For the second straight year, the OSAA 3A State Playoffs will have a double-digit seed in the state semifinals.
The 11th-ranked Rainier Columbians rode a bus eight hours to play Nyssa in the state quarterfinals Saturday, and seemingly to make the Bulldogs pay for every one of those 432 miles on the road, Rainier steamrolled the third-ranked Nyssa squad 40-6.
“The defense was outstanding today,” Rainier coach Mike King said. “I’m really proud of the whole team; it was a great team effort.”
Rainier outgained Nyssa 511-140, as Joey Tripp peppered the stat sheet with 7-9 passing for 117 yards and three TDs to go with 184 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
Dawson Carr added 186 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown, and four catches for 56 yards and two scores to go with a forced fumble. Jacob Bruce had an interception and a 60-yard touchdown catch, and Caymon Rea added an interception.
Behind the potent Diesel attack, Rainier (9-2) tallied 394 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Easton Crape, who leads the area in sacks this season with 11, stood out for Rainier.
“He was all over the place on both sides of the ball,” King said.
Rainier will hope to make it two years with a double-digit seed in the state finals (No. 12 Salem Academy made the trek last year) with a matchup against No. 2 Santiam Christian (9-2) slated for 11 a.m. Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium.