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Football Forecast

Ashland (3-1) at South Medford (2-2) Tonight, 7:30, at Spiegelberg Stadium Radio Broadcast, KTMT (580-AM)

Injury-riddled South Medford tries to snap out of the doldrums and break two-game losing streak, but it won't be easy against an Ashland squad that is on a three-game win skein. Panthers hope to get back standout/wide receiver John McKay, who missed last week's 14-7 loss to South Eugene with strained knee ligaments. But defensive back Danny Kime (concussion) and nose guard Chris Thomas (knee) will miss the game and tight end Bjorn Johnson and running back Jimmie Maddox are both battling minor knee injuries. Panthers need to reignite an offensive attack that managed just 148 yards last week. Ashland had been struggling with his passing game until last week, when junior QB Cameron Voget completed 16 of 21 for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Tackle Ben Holtey sparks an aggressive Grizzly defense.

— Ashland by 17.

North Medford (4-0) at Roseburg (4-1) Tonight, 7:30, at Finlay Field Radio Broadcast, KMED (1440-AM)

Two of the state's top five teams clash in SOC showdown that could determine the conference champion. North Medford has blasted all four of its opponents by a combined score of 196-23, but the Black Tornado's schedule has been as soft as grandpa's pillow. Roseburg has traditionally protected its home turf, but the Indians have lost two of their past three games at Finlay Field — last season's playoff game to Lakeridge (15-14) and this year's season-opener to Beaverton (14-7). Tornado has a big edge in quickness and will try to exploit it. Quarterback Kevin Foreman is off to a terrific start with 461 yards passing, 288 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, but RB Phil Ouellette (404 yards, three TDs) and WR Mike Olson (8 catches, 180 yards, 5 TDs) are also dangerous. Indians will lean on their 1-2 tailback punch of Rod Cope and Conway Bixby. Cope leads the SOC in rushing with 438 yards and seven TDs, but Bixby had 168 yards and two TDs in last week's 27-7 victory over Grants Pass. Tornado's quickness takes toll.

— North Medford by 7.

Grants Pass (2-2) at Eagle Point (1-3) Tonight, 7:30, at Eagle Stadium Radio Broadcast, KAJO (1270-AM)

Eagle Point might be the most improved team in the SOC since the beginning of the season and could take a big step toward the state playoffs with a victory over the Cavemen. The Eagles? offense has come alive behind QB Kyle Gray, who has passed for an SOC-best 629 yards passing, and Victor Shelton, who has produced back-to-back 100-yard games and now stands third in the SOC with 370 yards and three TDs. Grants Pass lost several starters to injury in its offensive line during last week's 27-7 loss to Roseburg and could struggle to move the ball against physical EP defense led by tackle Blake Cam. But the Cavers have a big edge in quickness and their defense remains one of the best in the SOC.

— Grants Pass by 6.

Klamath Union (1-3) at North Bend (1-3) Saturday, 7 p.m., at Victor L. Adams Field

A long road trip and a more-than-capable opponent spell trouble for Klamath Union in this non-conference game on the southern Oregon coast. North Bend has only one victory under its belt but the Bulldogs aren't a bad team. Klamath Union QB Jason Mortenson, who completed 17 of 29 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns during last week's 42-30 loss to Ashland, is one of the best athletes in the SOC. But he's going against a stalwart defense led by linebacker Jake Green. North Bend held a fine Churchill offense to 22 points last week.

— North Bend by 14.

Mazama (3-1) at Phoenix (2-2) Today, 7 p.m., at Jack Woodward Stadium

Phoenix nearly doubled its offensive output when the Pirates blanked Lakeview, 19-0, last week. But Mazama will provide more trouble for the Phoenix defense. If the Pirates can contain Mazama quarterback Brendan Quire and keep Landyn Trammell in check, they have a chance. A loss will make it difficult to make the playoffs.

Mazama by 8

Illinois Valley (3-1) at Henley (4-0) Today, 7 p.m., at Hill-O'Briend Stadium

Illinois Valley has been giving Skyline Conference foes fits, while No.4 Henley has been burying them early. The Cougars will remain pesky, but Henley is way too much of a load. The Hornets may not be tested until the playoffs.

Henley by 35

Hidden Valley (2-2) at Rogue River (0-4) Today, 7 p.m., at Beck Field

It's back to the drawing board for Hidden Valley after last week's 42-0 loss to Henley. Even so, expect the Mustangs to bounce back handily against the winless Chieftains. Rogue River is struggling to find any offense as underscored by the fact that Ryan Woodall led the Chiefs with 39 rushing yards on 12 carries in last week's 26-0 loss to Illinois Valey.

Hidden Valley by 34

Lakeview (0-4) at North Valley (2-2) Today, 7 p.m., at Merlin

North Valley is feeling a bit snake-bitten after narrow losses to Illinois Valley and Mazma, but the Knights figure to get back on track against the Honkers. Look for quarterback Aaron Phelps, receiver Cole Parmalee and running back Jesse Stumbo to have big nights.

North Valley by 21

St. Mary's (0-3) at Cascade Christian (1-3) Today, 7 p.m., at V.A. Domiciliary Field, White City

St. Mary's has struggled to put enough players on the field since Day 1, while Cascade Chrisitian has had trouble revving up its offense. The Challengers have too many horses for the Crusaders, who have had fewer than 11 players in some practices this week. Cascade has won the previous six Holy Bowls and figures to make it seven.

Cascade Christian by 22

ELSEWHERE IN THE SOUTHERN CASCADE LEAGUE -Bonanza (3-1) by 12 over Gilchrist at Bonanza, Lost River (2-2) by 26 over Chiloquin (1-3)

— Prospect (2-2) at Paisley (0-4) Today 4 p.m.

Prospect finished strong with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away from Elkton in a 36-22 win last week and the Cougars figure to keep on going this week. Prospect is no Days Creek, which outlegged the Broncos 82-62 last week. But the Cougars won't be toying with Paisley as Days Creek did.

Prospect by 26

Mapleton (2-1) at Butte Falls (1-3) Today 4 p.m.

Mapleton is nowhere as rough, tough and good as Powers, but the Sailors will end up with similar results against the Loggers.

Mapleton by 18

ELSEWHERE IN THE SKYLINE A LEAGUE -Elkton (1-2) by 12 over North Lake (0-4) at Silver Lake

— Oregon State (4-0) at Washington (3-1) Saturday, 7 p.m. at Husky Stadium Radio Broadcast, KMED (1440-AM)

OSU tries to go 5-0 for the first time since 1939 but the No. 23-ranked Beavers are running into a hornet's nest. Washington, ranked 13th, is still smarting from last Saturday's 23-16 loss to Oregon and will try to take out its frustrations on the Beavers. OSU quarterback Jonathan Smith will need a big day passing to take pressure off RB Ken Simonton, the nation's leading rusher at 177 yards per game. OSU leads the Pac-10 in total defense but Washington QB Marques Tuiasosopo fuels a potent Husky offense that is capable of huge numbers.

— Washington by 11.

Southern Oregon (2-1) at Willamette (1-3 ) Saturday, 2 p.m., at Charles McCullough Stadium, Salem Radio Broadcast, KTMT (580-AM)

Willamette has lost three straight games for the first time in 10 years and Southern Oregon hopes to extend the Bearcats? miseries. Raider freshman Dusty McGrorty rushed for 195 yards during last week's 14-7 victory over Humboldt State and is already beginning to make SOU fans forget Griff Yates. SOU can expect the Bearcats to put seven or eight players in the box to stop McGrorty, especially after QB Danny Walters managed only 61 yards passing last week. Willamette outgained Western Oregon 302-203 in total offense last week but had two punts blocked deep in its own territory and suffered a 23-0 loss. Home crowd helps Bearcats come to life.

— Willamette by 3.