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PREVIEW: Wilsonville vs. Sherwood (OR)

October 10, 2012

The Wilsonville Wildcats and the Sherwood Bowmen square off on Friday night in a battle of 1st place teams in the 5A Northwest Oregon Conference. Both teams enter the game with 4-0 records in league play. Sherwood defeated the Wildcats 28-23 in 2011 to extend their winning streak to 7 in the series. The last time Wilsonville beat the Bowmen was in the 2004 Class 3A state finals. Sherwood leads the all-time series in victories 12-5.

The Sherwood Bowmen came up just short of defending their state championship last season. The Bowmen posted a 13-1 record on their way to the OSAA Class 5A state championship game where they lost to Mountain View 14-13. 2011 has come and gone and so has last year’s team. The Bowmen return just 1 starter on offense and none on defense. However, the Bowmen do have 31 players returning who have varsity experience, including 21 seniors that have been waiting for their chance to shine. Senior Joe Balfour will be the starting quarterback with junior Kevin Larkin backing him up. The key to the offense will be the running game in the wing-t offense. Senior Cristian Morris will be back as the featured back but will not be the only one who gets carries. Morris is returning from an injury that sidelined him all of the 2011 season. Morris has rushed for over 700 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. Junior Mickey Schaefer has rushed for just under 400 yards and 6 touchdowns. Seniors Nick Rowland, Harrison Shelburne and Tided avid Villalpando-Perez along with junior Jordan Kurahara with lead the defensive front line. The talented sophomore Zak Taylor heads the linebacking corps. The secondary will feature seniors Anthony Sherwood at cornerback, Cyrus Mooney at safety and Joe Balfour will play strong safety on top of his quarterbacking duties. The Bowmen are riding a perfect 6-0 record going into Friday night’s game. They are looking to win their first state title since 2010.

The Wilsonville Wildcats football team went 9-3 in 2011 with a 6-1 record in the NWOC. The Wildcats made it all the way to the state quarterfinals before losing to Marist. The 2012 team returns some of their top weapons from last season’s team. Seniors Tanner Shipley and Johnny Ragin return and will play a multitude of positions on offense and defense. Shipley has rushed for just over 900 yards on 88 carries to go with his 11 touchdowns, along with almost 200 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns through the air. Senior Ryan Walsh has also seen a heavy workload in the backfield, rushing for 532 yards and 10 touchdowns. Senior Nick Highberger returns under center on this run heavy offense. Defensively, the secondary will be filled by 3 seniors in Shipley, Highberger, and Ryan Walsh all at cornerback. Ragin will lead a talented group of linebackers. Ragin has recorded 5 sacks on the season. Juniors Collin Cubbage and Parker Nielsen will be up front on the defensive line. Wilsonville comes into Friday’s game with a 5-1 record. They have made the playoffs 10 of the last 12 years. The Wildcats are hoping to get back to the state championship game for the first time since 2004 when they won it all.

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