The Knappa Loggers were able to rest their starting quarterback and still defeated Portland Christian 62-19, Friday night at Knappa.
That’s life in Northwest League football, dominated this year by the Loggers.
While Knappa finishes league play 6-0, three of the seven lowest-ranked 2A teams in the state were from the Northwest League, including the Royals, ranked 31st out of 34 teams.
The No. 8-ranked Loggers advance to the state playoffs, where Knappa will host Culver in a first round contest at 7 p.m. Friday at CMH Field. The winner will play either Santiam or Coquille in the second round.
“Our boys came out firing,” said Knappa coach Aaron Barendse, as Kanai Phillip returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.
Phillip added another 80-yard return for a TD later in the game, and also played quarterback in place of Eli Takalo, who took the night off. Phillip completed 4-of-6 passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns.
Trevor Ogier (12 yards), Camo Miethe (35 yards) and Devin Hoover (55 yards) had the TD receptions.
Miethe also had 110 yards rushing on just four carries.
In addition, Phillip completed all three passing attempts for two-point conversions and rushed for a touchdown, as the Loggers moved the ball at will.
“The line gave (Phillip) time, as it was his first true game experience at QB,” Barendse said. “Our line is really the heart and soul of this team. They work hard together and it shows in games.
“Our seniors played outstanding and finished their last game at Logger Stadium the right way,” he said. “They worked hard to bring back home the league title.”
Knappa has posted undefeated league records in 2019, 2017, 2016 and 2014.
Culver is a familiar playoff foe for the Loggers, who defeated the Bulldogs 54-16 in the first round of the 2014 state playoffs, and knocked off Culver 20-6 in the 2008 state championship game.