SALEM -- They've been on the outside looking in for a few years. South Medford, a power for the last couple years, was unable to crack into the upper echelon of 6A high school football in Oregon, losing in the first round of the playoffs in each of the past four seasons. The story of 2017, though, has been different. After knocking off fourth-ranked West Salem on the road Friday night, they are into the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
The Panthers jumped out to a 14-0 lead early on before West Salem cut back into the lead. South Medford had a field goal attempt blocked at the end of the first half as the score going into the locker room was 14-7 in favor of the Panthers.
Methodically, the offense started to pick apart the Titan defense. Quarterback Robbie Patterson found four-star wide receiver Chase Cota on a six-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21-7. Minutes later, following a South Medford interception, the Panthers punched it in again from 20 yards out on a Jaylin Parnell touchdown run.
The Panthers cruised from there and will now take on top-seeded Lake Oswego, who knocked off ninth-ranked Jesuit, in the state semifinals. That game will kick off at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 24 in Hillboro, Oregon.