Friday night’s football game between the Astoria Fishermen and the Scappoose Indians at CMH Field will be the last league meeting between the two rivals — at least for now.
Starting with the 2018-19 school year, Scappoose, the Cowapa League’s largest school, is on its way to the Class 5A level, along with a few other large 4A schools around the state.
They will be a member of the 5A Northwest Oregon Conference, along with Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Parkrose and Wilsonville, among others.
The Indians and Fishermen plan on continuing the rivalry with nonleague games in football, baseball and soccer, Scappoose Athletic Director Robert Medley said.
If student enrollment changes and Scappoose returns to the 4A level in a few years, the departure from the Cowapa could be just temporary.
But for now, the days of football league titles coming down to Scappoose and Astoria are over.
There aren’t many 4A leagues around the state that can boast of having three of its former players in one NFL game. That’s what happened in Week 2 of the current season, when the Carolina Panthers — with Scappoose graduates Derek Anderson and David Mayo — faced Astoria’s Jordan Poyer and the Buffalo Bills. Poyer had a game-high seven tackles, but the Panthers got the win, 9-3.
“It’s really sad to see them leave,” said Astoria head coach Howard Rub, who has gone up against Scappoose head coach Sean McNabb since 2000. “Through the years, we’ve earned a lot of respect for each other, and there’s some pretty competitive stories between us.”
Enough to write a book.
“I actually plan on writing a little book about the rivalry, before my time is done,” Rub said. “It’s been a good little rivalry.”
And what games stand out for Rub?
“Obviously the ones we’ve won,” he said. “In my first year, we finished 1-2 in the league, then it took a few years for us to get it rolling and be a big part of the mix (Scappoose won state titles in 2000, ’01 and ’02). From ’06 on, it’s been a competitive game, year in and year out. We’ve been fortunate to win a couple of them.”
Anything special planned for Friday night’s game at CMH Field?
“It’s Senior Night and Youth Football Night, but I don’t have a birthday present for coach McNabb or anything,” Rub said.
Coming into the game, McNabb has a career record of 160-75 with the Indians; Rub is 106-75 at Astoria.