The Lakers’ defense steps up big-time to forge its third straight victory.
Some how, some way, the Lake Oswego football team finds a way to make a play.
“Once we settled in, we know what we saw. We saw what we’d been practicing all week, just walking through and we really just executed,” said Laker Oswego senior wide receiver/defensive back Owen West, who made five catches for 61 yards and also intercepted two Tigard passes. “We had a good game plan and we made plays.”
“We did a great job game-planning all week,” said Laker senior running back/linebacker Calvin Macy, who scored LO’s second touchdown with 2 minutes, 6 seconds left to play, and helped hold the Tigers to 138 yards in total offense. “We knew exactly what they were going to do and we executed. Our defense came ready to play.”
“It was awesome. It was great,” added LO junior wide receiver Matt Layne, who led his team with five catches for 76 yards and scored his team’s first TD. “We got sloppy sometimes with the rain, but it’s no big deal. We’ve just got to flush it and go on to the next play.”
With their third straight win, the Lakers — fourth in the OSAA power rankings and fifth in the latest Class 6A coaches poll — improved to 3-1 in Three Rivers League play and 6-2 overall. Next up, Lake Oswego hosts crosstown rival Lakeridge (0-4 in TRL play, 2-6 overall) in the annual Battle of the Lake at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28. Tigard, meanwhile — the Tigers are seventh in the coaches poll and eighth in the OSAA power rankings — lost for the second straight week and fell to 2-2 in the TRL and 6-2 overall.
While Lake Oswego ended up with the “W,” it was Tigard that held the upper hand early on. The Tigers stopped LO’s first possession with an interception by Austin Goetz at the Lake Oswego 37-yard-line, then scored on the ensuing possession.
Following their interception, the Tigers needed just three plays to score, with senior quarterback Brady Jordan hitting senior running back Konner Grant on the left sideline and Grant breaking multiple tackles on his way to the end zone and — after a Tiger penalty set up a missed extra point — a 6-0 lead with 7:47 to go in the first quarter.
The Lakers came back with a long drive — they drove 46 yards to the Tigers’ 21 before things went sideways — but turned the ball over early in the second quarter when LO sophomore quarterback Liam Davis got hit and fumbled the ball away to Tigard junior Brian Smith.
The Laker defense, however, answered in kind. The Tigers saw a 22-yard Jordan TD pass to senior Nate Owens erased by a holding call, and on the next play, West picked off Jordan in the end zone and returned it to the Tigard 29.
Two series later, the Lakers took the lead for good, driving 56 yards in five plays to score, with Davis hitting West for 12 yards, and two plays after that, connecting with Layne for a 38-yard score over the left side. Senior kicker Mark Mankin added the extra point for a 7-6 LO lead with 1:32 left in the half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, with Davis picked off twice (by Goetz and junior Roman Martin), while the Lakers forced back-to-back punts, then saw West intercept Jordan a second time at the end of the period.
Finally, after a trade of punts, LO took over still leading 7-6 with 5:37 remaining in the contest — and this time, the Lakers made the most of the opportunity. They drove 64 yards in eight plays to score, with junior running back Zavier Russell carrying six times for 22 yards, Davis hitting Layne for a 16-yard pickup, and Macy going over left tackle for a 24-yard TD with 2:06 left in the game and the final 14-6 margin.
“The blocking went one way, I saw a cutback lane and I just exploded,” said Macy of his only carry in the second half. “One guy got a hand on me, but it takes more than that.”
Macy also had a hand in ending the Tigers’ final series, sacking Jordan on fourth down for an 11-yard loss atthe Tigard 15 with just 44 seconds to go.
While the Lakers — who couldn’t practice outside this week due to poor air quality — knew they’d made too many mistakes and turnovers, they also knew that their defense had stood up to almost every challenge.
“There were a lot of self-inflicted mistakes there,” West said. “There were some unfortunate turnovers, but I think we (will) bounce back offensively next week.”
“We were just shutting them down,” Macy said. “That was our job. We did a poor job tackling that first drive, but then we picked it up.”
For the game, Russell carried 13 times for 63 yards and Macy six times for 39 more. Davis completed 13 of 24 passes for 142 yards and one TD with three interceptions.
For Tigard, senior Luke Davis carried three times for 46 yards, Jordan hit nine of 23 throws for 97 yards with one TD and one interception, while Grant led Tiger receivers with one catch for 47 yards.
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