The Lions football team cruises past the Bowmen 56-7 in the state playoffs.
It was another game day ending in the letter “Friday,” and so, it was another wild blowout win by the West Linn football team.
The top-ranked Lions won by more than 40 points for the fourth straight week on Friday, Nov. 11, crushing No. 8 Sherwood 56-7 in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state playoffs at West Linn High School.
“I thought our defense played pretty well … and we were able to hold them down for most of the game,” said West Linn coach Jon Eagle. “And offensively, we’ve got a pretty good group of receivers, a quarterback and offensive line.”
With the win, the team’s ninth straight, the Lions improved to 10-1 overall after winning the Three Rivers League. Sherwood, meanwhile, saw its six-game winning streak snapped and ended its year at 8-3 after winning the Pacific Conference.
Next up, West Linn will host No. 5 Central Catholic — a 23-20 winner over No. 4 Jesuit in its quarterfinal — in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Pioneer Memorial Stadium in Oregon City. The Rams are 10-1 overall after winning the Mt. Hood Conference.
“We’re playing the defending state champions and they they sure look like it on film,” Eagle said. “They’re well coached, they have a lot of athletic kids on both sides of the ball and a very good quarterback.”
Needless to say, Central Catholic — the Rams are two-time defending state champs — and its playoff experience have Eagle’s attention.
“This is not new territory to them. They’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “Their kids know what it looks like and what season looks like … (but) it’s not uncharted territory for us either.”
In the win over Sherwood, the Lions blitzed the Bowmen with six first-half touchdowns and a 42-0 lead that led to a running clock throughout the second half.
The Lions hit the ground running — passing to be more accurate — against the Bowmen, getting a 66-yard touchdown throw from senior quarterback Sam Leavitt to senior wide receiver Jackson Shelstad just 51 seconds into the game.
West Linn added two more first-quarter TDs to lead 21-0, with senior running back Koffi Kouame scoring from five yards and Shelstad adding a nine-yard TD reception from Leavitt.
There were more offensive fireworks ahead in the second quarter, too, beginning with Kouame’s two-yard scoring run two minutes into the period. Late in the half, senior running back Earl Ingle added his own two-yard scoring run with 3:05 remaining and Shelstad hauled in a 25-yard scoring strike from Leavitt to make it 42-0 with 11 seconds remaining before the break.
“I told the kids, ‘Enjoy the arm that on that guy (Leavitt). That’s what a Power-5 quarterback looks like in high school,’” Eagle said.
West Linn added single scores in the third and fourth quarters, with Kouame scoring from 13 yards in the third quarter and sophomore running Cal Royer hitting paydirt from two yards in the fourth. Sherwood’s lone TD came on a five-yard pass from Kasen Covert to Tyler Hastin in the third quarter.
For the game, Kouame carried six times for 19 yards with three TDs and Leavitt completed 14 of 19 throws for 269 yards and three TDs, with Shelstad making four catches for 111 yards and three scores.
For Sherwood, Covert completed 15 of 20 passes for 157 yards with one interception and one TD, with junior wide receiver Evan Morris making four catches for 93 yards.