Friday’s football game between Gladstone and North Marion showed that the Huskies still have a ways to go before they can put their claim as the top team in the Tri-Valley Conference after losing 55-20 in a lopsided loss to the league-champion Gladiators.

But with North Marion set to change leagues next year to the Oregon West Conference, the Huskies will just have to settle for a home play-in game this year and the team’s first post-season game since 2009.

Last Friday’s game between the Huskies (6-3, 4-1 Tri-Valley) and the Gladiators (7-2, 5-0) pitted the last two undefeated teams in the conference for a shot at the league title and a direct berth past the play-in round to the 16-team OSAA playoffs.

Gladstone got things started on their first possession of the game with a 50-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0, but North Marion’s do-it-all senior Kyle Williamson answered back five minutes later by taking a punt 45 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. The Huskies missed on the extra point to stay down by a score of 7-6, and the Gladiators scored the next 41 points to take a 48-6 lead entering the final quarter of the game.

Junior Emry Patterson punched in a score from three yards out early in the fourth to cut the score to 48-13, but the game was largely decided by then. The two teams traded touchdowns to end the game, with senior quarterback Ben Crumley completing a 13-yard pass to Williamson for the final score. Sophomore Josiah Ramon converted a pass to senior Tristan Wampole for two points to give the team the final score.

Williamson led the team with two catches for 54 yards and a 17-yard pass to Crumley as well. The Huskies Wing-T rushing offense was largely stopped by the Gladiators, who limited North Marion to 67 yards on 39 carries. Meanwhile, Gladstone ran unchecked for 397 yards on 51 carries.

With no break between the end of the regular season and the start of the play-in round, the Huskies will play host this Friday to the North Valley Knights (6-3, 3-2), the fourth-place team out of the Skyline Conference.

The Knights are ranked 13th in the OSAA polls compared to 19th for the Huskies, but North Marion earned the home game by virtue of finishing second in the Tri-Valley Conference.

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