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50 can’t-miss games in Oregon high school football: The top matchups of 2022 (Part 1)

We've examined the entire schedule and identified 50 showdowns fans won't want to miss.

By René Ferrán | Photo by Leon Neuschwander 

The Oregon high school football season is scheduled to kick off Sept. 1, and we've spent the past month highlighting more than 100 teams and more than 1,000 players across the state

Now, it's time to turn our attention to the schedule. Here is Part 1 of our list of top games for 2022. (Check back soon for Games 25-1!) 

All games 7 p.m. PT unless noted 

50. St. Paul at Dufur, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1

Our list kicks off on the first night of games with two of the state’s traditional eight-man powers as part of the annual three-day Dufur Classic. 

49. Coquille at South Umpqua, Friday, Oct. 14

The Red Devils, last year’s 2A state champions, moved up to 3A this fall and into the same league as the Lancers. This should be one of the best matchups of the season in the Far West League. 

48. Baker at La Grande, Friday, Sept. 30

This longtime Eastern Oregon rivalry matchup has helped decide the Greater Oregon League title for many years. 

47. Nyssa at Vale, 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21

The eastside Black and Blue Bowl between these two Southeast Oregon rivals always has significant 3A Eastern Oregon League title implications.

46. Marist Catholic at Mazama, Friday, Sept. 16

A rematch of the COVID spring 4A championship game. The Spartans came back to reach the OSAA final last fall, while the Vikings fell to eventual champion Marshfield in the semifinals. 

45. Grant at Jefferson, Friday, Sept. 23

The Portland rivals play not just for PIL but also neighborhood bragging rights.

44. South Salem at West Salem, 7:15 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30

This city rivalry features two of the best receivers in the state — Tini Tinitali III of the Saxons and Braiden Copeland of the Titans. 

43. Sherwood at Clackamas, Friday, Sept. 9

Two top-10 teams clash in an early-season nonleague matchup that could prove big in determining postseason seeding. 

42. Crater at Thurston, Friday, Sept. 23

The Colts have won the past six meetings between the Midwestern League powers — including the 2019 Class 5A final. The Comets’ last win came in 2013. 

41. Sherwood at Newberg, Thursday, Oct. 13

The Highway 99W rivals played in a classic last season, with the outcome in doubt until the final play — the Bowmen eked out a 23-17 decision

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40. Tigard at Tualatin, Friday, Oct. 28

Two schools. One school district. The lights went out on this rivalry (literally) in 2017, but a revived Tigers team should put a charge back in it this season. 

39. Jesuit at Sunset, Friday, Oct. 14

Nineteen months ago on the same field, the Apollos snapped a 26-game losing streak to the Crusaders as part of an undefeated COVID spring season. 

38. Kennedy at Siuslaw, Friday, Sept. 9

Last year’s 2A runner-up moves to 3A this fall, where the Trojans picked up a juicy nonleague matchup with the reigning state champion Vikings. 

37. North Medford at West Salem, Friday, Sept. 16

The Black Tornado should be one of the most improved teams in 6A this season, but this cross-district matchup should put them to the test. 

36. Rainier at Banks, Friday, Oct. 7

Banks moving down to 3A this year means the revival of this longtime rivalry — they met 32 times from 1958-2011, with the Columbians owning a 20-12 lead. 

35. Adrian at Powder Valley, Friday, Oct. 21

This rematch of last year’s 1A state final features two of the top players returning in eight-man football — Jace Martin of the Antelopes and Cole Martin of the Badgers.

34. Sheldon at West Salem, Thursday, Oct. 27

Two reigning league champions were thrown together in the same conference this season by the OSAA. The Irish are 6-0 all-time against the Titans. 

33. Sherwood at Lakeridge, Friday, Sept. 16

The Pacers won the season-opening matchup between the teams last season — part of the Bowmen’s 0-4 start before they reached the 6A quarterfinals. 

32. Mountainside at Jesuit, Friday, Oct. 21

This is the conclusion of a challenging trio of games for the Crusaders in their bid for a ninth consecutive Metro League title. 

31. Tualatin at Wilsonville, Friday, Sept. 16

The 5A Wildcats take a big leap by tackling the 6A runner-up Timberwolves in a game that promises offensive fireworks. 

30. West Salem at Sherwood, Friday, Sept. 2

The Titans eye revenge after the Bowmen ended their season in the second round of the 6A state playoffs last fall. 

29. Sheldon at West Linn, Thursday, Sept. 8

The Chris Miller connection between the programs broke with Miller’s departure from the Lions after last season, but this I-5 rivalry features plenty of star power. 

28. Jesuit at Sherwood, Thursday, Sept. 22

These storied programs have met only once in their history — during the COVID spring 2021 season, when the Bowmen pulled out a memorable 26-7 victory.

27. Westview at Sunset, Friday, Oct. 28

These two Beaverton schools are separated by one exit along the Sunset Highway. The winner could earn a home playoff game in the 6A championship bracket

26. Wilsonville at Thurston, Friday, Sept. 2

These two have developed quite the postseason rivalry — four meetings in the 5A playoffs since 2016, with Thurston winning three of four (including the 2018 final) — but this will be their first regular-season meeting.