MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: Oregon Football

  • It wasn't until the eighth grade that Owamagbe Odighizuwa began to play football. Though born in Ohio, he lived much of his childhood in Nigeria and played soccer and basketball, and ran track and field.

    Getty images

    Owamagbe Odighizuwa

    But he picked up football fast — as fast as his sprinter speed — and at 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, he drew the attention of scouts while at Douglas (Portland, Ore.).

    As a junior defensive end in high school, he had 96 tackles (22 for loss), including 10 sacks. That helped him earn a scholarship to UCLA and after a superb four-year career that included him earning second-team all-Pacific-12 Conference honors, he's now considered a first-round draft pick of the NFL Draft, which takes place April 30-May 2 in Chicago.

    At the NFL combine, he ran a blazing 4.62-second 40-yard dash to go along with a remarkable 39-inch vertical leap.

    Even with two hip surgeries, Odighizuwa (Oh-DIGGY-zoo-wuh) is considered one of the most exciting defensive players in the 2015 draft.
  • The record for most points in an 8-man football season was set this past weekend in an Oregon shootout.

    According to the Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., the Lowell (Ore.) football team set the national record for season points when it finished with 946 points in 13 games. According to the NFHS Record Book, that total is No. 1 in history, beating the 891 by Fremont-Mills of Iowa in 2011.

    Photo courtesy of OSAA
    The Devils made it to the OSAA Division 1A title game Saturday but lost 88-76 to Imbler in the highest-scoring game in Oregon championship history that is also the sixth-highest total combined score in national 8-man history.

    Lowell tied for second all-time with 95 offensive plays and ran the ball 74 times, also second all-time.

    The Devils averaged 72.8 points per game this season, the second-best total ever. Jefferson (S.D.) holds that record with 75.1 points per game in 1967.

    “That was an interesting matchup but bittersweet,” Lowell coach Pat Todd (a Lowell alumnus) told the newspaper. “Anybody would take a state title over any other scoring thing.

    “It’s been a great season and a great run and I hope they all look back not too long from now and say, ‘Wow, what a year.'"

  • They call it "The Wrecking Ball."

    That's the name of the fake extra-point attempt devised by Sherwood head coach Greg Lawrence and staff.

    Sherwood (Ore.) is 9-0 and has outscored opponents 554-96 on the season. Lawrence and his assistant coaches are constantly on the lookout for ways to keep his kids engaged and having fun.

    "We have 32 seniors," Lawrence told MaxPreps on Monday. "We're trying to get of them in on special teams. We've been winning most games. We've been crushing everyone, so we've been trying to find things to make it fun for the kids."

    Sherwood called for The Wrecking Ball early on Friday night, after the team's first touchdown, so as not to show up Putnam with the game already out of hand.

    The Wrecking Ball calls for the team's 5-foot-5, 240-pound kicker, Martin Layna, to take the snap directly.

    Layna is supposed to charge ahead, and just before crossing the line of scrimmage, loft the ball up to the team's 6-11 tight end, Jordan Kurahara.

    Before the team attempted the Wrecking Ball in a game, Sherwood added one additional wrinkle.

    "One of our other senior linemen asked if he could come off like a monkey, pick the tee up, and hop off the field like a monkey," Lawrence said. "Our special teams coach said 'Sure, why not? Let's do it.'"

    The play went off without a hitch, as senior lineman Ryan Jurgens grabbed the tee and distracted the defense by hopping off the field like a monkey.

    That allowed Layne to throw a perfect spiral to Kurahara for perhaps the most unusual two-point conversion ever.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's not the first trick play Sherwood has attempted.

    Check out their unique two-point conversion from a Week 3 matchup against Hermiston.

    Sherwood heads into the Class 5A playoffs as the top-ranked team in the MaxPreps Computer Rankings.

  • What a way to snap a long losing streak against an opponent.

    On Friday night, Lakeridge (Lake Oswego, Ore.) beat Lake Oswego (Ore.) for the first time in nine years, according to The Oregonian.

    It was tied at 14 when Eric Dungey took the snap from the opposition's 34-yard line, heaved the ball to the left sideline and watched as Joe Sindlinger made the grab over a Lake Oswego defender.

    Lakeridge won 20-14, and moved to 6-2 with the victory.
  • University of Oregon recruit Thomas Tyner rarely lost a 100-meter race during his brilliant career at Aloha (Beaverton, Ore.),

    Courtesy photo

    Thomas Tyner

    However, the state-record holder (10.35 seconds) lost a race on Friday to 39-year-old government teacher Scott Baker - for charity.

    Aloha students and faculty have been raising funds for Sparrow Clubs and this year's recipient is one-year-old Olivia Strohmeyer, who has Rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer. She already has undergone six months of radiation, plus chemotherapy and three surgeries.

    Earlier this month Baker challenged Tyner to a 100-meter race as part of the school's fundraiser. Tyner agreed and even promised Baker that for every $10 he raised he would receive a one-meter head start. In three weeks he raised $505. He accepted a 45-meter lead and won the race. No time was given.

    Baker told the Oregonian, "I gotta be honest. I couldn't feel my legs and I kind of pulled my groin at the beginning. I want to say thank you to Thomas for doing this - I mean, that's the coolest thing ever, to come out and let me raise money and beat him just for Olivia. That's all it's about."

    By Friday the school had raised more than $16,000, which included a $4,000 donation from one family and was twice as much as the previous year. Tyner was the No. 5 recruit from the Class of 2013.
  • Doug Bilodeau really wants new helmets for his North Marion (Aurora, Ore.) football program. So much so that he has held a sign saying "Will work for helmets" and has taken his campaign to local social media.

    Facebook photo

    Doug Bilodeau

    According to The Oregonian and KATU Channel 2, the program is well short of the number of usable helmets it needs, and the budget has no room for new equipment. So Bilodeau got creative.

