

Last year: 5-6 (2-3 in the Three Rivers League); lost in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs

Key fact: Lost 35-28 to Canby last year in a game that came down to the final quarter

Outlook: This season looks like the materialization of a rebuilding process for the Cavaliers, who return with a talented senior class. The group includes a 2,000-yard rusher from last year’s roster in Dan Sherrell, who torched the Cougars for more than 200 yards on the ground last season.



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