The Banks Braves Logo. Photo: BSD

BANKS - The Banks Braves varsity football team last week cruised through a second-round playoff against No. 9 Baker, winning 34-14, and this Saturday, in a semi-final match in the OSAA 4A state championship tournament, they’ll take on No. 5 Marist Catholic Spartans this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium. 

No. 3 La Grande plays No. 10 The Dalles in the other 4A semi-final matchup. 

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Banks knows Marist Catholic well, having faced the team four times in the last two years. The most recent matchup resulted in Banks winning 19-14, having given up 14 points in the last three minutes of the game. 

“We are Marist Catholic’s only loss all year,” Linehan said. “They beat (No. 2) Mazama earlier this year. They beat (No. 16) Marshfield (during the regular season), which is a team we beat in the first round of the playoffs.”

Marist Catholic also has the advantage of returning all of their players from last year’s young team -- the Spartans graduated no one. 

Linehan gave a brief rundown of the Braves game plan for this Saturday’s contest. 

“We need to keep their players in front of us,” he said. “They have a great sophomore running back, a quarterback who is player of the year (in the 4A-SD4 Special District 4 League), and two excellent wide receivers. We have to stop the running game, try to make them one dimensional and be aware of who they are trying to get the ball.”

Broadcast coverage of Saturday’s game is available online at the OSAA website