Spotlight on Mac?
McMinnville students and parents were rocking the vote this week, thanks to Portland NBC affiliate KGW. Mac’s home football game against Forest Grove tonight (7 p.m., Wortman Stadium) was one of three games up for designation as the Spotlight Game for the KGW production Friday Night Football.
KGW’s other choices for the game are Milwaukie-Liberty and Roosevelt-Wilson, both Class 5A football games.
As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Forest Grove-McMinnville had accrued 49 percent of the vote, with 24,824 votes. (Voters are allowed to cast their ballot more than once, as many have thus far.) Milwaukie-Liberty had amassed 22,351 votes, or 44 percent of all ballots cast. Roosevelt-Wilson (3,449 votes) had seven percent of the vote; though that game may lose out in the end, at least one winner is guaranteed.
3 THINGS TO WATCH
Tackling in open space: Mac knows exactly what it’s getting out of Forest Grove: A team that spreads out the ball and passes often. Vikings sophomore quarterback Taylor Jensen has the full attention of Grizzlies coach Robin Hill; “He’s really Gage as a sophomore,” Hill said Wednesday, referring to Mac quarterback Gage Gubrud. High praise, indeed. Senior running back Gio Tayetto is a 5-foot-5 waterbug who can make plays in open space for Forest Grove when he sees daylight. The Vikings represent an excellent litmus test for the tackling ability of the Mac secondary and outside linebackers.
North-south running: In McMinnville’s 23-13 win over Newberg on Sept. 13, Gubrud had a tough day until he began feeding the Tigers a steady diet of play-action passes and passes off rollouts. While the Grizzlies’ passing game was generally solid, the Mac run game struggled; senior Zach Silver’s 22 yards rushing (including a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter) led the team. McMinnville has largely succeeded this season getting players in space, but the middle of Forest Grove’s defense needs to be tested early and often.
Enjoy the spotlight: There’s a buzz around Yamhill County this prep football season. People have a lot to talk about; Mac football is at or near the top of everyone’s list. The 3-0 start has inspired confidence in Grizzlies football faithful and players. If the KGW television cameras come around for the game, the sports section encourages players and fans alike to bask in the spotlight, even for a little bit. Football is meant to be fun, and Wortman Stadium should be rocking tonight, television notwithstanding. It is possible to revel in the magnitude of KGW’s presence while playing physical, disciplined football and treating everyone on and off the field with respect.