Anderson and Clemens play for possibly the last time

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Pals and Oregon natives Derek Anderson and Kellen Clemens will face each other Saturday in the culmination of a football rivalry that stretches back to their high school days. Anderson grew up Scappoose, a town of some 5,000 people located northwest of Portland, while Clemens is from rural Burns, a tiny community of some 3,000 in Oregon's midsection. The two local boys will be at center stage on Saturday at Reser Stadium for the 108th edition of the Civil War: Anderson for Oregon State and Clemens for Oregon. "I think it's pretty neat -- both quarterbacks are from the state of Oregon, and that speaks well for our state and the football that's going on right here locally," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. Four years ago, Anderson and Clemens squared off on the field at Autzen Stadium in the state's Class 3A semifinals. Anderson, then a senior, completed 16 of 28 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns in the Indians' 46-26 victory over Burns. Clemens completed 28 of 51 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns. Anderson went on to lead Scappoose to the state title with a 28-24 victory over Pleasant Hill. "I'll give you a brief description," Anderson joked about his first meeting with Clemens. "We won." Last season they again met at Autzen, with Clemens and Oregon claiming the 34-20 victory. Clemens threw for 125 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another. Anderson threw for 271 yards and one score, but was intercepted twice. Both teams went on to bowl games, the Beavers played in the Las Vegas Bowl and Oregon was in El Paso, Texas, for the Sun Bowl. This weekend's game has big implications, as both schools are 5-5. A victory means a winning season and bowl eligibility. A loss means the season is over. Anderson, a senior, could be playing in his final game. He has completed 227 of 429 attempts for 2,906 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. He has been intercepted 16 times. Anderson holds the Oregon State record for career touchdown passes with 71, passing yardage with 10,540 yards, and total offense with 9,994 yards. His passing yards rank him fourth all-time in the Pacific-10 Conference, while his touchdown passes put him at fifth, one back of Carson Palmer. But Anderson has repeatedly said the records won't mean anything to him until later. What matters most is winning this Saturday. "It would be nice," he said. "It definitely would." Clemens has completed 210 of 343 passes for 2,422 yards and 19 touchdowns. He's been intercepted seven times. Clemens' most striking performance this season came against the Washington State Cougars. He completed 36 of 55 passes for a career-high 437 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for three more in Oregon's 41-38 victory. The six touchdowns tied a school record. Anderson and Clemens have formed a bond over the years, and even golf together at times during the offseason. At the start of the season, Clemens joked that he was much better a roping cattle back home in Burns than he was with the clubs, and gave the advantage on the links to Anderson. Barring a possible matchup if both move on to the NFL, this is their last meeting on a football field. Clemens, a junior, will face someone new next season. "I root for him when we're not playing, Anderson said. And not on this Saturday.