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Sometimes, you can’t deny that King Kong is in the room.

The signs are obvious: A truckload of banana peels. A dozen demolished buildings. Terrified pilots running for their planes.

Brookings-Harbor High School has a similar-sized challenge awaiting this Friday when it hosts the No. 1-ranked 3A football team in the state, Hidden Valley.

Okay, Hidden Valley is in reality a 4A school hiding out in 3A clothing. It even says so in bold type in the 3A Special District 2 South season standings on sites like

Why? Geography. Hailing from the Medford-area outskirts of Murphy, the ruling Oregon School Activities Association likely surmised that Hidden Valley High School, although slightly larger in enrollment, was numerically a good fit with St. Mary's and Cascade Christian, also valley dwellers.

As for Brookings? Well, the Bruins are in the neighborhood, too, just over the hill.

Brookings-Harbor ran the table on its early season opponents, amassing a 6-0 record, one of the school’s best in recent memory. Then the Bruins returned to earth, losing to private-school twins St. Mary's and Cascade Christian, 3-14 and 0-49, respectively.

Now, along comes the team that beat both St. Mary's (26-49) and Cascade Christian (14-42). Yep, Hidden Valley.

Brookings football coach Shuan Bavaro knows Hidden Valley (8-0) is every bit as good as advertised. "HV is a very talented team, with great speed. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the state, with many weapons to choose from. On defense, they fly to the ball well and are a very gap-sound team.”

This game will factor into whether the Bruins will see post-season play. Win, and they are in for sure. Lose, and the chances aren’t quite as good … although certainly mathematically possible.

Bavaro acknowledged that, "We will have our hands full... Our kids will play hard and leave everything on the field."

Game time is 7 p.m. at Hidden Valley High School, 651 Murphy Creek Rd. in Grants Pass.

Randy Robbins has covered Curry County sports in print and on the radio for 20 years. Catch his instant online recaps immediately following the Bruins’ football games on The Pilot's website,


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