COQUILLE — Scio and Coquille will turn back the clock Friday night for their Class 3A quarterfinal football game in Scio.
“It’s going to be a fun, smash-mouth football game,” Coquille coach David Thomason said.
The Loggers use a run-heavy double-wing attack on offense, while Coquille employs a run-heavy wing-T offense.
Though both teams like to control the clock and keep the ball on the ground, they are slightly different in nature.
“Our offense is about speed and angles,” Thomason said. “They are about brute power at the point of the attack.”
The Loggers feature a huge, physical line.
“But I think we’ve got them in speed,” Thomason said. “They might be big and strong. We’re quick and fast.”
Both offenses rely somewhat on deception. For Coquille, discipline will be vital.
“That offense wears on you,” Thomason said. “You have to be mentally aware.”
The Loggers are happy to run up the middle play after play, gaining enough yards to move the chains and lulling defenses before popping a big play outside, he said.
Scio might pass once or twice a game, but when it does, defensive backs Seth Waddington and Cody Deck also will have to be prepared.
Coquille’s defensive line faces the big task of bottling up Scio’s blockers.
“They are just going to have to eat blocks and allow our linebackers to make plays,” Thomason said.
The group of front is a veteran corps including ends John Morrill-Keeler and Jack Lehnherr and tackles Heath Hurt and Kane Rilatos. Zach Kissinger likely will see more time this week and Garrett Hyatt, Chase Otterbach, Ian Whidden and Colton Morrill-Keeler will be called on to provide a break for the starting group at times.
The linebackers are led by Henry Scolari, Joey Vigue and Caiden Yates, with Jakob Bliss also seeing time.
That group will be tested all night, and stopping Scio for three downs often likely won’t be enough.
Thomason had reviewed film of four different Scio games and said in those contests the Loggers punted just one time, usually opting to go for it on fourth down, and often also tried onside kicks after touchdowns.
The entire team has been spending more time in film study, trying to learn the nuances of the double-wing, Thomason said.
“The hardest part for us is getting our scout team to run their offense,” he said. “We’re a little more heavy on the film this week, getting people lined up in the right place. Everybody has to be disciplined.”
The players are excited about the challenge.
“I think our team can hit just as hard as their team,” Vigue said. “We have a really good defensive line.”
Coquille also has a lot of playoff experience. Most of the key players had roles in last year’s run to the state semifinals and Coquille also reached the quarterfinals when the current seniors were sophomores.
“We’re definitely used to the playoff atmosphere,” Waddington said. “The seniors and juniors, we’re pretty experienced.”
The Red Devils also have momentum after winning a thriller at Dayton on Friday night, Coquille’s first road playoff win since the 1970 state champion season.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” Waddington said of the win over the Pirates.
Coquille outscored Dayton 40-35 while Scio was topping Lakeview 68-31.
The Loggers are stingy, but do give up some points, with every foe scoring at least two touchdowns except Gervais, a team Scio shut out back on Sept. 15.
But Scio scores in bunches, with at least 52 points five of the past six weeks, the lone exception a 26-20 win over Dayton in the regular-season finale.
Coquille, meanwhile, has scored at least five touchdowns every week but the lone loss, 8-6 to La Pine.
“It’s really going to come down to which offense is clicking more and which one will put up more points,” Thomason said.
The winner Friday faces Harrisburg or Cascade Christian in the semifinals.
Friday’s game kicks off at 7 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students. Those not making the trip to Scio can hear the game on KSHR (97.3 FM).