    “I was sitting around with my family, and I was joking that I’m going to sit on a highway with a sign that says 'Will Work For Helmets,’” Bilodeau told The Oregonian.

    Then his daughter made the sign, so Bilodeau went to the street with Sally (his dog) and had someone take a picture of him. Then he posted it to Facebook.

    Now the work orders are coming in from community members, and his players are raking leaves and moving bark to help raise the money to buy new helmets.

    “I’m not looking for a handout. People are willing to give if you’re willing to work," he told KATU.

    His original Facebook photo post included this description: "Just when you think you have seen it all! Lost 15 helmets due to reconditioning, wanted to add 15 but that puts me in a hole. The good news is that I have raised funds for five helmets so far. The GOAL is 25 more @ $250 a helmet. I've got my work cut out, not afraid. No job is too tough, Thanks and God Bless."

  • Photo by Jeff Napier

    Thomas Tyner continued his magical senior season on Friday night against West Salem.

    Oregon recruit Thomas Tyner put the exclamation point on a phenomenal career by setting the Oregon single-season rushing mark in Aloha's (Beaverton, Ore.) game against West Salem in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

    A 50-yard touchdown run helped Tyner move past the mark of 3,335 set by Cory McCaffrey of Sisters in 2006.

    Tyner entered the game with 3,241 yards. His sterling senior campaign comes after a junior year that was plagued with injuries. Earlier this season, he rushed for 644 yards and 10 touchdowns in one game.

    After briefly decommitting, Tyner solidified his commitment to Oregon last month after originally making the pledge over a year ago.

    Tyner is a contender for National Player of the Year honors. His chief competition is Derrick Henry, who broke the national all-time rushing record hours earlier.

    Before the game, Tyner tweeted to Henry, "Good luck to the homie @KingHenry_2 starting playoffs tonight. Keep racing for POY boy!"

    Image for MaxPreps Video.
  • File photo by Jeff Napier

    Thomas Tyner, Aloha

    Thomas Tyner is making up for lost time.

    After being named the Class 6A state player of the year as a sophomore, Tyner missed the postseason last year due to a fractured right ankle.

    Tyner and his Aloha (Beaverton, Ore.) teammates opened postseason play Friday against Glencoe with Tyner posting his second-best outing of the season in a 38-35 Warrior win.

    Besides rushing 35 times for 431 yards, Tyner also scored five touchdowns, including the gamewinner on a 24-yard pass from Nick Krautsheid with about two minutes remaining in the game.

    Tyner also had touchdown runs of 95, 10, 65 and 67 yards, giving him a total of 41 touchdowns on the season. Tyner also upped his season yardage total to 3,231 yards.

    Tyner's best outing of the year was a 643-yard effort with 10 touchdowns in an 84-63 win over Lakeridge (Lake Oswego, Ore.).

    Aloha (8-2) advances to play West Salem (Salem, Ore.) in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.
  • Photo courtesy of Waldport football

    Waldport's Kraig Pruett, shown in action earlier this season, is now the national record holder for most receiving yards in a single game.

    A national record was set Friday along the picturesque Oregon Coast, as Waldport (Ore.) junior Kraig Pruett amassed a jaw-dropping 456 receiving yards. Stats reported to MaxPreps stated 456 yards but other mentions have the total at 455.

    The previous record was set last season by Washington (South Bend, Ind.) star Gehrig Dieter, who posted a 437-yard night. That game was originally reported as 447 yards.

    Pruett's 18-catch night also featured four touchdowns in a 48-0 triumph over Culver (Ore.).

    The 5-foot-7, 170-pounder helped cap off a 5-5 season for the Irish, and it also put an end to a spectacular statistical season for Pruett. In 10 games he caught 87 passes for 1,550 yards and 13 touchdowns. That yardage total leads Oregon on the MaxPreps stats leaderboard and is sixth nationally as of Sunday night.

    "Our other big receiver was injured on the night. So we thought we would throw it around a bit and we ended up throwing 40-something times. Our quarterback, TJ Fisher, likes to throw it to Kraig and so they had a good connection on the night," coach Edgar Townsend said via email.

    "Kraig is a pastor's son. He came from West Salem High and has been a huge addition. He is an extremely humble and well-mannered kid. There isn't an arrogant bone in his body. He is an awesome leader. He just brings his lunch pail and everyone follows him, which is great for our program that we are turning around. He is a kid I would want my daughter to marry with no doubt."

  • A JV football game in Oregon last month played host to one of the most touching moments of the high school football season.

    Misti Chastain, who had been stationed in Iraq, surprised her son Michael Seyl, a receiver/defensive back at Crook County (Prineville, Ore.) on Oct. 15 before its game against Ridgeview (Redmond, Ore.).

    According to the Central Oregonian, Chastain had been deployed in Afghanistan for 14 months, and her son was unaware that she had returned to Prineville.

    Chastain coordinated her arrival with coaches the night before the game. When Seyl saw her walk out for the opening coin toss, he gave her a giant hug.

    "It was amazing," Chastain later told the Central Oregonian. "I hadn't seen my son in 14 months and I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to see any of his games this year."

    Seyl cherished the moment as well, but then told his mother, "Sorry mom, I've got to go, we have a game to play."

    Chastain also surprised her younger sun, Dustin, a cross country runner for Crook County.

    For Michael Seyl, the opportunity to be reunited with his mom was special, but he still worries about another family member overseas.

    "I'm glad that mom got back safe," Michael told the Central Oregonian. "It was really hard while she was gone. I think it's really great that she got here. But we are a military family. Dad is deployed now too, and will be over there for about another year. It's pretty hard on a family. We just hope that dad will get home safe too."