South Salem's Daschel Smith (12) calls out a play during the Mayor’s Trophy game against North Salem on Oct. 28 at North Salem High School.

South Salem carries an 8-1 record into the first round of the OSAA Class 6A football state playoffs, just a win away from the quarterfinals. 

It’s a new playoff setup this season with just 16 teams in the 6A championship bracket, and the Saxons open at 7 p.m. Friday at Sherwood in the Statesman Journal Game of the Week. 

South Salem finished No. 8 in the OSAA rankings, and Sherwood was No. 11. 

However, Sherwood is the home team as the No. 8 seed, with the Saxons at No. 9 because Sherwood won the Pacific Conference. 

“Was definitely disappointed to see us not have a first round home game,” South Salem senior quarterback Daschel Smith said. “But we’ll take it in stride, and we know we can win tough games on the road.”

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