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Mail Tribune football forecast

North Medford (2-1) vs. South Medford (0-3) Tonight, 7:30 at Spiegelberg Stadium Radio broadcasts, KRTA (610 AM) and KTMT (880 AM)

South Medford is desperate for a win under first-year coach Bill Singler and a victory over its crosstown rival would work wonders for team morale. But North Medford is a playoff-caliber team and is anxious to get back on winning track following last week's loss to Ashland. South's offense continues to grow under sophomore quarterback John McKay, but Panthers won't be able to stop a Tornado running game that averages 387 yards a game, best in the SOC. North Medford by 28.

No. 5 Ashland (4-0) at Eagle Point (1-2) Tonight, 7:30 at Eagle Stadium Radio broadcasts at 6:30 p.m. on KCMX (580 AM) and KOPE (103.5-FM)

Eagle Point has momentum following last week's scintillating 41-34 overtime victory over Klamath Union. The Eagles finally formed a passing attack to complement RB Sean Johnston, who ranks second in the SOC in rushing with 389 yards and four TDs. But EP will have trouble moving the ball against Ashland's iron-fisted defense that has allowed just 11.3 points per game. Ashland QB Jimmy Werbin, inconsistent during his first three outings, passed for 273 yards and three TDs last week. Ashland by 20.

Crater (2-1) vs. No. 10 Churchill (2-1) Tonight, 8:45, at Autzen Stadium

Crater hopes to rebound after last week's humiliating 35-7 loss to Grants Pass, but runs into a tough foe tonight. Churchill has an enormous front line, averaging 250 pounds from tackle to tackle. And 6-foot-6, 210-pound tight end Tim Euhus and 6-4, 202-pound wide receiver are major college recruits. Comets must also cope with Churchill's double-wing offense that racked up 70 points against Willamette. Churchill by 14.

Klamath Union (1-2) at No. 11 Roseburg (2-0) Tonight, 7:30, at Finlay Field

Roseburg has annihilated Klamath Union 75-0, 67-10 and 56-0 the past three seasons. The Pelicans have made some strides under second-year coach Wayne Amos, but are still no match for the Indians. Roseburg by 42.

Phoenix (0-3) at Illinois Valley (3-0) Tonight, 7 o'clock at Cave Junction

This game might not have a thing to do with who makes the playoffs, but it still could make or break the season for both teams. A fourth win would put Illinois Valley in position for its first winning season since 1965. A win might help Phoenix pull a U-turn on so-far dismal season in which the Pirates have been outscored 114-7. The Cougars made the most of turnovers in a 36-14 win over Rogue River last week and that could be the key once again. Illinois Valley by 3

No. 9 Hidden Valley (2-1) at Lakeview (1-2) Tonight, 7 o'clock

Hidden Valley bounced back in a big way after a disappointing loss to Brookings with a 27-20 win over Skyline Conference favorite Henley. The Mustangs Hidden Valley limited Henley RB Ryan Juhl to 60 yards on 15 carries and outgained the Hornets 310-180 on the ground. Lakeview, meanwhile, was blanked 17-0 by North Valley. As long as the Mustangs' bus doesn't break down, they should do just fine. Hidden Valley by 22.

Rogue River (1-2) at Mazama (1-2) Tonight, 7 o'clock at Klamath Falls

The records may be the same, but the Vikings have the definite upper hand here. Mazama's misplaced offense suddenly reappeared in the second half against Phoenix last week as the Vikings won for the first time since dropping to the Class 3A ranks. Mazama rushed for 338 yards and outgained Phoenix 426-165 overall. Rogue River threw five interceptions and fumbled the ball away another time last week. Mazama by 21

North Valley (1-2) at Henley (2-1) Tonight, 7 at Klamath Falls

Henley's coming off its first loss and North Valley off its first win. RB Chuck Milburn showed flashes of brilliance in rushing for 115 yards and a TD in 25 carries for North Valley. But it was the Knights' defense that shined in a 17-0 win after giving up 89 points in their first two outings. Still you have to figure there's smoke pouring out of the Hornets' ears after losing to Hidden Valley. Look for Henley to fire up its ground game and score lots of points. Henley by 19.

Gold Beach (0-3) at Cascade Christian (0-3) Tonight, 7 at V.A. Domiciliary, White City

The good news is that one of these teams will score its first win of the season. Cascade Christian has found a dependable RB in Brian Hammers, but still hasn't found its stride offensively. Gold Beach, which moved into the Big Fir League when Cascade Christian and St. Mary's joined the Southern Cascade League, has been outscored 111-36 in three games. Last week Gold Beach fell to California's Trinity Valley 47-14. — Gold Beach by 2.

Glendale (2-1) at St. Mary's (2-1) Saturday 7 p.m. at Spiegelberg Stadium

St. Mary's had its modest two-game winning streak snapped last week by North Douglas, but the Crusaders showed they have spunk and a dazzling TB in J.P. Naumes. Glendale whipped Cascade Christian 32-8 last week behind junior RB Justin DeKruger, who scored 177 yards and three TDs. Glendale by 18.

ELSEWHERE IN SOUTHERN CASCADE LEAGUE _ Etna by 20 over Bonanza.

Camas Valley (1-1) at Prospect (0-2) Tonight, 7:30 at Goode Field

Prospect has had two weeks to prepare for this one after losing to Elkton and North Lake. Camas Valley lost to Days Creek last week and the Cougars should have Wolves well scouted. Prospect by 2.

ELSEWHERE IN SKYLINE A LEAGUE _ Powers by 24 over Days Creek at Powers; Mapleton by 16 over Paisley at Mapleton; Elkton by 20 at North Lake

Oregon State (2-2) at Utah State (1-3). Saturday, 7 p.m., at Logan, Utah. Radio broadcast at 6 p.m. on KCMX (580-AM)

Beavers are reeling from two straight losses (to USC and Arizona State) on the road. They have a chance to snap an 18-game road losing streak against the Aggies. The Beavers must stop hurting themselves with mistakes, and quarterback Terrance Bryant must be more consistent for OSU to win. It could happen as Oregon State plays its third straight on the road. Oregon State by 7.

ELSEWHERE IN THE PAC-10 _UCLA by 21 over Washington State, Notre Dame by 10 over Stanford, Southern Cal by — over Arizona State, Washington by 10 over Arizona

Southern Oregon (2-1) at Linfield (2-0). Saturday, — p.m. at Maxwell Field in McMinnville. Radio broadcast 12:30 p.m. on KOPE (103.5-FM)

What happens when the nation's leading rusher (SOU tailback Griff Yates collides with one of the premier rushing defenses in the (Linfield)? This question will be answered in a physical war at McMinnville, with the outcome of the game hanging in the balance. Yates leads the nation, rushing for 242 yards per game and Linfield is tops among Northwest small colleges, allowing just 39.5 yards per game. The Raiders have won just once at Linfield in history. No. 2 comes Saturday in a mild upset. Southern Oregon by 2.