Prairie still alive for a Class 3A playoff berth

Falcons need a win over Fort Vancouver and losses by Hudson’s Bay and Evergreen to join a tiebreaker

Prairie Falcons (2-6, 1-3 3A GSHL)

Week 1: Heritage 28, Prairie 14
Week 2: Hockinson 42, Prairie 6
Week 3: Black Hills 25, Prairie 22
Week 4: Prairie 21, Battle Ground 20
Week 5: Prairie 28, Evergreen 23
Week 6: Hudson’s Bay 16, Prairie 13
Week 7: Kelso 49, Prairie 6

Week 8: Mountain View 49, Prairie 10

Next: vs. Fort Vancouver, 7 p.m. Friday at Kiggins Bowl

The Falcons had some early success against the league champions before losing touch in the second half. Now they look to win Week 9 and get some help from some other teams in order to tie for third place in league play and get into a tiebreaker.

Playoff hopes:

We are one week away from having an exact repeat of last season, unless Evergreen and/or Hudson’s Bay can find a way to break through with a victory.

Going into Week 9, Prairie would be a huge favorite to beat Fort Vancouver to get to 2-3 in league play.

The Prairie Falcons have no alternative. Win on Friday and they’re likely in a tiebreaker for a playoff spot. Lose Friday and their season is over. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Prairie Falcons have no alternative. Win on Friday and they’re likely in a tiebreaker for a playoff spot. Lose Friday and their season is over. Photo by Mike Schultz

Evergreen and Hudson’s Bay already have two wins in league. But those teams are playing the teams that are currently in first and second place in the league standings in Week 9. If those top teams win those games, then there would be another three-team tiebreaker next week to determine the third playoff berth from the 3A GSHL.

Here are the scenarios:

Mountain View has already clinched the top seed.

Then …

  1. If Hudson’s Bay beats Kelso and Mountain View beats Evergreen, Bay is No. 2 and Kelso is No. 3
  2. If Hudson’s Bay beats Kelso and Evergreen beats Mountain View, there would be a three-way tie for second place with Bay, Evergreen and Kelso.
  3. If Kelso beats Hudson’s Bay and Evergreen beats Mountain View, Kelso is No. 2 and Evergreen is No. 3
  4. If Kelso beats Hudson’s Bay and Mountain View beats Evergreen and Prairie beats Fort Vancouver, Kelso is No. 2, and there is a three-way tie for third place between Bay, Evergreen, and Prairie.

That last scenario is what happened last year. For Prairie to have a shot at the playoffs, that last scenario has to happen again.

Good times early vs. Mountain View:

The Prairie defense stopped the Thunder on the first drive of the night, getting Mountain View to punt. On the third-down play, Carson Slagle got the running back to retreat a bit and Aaron Brumley then came in for the tackle for loss. By the end of that play, seven Falcons were around the ball carrier.

Later in the first quarter, Slagle had another huge play. This time, he got a tackle-for-loss and forced a fumble. Slagle fell to the ground, got up, then recovered the fumble and returned it 21 yards, setting up a Prairie field goal.

Defense to offense:

In the second quarter, Trajveion Douglas bursted through the offensive line and got to the Mountain View quarterback, hitting him just as he was throwing the ball. Payton Millet intercepted the errant pass and had a long return, setting up a Prairie touchdown.

The TD was a pass from Logan Reed to Anthony Estrada.

It was a big deal for Reed because it was his first TD pass as the starting quarterback. He is filling in for the injured Jayson Maddux.

Coach Speak:

What did Kevin Baker think of Week 8’s performance? As I told the kids after the game, we played a good team and there is no shame in losing to a good team. They were bigger, faster, stronger and more disciplined than we were. The odds are against under that scenario.

“We made a lot of fundamental mistakes, which shouldn’t be happening in Week 8 of the season. It is back to fundamentals this week. We can’t expect to win playing with poor fundamentals.”

MVPs: “Giving up 49 points and only scoring 10 points makes it difficult to find anyone who played exceptionally well,’’ Baker said. “We had a few kids who made good individual plays by they didn’t necessarily have extraordinary games or dominate the player across from them. We are choosing to not select any individuals for those honors this week.”

Thoughts on Week 9 vs. Fort Vancouver: “We think we match up pretty well vs Fort,’’ Baker said. “They have some kids we have to try to corral if we hope to do well against them. Their kids don’t quit and have to be looking at us as a potential victory considering the way we have played the last two weeks.”

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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