There is no doubt that the Oregon 6A Final Four is once again a showcase of our top teams. And on those teams is a vast array of talent. From 4 Star studs to small college future All American candidates this is going to be quite a battle. Jeld Wen Field will be the place to be Friday As Tigard and Lake Oswego play at Noon followed by a 4 PM showdown between Sheldon and Jesuit.
If your going to the game as a Coach, Recruiter, analyst, fan, or media guy/gal you might not be as familiar with these teams as we are. So here is a little primer on some of the Top Players to watch for as these two games kick off. Here is Part 1 of 2 we are Running.
Tigard VS Lake Oswego- Game 1- Jeld Wen Field 12 PM 12-1-2012
There is a lot of top talent on this team. Not a team full of super stars. In many ways this is the essence of team football. The Tigers are a deep squad with a lot of talented kids and can play through adversity. That they have proven time and time again. Led by one of the most storied Coaches in Oregon History in Craig Ruecker this is not only a great group of kids but these Coaches are amazing too! Here is a look at the guys that make this squad even better.
Zach Floyd – Senior- 5'10"- 185 Pounds RB/DB
We have Zach at over 2,000 yards of total offense. In this playoff run he has put down big game after big game. Last weeks 341 yards and 4 TD's was spectacular. He willed his team to a win over top rated Central Catholic. The week before he went for 4 TD's and 315 yards. But Zach has been doing this week in and week out. He is nearing his first offer and in the entire NW he is one of 3 or 4 athletes we feel who lead a talented group of guys on the verge.
AJ Hotchkins- Junior 6'0"- 220 Pounds – FB/LB
AJ is the premier Full back in the Region for next year. He has documented speed and size and an incredible ability to play this game. He is the best lead blocker we have seen in a long time and he is able to score out of the backfield as well as in Play Action where he is a gifted route runner. AJ has a 6'5" wing span and those long arms in that muscular frame create problems for opponents.
Jett Even- Junior – Quarterback- 6'2"- 180
Jett is having a very good Junior year. He has a nice arm and is very accurate. Tigard is a ground pounding team but this guy can strike when he needs to. We are waiting in his season highlights after the season ends. He is going to be one of the Top Prospects in the State at the QB spot next season.
Kaz Greene and Benny Wick- Seniors- RB/Slot/DB
If these too guys show back up after being on the injured reserve list things can get interesting. Both team leaders on offense and defense the past two seasons. Both were injured in past weeks and may return. If they do we would see limited time in this game but these guys are both Collegiate level players and deserve mention here.
Manu Rasmussen- Junior- 6'0"0 165 Slot / WR/DB
Manu has some of the best natural instincts in the area and can break big plays on special teams and offense. He got free last week and scored a late TD to polish off the CC Rams. He is a known entity that is expected to move on to the collegiate ranks this next season.
Jake Bigelow- Junior TE- 6'2"- 210 Pounds
A good edge blocker and overall athlete. He adds a solid athlete on the field wherever he is at and he is a real play maker in terms of helping the guys around him get better.
Now on to the Lake Oswego Lakers.
These guys have not lost in a long time. And they still seem to be cruising right along. They have not had to scrap for a win in some time and are such a deep squad; just like Tigard. They are the returning 6A State Champs and until someone beats them they still are in our book.
We covered LO a few times this season.
The Squad is talented, deep, and much like Tigard they are coached by one of the best motivators in the game of football in Head Coach Steve Coury and his staff.
The Lakers have been consistently a power house program for the entire time Coach Coury has been there but in particular this past decade. We love watching these boys play and if you pay particular attention to that Offensive line you see one of the most complete efforts you are going to see in any team. They are so well Coached and technically this front group of guys just do not make mistakes.
Here is a look at a few of the top players on this Laker Squad:
Justen Ruppe – QB – Senior – 6'0"-175 Pounds
One of the smartest and most accurate kids out there. He was hitting close to 72% of his passes at last check and rarely gives away a pick. His Stats are excellent at 1700 plus yards and he has 147 QB rating. A total leader that will advance to play in college-
Mitch Lomax- Senior Linebacker- 6'4"- 240
Mitch holds a couple of Big Sky offers and is being watched by several other programs. He is big, athletic, and a sure tackler. This guys is a grinder that knows this game.
Offered: Portland State – Montana Others- Boise State, OSU, Oregon, Utah, Washington
Jack Anderson- Senior SB/DB- 6'3"- 195 Pounds
Big Jack gets it done, Great speed and ability. Superb hands and a potent weapon up the seams and in the deep passing lanes.
Connor Griffin- Senior – Wide Receiver- 6'4"- 205
780 yards on 31 catches- 25.5 yards average per catch – 14 TD's
This is an All State stud play maker who is destined for a collegiate field. Home run hitter who can get separation, get open and score!!!
Noah Peterson- Senior O-Line- 6'5"- 310 Pounds
Big time talent. His technique and size have made him dominating. He is fun to watch and can make Pancakes by the stacks. Sits on a PSU offer and should have more. Very relaxed in his approach to college- all about the Lakers and his squad. Refreshing really!
Offered: Portland State- Others- OSU, Washington State – Big Sky Schools
Austin Faunce- Senior – NG/G- 6'2"-240
Austin is the definition of Junk Yard Dog. This is a nasty, tough, mean. brawler. If he was two inches taller and 30 pounds heavier he would be a Pac 12 recruit. As it is he is pound per pound a nightmare to play against.
JB Holmes- Senior- RB/LB 5'11"- 185 Pounds
JB is the Thunder in the team with a Lightning Passing attack. He has almost 1100 yards and 18 TD's and average 7 yards per touch. Behind that line he is going to be hard to stop. Watch for him to go to work to counter Floyd and the Tigers on the ground.
Jordan Horak- Lake Oswego- Junior- 6'1"- 190 Pounds
Horak is one of the top DB/Safeties in the Region for 2014.
Nick Underwood- Junior- 6'2"- 220 lbs All League Player- LB/ATH
Nick is going to be a top recruit next year throughout the Region. We have been so impressed by him every time we have seen him play. He has 5 TD"s and 260 yards this season rushing averaging almost 9 yards per touch. He has a number of Picks, Special teams plays, and is a leading tackler. At the end of the season this guy will take off.
In closing these are just a few of the guys we are tracking going into this 6 A Semi Final Game. To see all the players we are watching and sending information out on see our:
There is never a charge here at NWPR and we are here to help the kids gain exposure!
Best of luck to these two amazing teams and here is to a safe and well fought contest. Too bad we have to see one of them go home after Saturday!