Playoff excitement builds for unbeaten Redmond

Panthers head for second season with renewed energy
Oct. 26, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Redmond's football family celebrates after beating Roosevelt to complete an unbeaten regular season Friday.
Photos by Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

After years of laboring in the depths of Class 6A, the Redmond Panthers are finally in the state playoffs - never mind that it's at Class 5A.

The Panthers finished the season unbeaten with a 44-16 win at Roosevelt and head to the playoffs as one of the contenders to win a state title, which would be the first for a school that has been to the playoff semifinals just once and hasn't been to the playoffs at all in the past five seasons.

Trevor Genz scored on a 6-yard run and returned an interception 35 yards for a score to lead the Panthers, who led 28-14 at the half. Redmond's defense recorded a safety, three interceptions and kept the Roughriders from scoring after they had first-and-goal on two separate possessions in the second half.

For the seniors, who've been 3-6 the past two seasons, there's a tremendous sense of excitement at what might happen after a week off, especially after winning the Intermountain Conference title.

"This is my last year, so we have to make it worth it," senior linebacker Jason Abbas said. "We don't look at it any different from being 6A or 5A, we're just a better team this year."

After the city built another school - Ridgeview, which siphoned off many of its students, Redmond dropped down a classification and away from having to play larger schools. Ridgeview opened as a Class 4A school. What helped many of the players equally was the introduction of Nathan Stanley as head coach during the summer. Stanley had been coaching the wrestling team, but stepped down from that position to coach football along with his duties as athletic director.

With Genz, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound fullback, and Trevor Hindman, a 5-9, 165-pound running back, powering the running game, the Panthers averaged 42 points a game, and beat all of its opponents but one by at least two scores.

The team's defense carried it equally, allowing an average of just 15 points per game.

With a 9-0 record, the Panthers get a week off, before the play-in round leads to the creation of the 16-team bracket and a home game, Nov. 9.

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