The fight for the state's Class 1A high school football championship is down to four contestants: Joseph, Perrydale, Imbler and Dufur. Joseph and Imbler represent the Old Oregon district.
After eliminating Jordan Valley and Butte Falls, the Joseph Eagles will face the undefeated Pirates of Perrydale in the first of two semifinals Nov. 22 at Wilsonville High, south of Portland. While the Eagles prepare for another long bus ride and overnight stay, the Pirates (11-0 overall) will go less than an hour.
To make the semis, Perrydale handed Lowell its only loss of the season in a 34-20 decision. Joseph assistant coach Randall Eschler tried to film through a dense fog as the Red Devils jumped ahead 20-0 in the first quarter. But the Pirates shut them down the rest of the night. Early in the third quarter, Perrydale quarterback Daniel Lee hit receiver Tyler Brown with a short scoring pass for a 22-20 lead.
Lee finished the game 12 completions on 28 passes, four touchdowns (three passing, one one rushing) and two interceptions. Brown totaled 130 yards on only four catches. Running back Blake Barnes complimented them well with 168 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
All season, the Pirates have engineered an unstoppable offense. In eight of their first nine games, they scored over 50 points. Five times, they exceeded 70. The most overwhelming happened Oct. 17 in a 92-14 trashing of Country Christian. The only exception during the regular season was an Oct. 3 defeat of St. Paul, 26-22.
Perrydale and Joseph open the day's action at Wilsonville. Their kickoff is set for 11 a.m. Imbler-Dufur follows, around 2:15 p.m.