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Next up: Sandy faces PIL champions

Wilson won last years matchup between the schools 28-14


by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Trystan Closner wraps up a tackle during the teams 47-21 win over Hood River.As soon as time expired in Sandy’s victory over Hood River Valley on Friday night, head coach Joe Polamalu and his staff were already looking ahead. They know that they and the players have a lot of work left to do, because a tough Wilson team is waiting for them this Friday.

“We are excited about what we did against Hood River, but we have to put it in perspective and realize it was just one game,” Polamalu said. “We have to start over and get back at it, because we made some mistakes that we need to fix.”

Wilson got the best of Sandy last season, earning a 28-14 victory on the Pioneers home field. That win over Sandy sparked an eight-game winning streak for the Trojans, who won the PIL without facing a serious challenge. Wilson fell in the first round of the playoffs to Crescent Valley by a touchdown.

As good as Wilson was last year, it might be better this season. The Trojans rolled to an easy 41-26 win in last week’s opener at Lincoln. The Pioneers understand Wilson poses a daunting threat, but they feel like they too are different team in many ways from the one that fell to the Trojans last season.

“This year, we are playing as a team,” running back Andrew Funk said. “The upperclassmen are bonding with us (younger players) and we’re getting together as a team, so we’re playing better.”

The team’s chemistry will have to be even stronger to overcome Wilson’s talented squad.

This is Sandy’s last chance to start clicking in all phases of the game before conference play starts. With that in mind, the Pioneers are still centering the majority of preparation on their own game plan as opposed to spending too much time dissecting Wilson’s schemes.

“We’re focused on us and how we can better right now. I think that is where we need to be,” Polamalu said. “We’ve got things to clean up and things to get better at it, but that’s a good thing.”

The Pioneers and Trojans kick-off at 7:00 p.m. on Friday at Wilson.