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Panthers advance in OSAA state playoffs

Travis Wood, 22, runs the ball for a 45-yard gain and a touchdown as the Panthers rolled over the Warriors of North Douglas 62-0 on Saturday. The Pilot/Gary Percy
The Gold Beach High School football team took attendance at Saturday’s OSAA playoff game and found the North Douglas offense to be absent.

The Panthers scored 54 points in the first half, before putting the JV squad in the game to bring home the complete game shutout.

Not only did the Panther JV shut down the Warriors’ offense, they also put eight points of their own on the board.

“I’m really proud of those kids,” Gold Beach Head Coach Kevin Swift said. “I played JV from the second half of the second quarter to the end of the game and they were able to put up some points against a varsity squad. I think that is pretty good.”

The Panthers have scored more than 30 points in all but two games this season and have three 50-plus point games in the books.

“We have whole different set of criteria here at Gold Beach,” Swift said. “We don’t look at the scoreboard, we look at whether or not we have improved from the day before, and whether or not each kid is giving their all.”

Gold Beach advances to the quarterfinal round of the OSAA playoffs with the victory and will face the Rams of Regis on Saturday at Marshfield High School.

The top-ranked team in each matchup during the opening rounds of the playoffs is given home field advantage, but the Panthers choose to play their games on the turf at Marshfield for one very specific reason.

“We haven’t lost a playoff game on the field at Marshfield since ’04,” Swift said. “They take very good care of us up there. They respect our program and we respect theirs.”

If the Panthers keep winning they are on course to collide with Scio High School in the championship game. Scio defeated Gold Beach in the title game and while most teams would be looking for a little payback, the Panthers  are only thinking about Saturday’s game.

“This week it’s Regis,” Swift said. “Scio is a very good team but we have to get through this weekends game first.”

Swift is confident, though, in his team’s ability to do what needs to be done to win.

“If our kids show up and play, we’ll be fine,” he said. “I have a great deal of confidence in our young people.”

The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay.

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