Turnovers, penalties and miscues cost LO in its first loss of 2022
Those taken, and — especially in the case of the Lake Oswego football team — those missed were the story of the Lakers’ 24-7 non-league loss to Mountainside on Friday, Sept. 16, at Lake Oswego High School.
Lake Oswego gained more yards than the Mavericks on the ground. The Lakers gained more — a lot more — through the air. They also made more big plays and amassed more first downs.
But none of that mattered.
Lake Oswego also made more mistakes than Mountainside — more penalties, more lost fumbles and more interceptions — and those were the numbers that mattered on Friday.
“It is frustrating,” said Lake Oswego senior running back/linebacker Calvin Macy, who finished with 111 yards in total offense and scored his team’s lone touchdown. “It’s hard to expect to convert when it’s second-and-25 over and over again. We need to correct the little things. We’re a much better team than the outcome you saw today.”
“We hurt ourselves with penalties — second-and-20, second-and-25 — we can’t have that,” said LO senior wide receiver/safety Owen West, who made seven catches for 119 yards. “And turnovers inside our own 20 — we’ve got to help ourselves. We’ve got to play our game.”
“I think we’ve just got to flush this one and get back after it on Sunday,” said junior inside linebacker Connor McNeill, who helped the Lakers’ defense hold Mountainside to 197 yards in total offense. “But it’s an early loss so I don’t think this will affect us going (forward).”
With the loss, Lake Oswego — ranked fifth in the latest statewide Class 6A coaches poll — saw its two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 2-1 overall. Unranked Mountainside, meanwhile, won for the third straight time and improved to 3-0 overall. Next up, Lake Oswego will play at McMinnville (2-1 overall) at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23.
Lake Oswego forced a Mountainside punt on the night’s first series, but when Lake Oswego had to punt at the end of its opening possession, it cost the Lakers big-time. Laker junior quarterback/punter Max Brauner tried to field a low snap on fourth-and-15 from the LO 34, but inadvertently touched his knee to the turf and downed the ball to give the Mavs possession at the Lake Oswego 26-yard line.
From there, Mountainside needed six plays to score, with senior Ian Salbeda picking up nine yards on second down, and four plays later, junior quarterback Alex Ingalls hitting sophomore wide receiver Brayden Boe on a slant from the left side for an 11-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 6 minutes, 53 seconds to go in the first quarter.
The two teams traded punts over the next six possessions, but when the Lakers got the ball back at their own 25 with 2:12 left in the first half, it looked like they might finally break through to score.
Lake Oswego sped 55 yards in just four plays — with Brauner hitting three straight passes for 49 yards — and advanced to the Mavericks’ 20-yard line, but LO flamed out there.
The Lakers were whistled for holding — one of the team’s four holding penalties on the night — on first down, missed on their next two passes, and on fourth-and-15 from the Mountainside 25, saw Brauner’s long shot to West misfire.
Down just 7-0 at the half, the Lakers saw their deficit double just 1:19 into the third quarter. With LO facing a first-and-24 at their own 20-yard line after a holding penalty, Brauner overthrew a Laker receiver, Mountainside junior Daniel Savenko intercepted the ball at the 22 and took it all the way back for a TD and a 14-0 lead with 10:31 left in the quarter.
As poorly as things had gone to that point, the Lakers were still very much in the game and proved it midway through the period. After taking over at their own 30, Brauner hit West for 24 yards, and on the next play, Brauner connected with Macy on the left sideline where he broke a tackle, sped 46 yards to score and cut Mountainside’s lead to 14-7.
The Laker defense forced a punt on the ensuing Mavs’ series, but the following possession didn’t yield the results LO wanted. On the second play after the Mountainside punt, Brauner saw his next pass picked off by Maverick senior Quinn O’Connor at the LO 44-yard line.
Four plays later, Mountainside senior Holden Phillips hit a 22-yard field goal that pushed his team’s lead to 17-7 with 11:10 left in the game.
After another LO turnover — a Brauner fumble recovered by Maverick junior Daniel Savenko at the Lakers’ 12-yard line — Lake Oswego’s defense stepped up. LO junior Hunter Kavanaugh stuffed Mavs’ junior Elym Young for a three-yard loss on second down, and on fourth, Laker senior Stevie Mooney stopped a pass aimed at Boe.
But when Lake Oswego gave the ball back to the Mavericks deep in LO territory four plays later, the Laker defense finally broke. With Mountainside taking possession at the LO 18 with 9:17 to play, Ingalls hit senior Samuel Pimentel for 13 yards to the 4-yard line, and freshman Sam Vhylidal banged in to score on the next play for the final 24-7 margin.
As painful as the final result was, the Lakers were proud of their efforts on defense.
“I think our defense this whole season has played amazing,” Macy said. “The varsity guys, I think we’ve only let in one or two touchdowns all year. I think we’ve played really well.”
“We just need to play our game and take care of the ball. That’s number one,” West added. “We’ve got to continue playing defense well and keep getting better, and on offense, we’ve just got to execute and we need to score and put the ball in the end zone.”
For the game, Brauner went 19 of 41 passing for 240 yards with two interceptions and one TD. Macy rushed 10 times for 54 yards and also made four catches for 57 yards and one TD.
For Mountainside, Salbeda carried 11 times for 38 yards, Ingalls hit 12 of 24 throws for 116 yards and one score, Boe had three catches for 30 yards and Young one for 36.
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