After a perfect first round, the Mid-Willamette Conference struggled as a group in last week’s 5A football state playoffs.
No. 5 Crescent Valley, No. 6 South Albany, No. 8 Silverton and 10th-seeded Lebanon all fell in the quarterfinals, leaving the conference without a semifinalist for the second time in three seasons. The MWC was also shut out in 2015 before having three of the final four — Lebanon, Dallas and Central — in 2016.
South (6-5), which was making its first quarterfinal appearance in program history, committed five turnovers in a 40-22 loss at No. 3 Hermiston.
“I felt like there were times offensively where we executed well, but most of it was sloppy,” South senior quarterback Jake Costello said after the game. Costello completed 21 of 32 passes for 318 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
The Warriors (7-4) were just as loose with the football in a 31-7 defeat at No. 2 Wilsonville. Lebanon, the defending state champion, lost four fumbles and threw two interceptions as the Wildcats overcame a 7-3 hole to advance.
Hermiston (9-2) and Wilsonville (10-1) are set for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday evening at Hillsboro Stadium in the state semifinals.
The turnover bug also bit CV (9-2), which tossed four interceptions and lost two fumbles as No. 4 Churchill survived with a 24-22 win. The Raiders, who shared the MWC title with South, nearly clawed out of a 21-0 deficit but turned it over deep in Churchill territory late in the game.
Silverton (7-4) squandered an eight-point fourth-quarter lead against top-seeded Mountain View, eventually falling 46-42 in Bend.
The unbeaten Cougars (11-0) and Lancers (11-0) will play at 5 p.m. Saturday at Liberty High in Hillsboro in the other semifinal.
Eagles, Loggers alive in playoffs
Following its 50-6 rout of 10th-seeded Vale in the 3A football state quarterfinals, No. 2 Santiam Christian will take on No. 11 Rainier at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium in the semifinals.
The Eagles (9-2), who shared the West Valley League title with Dayton, are in the semis for the sixth time in eight seasons. SC hasn’t won the state title since 2011.
Rainier (9-2), the Lewis & Clark League runner-up to Clatskanie, is coming off a 40-6 rout of third-seeded Nyssa.
Saturday’s winner advances to play No. 4 Cascade Christian (10-1) or top-seeded Scio (9-1) in the championship game. The Loggers and Challengers are set for a noon kickoff at Cottage Grove High.
Scio is back in the semis following a 30-13 victory over No. 9 Coquille. The PacWest Conference-champion Loggers have won eight in a row entering Saturday’s showdown.
The Challengers (10-1) dismantled No. 12 Harrisburg, the defending state champion, 46-8 in the quarters. Cascade Christian also shut out Santiam Christian 47-0 in Week 6.