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PREVIEW: Southridge vs. Jesuit (OR)

October 8, 2012

The Southridge Skyhawks and the Jesuit Crusaders are set to meet each other Friday night in Beaverton, Oregon. Southridge and Jesuit each claimed a share of the Metro League Championship in 2011. Southridge won last year’s matchup by a score of 21-20. Jesuit scored late in the game but missed an extra-point attempt to tie the game. The win snapped a 3-game losing streak for Southridge in the series.

The Southridge Skyhawks finished the 2011 regular season with a 5-4 record and went 4-1 in league play. Despite starting the year off with 3 straight loses, the Skyhawks rallied to win 5 of their next 6 games to win a share of the Metro League Championship and a berth in the OSAA 6A playoffs. Southridge went on to lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs to Tigard. The Skyhawks have reached the playoffs the last 7 seasons and have advanced to the finals twice, winning it all for the first time in 2008. The Skyhawks are 3-3 so far in 2012, starting off with a 2-0 record in league play. The Skyhawks lost a big piece of the puzzle in the off-season when quarterback Reza Aleaziz announced he was going to focus on baseball after accepting a scholarship to play at the University of Oregon. Aleaziz was a 1st team all-league quarterback in 2011. Instead, junior A.J. Woodin will call the plays for 1st year Head Coach Doug Dean. With him return 2 of the state’s best receivers in seniors Kevin McClean and Justin Calo along with junior Jordan Morgan. Also returning is junior running back Devin Martinez who was a 1st team all-league selection a year ago. Backing him up with be seniors Maleke Nathman and Jake Pruit, both of whom will start defensively for the Skyhawks. Juniors Tyler Cox and Danny Tanabe and senior Rhyce Pruit headline an offensive line that will be key to this team’s offensive success. The linebackers will be led by Matt McCrae, who returns after earning 1st team all-league honors last year.

The Jesuit Crusaders came up just short of the state championship in 2011. They lost in the semifinals to the eventual champion, Lake Oswego, on their way to posting a 9-4 record and earning a share of the Metro League Championship. Coach Ken Potter’s Crusaders have not missed the playoffs since 1992. They have reached the finals 6 times out of their 34 playoff appearances, and have won the state title 5 times in their program history. The Crusaders entered the 2012 season as the favorites to win the Metro League and so far they have not disappointed. Jesuit has raced out to a 6-1 record, starting off 2-0 in league play. Junior quarterback Christian Martinek returns to lead the run-heavy offense that is highlighted by senior A.J. Glass. Glass became just the 6th player in Jesuit football history to rush for over 2,000 yards in 1 season. The Crusaders will be without Glass against the Skyhawks due to a broken collarbone suffered against Sunset. Instead, Joey Alfieri and Chase Morrison will split carries in the backfield. The absence of Glass has gone unnoticed so far as Alfieri and Morrison combined for 336 yards and 5 touchdowns against Westview last weekend. Much of the success in the running game can be attributed to Andrew Kirkland, Max Rich and Doug Brenner and the offensive line. The Crusader O-line is one of the best in the country with 3 D1 prospects on the line that averages 6’5½” 280 pounds a person. Defensively the Crusaders will have Brenner, Brayden Nelson and Dominic Baldocchi all returning on the line. Just to prove how much of an athlete Martinek is, he is one of the state’s best defensive linemen.

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