Southridge improves to 2-0 by beating Lake Oswego 14-13 on Friday
by: Vern Uyetake, RUNNING MAN — Southridge senior tailback David Smith topped the 100-yard mark for the second time in two games Friday night, running for 136 yards in his team’s 14-13 victory over Lake Oswego at Lake Oswego High School.

LAKE OSWEGO - It's only week two of the 2006 Class 6A football season, but Southridge is already starting to answer some important questions about itself.

A week after an up-and-down performance in a victory over McMinnville, Southridge was much more impressive against Lake Oswego on Friday. The Skyhawks got 136 yards rushing from senior tailback David Smith and a key first-half interception from Marcus Anderson that paved the way for their 14-13 at Lake Oswego High School.

'This is probably one of the biggest wins we've ever had. It has to be,' said Anderson, whose first-half pick set up Southridge's first touchdown. 'We beat LO, a powerhouse in the state. We came in as the underdog and upset them in their own house. That's big.'

'It was a huge win and an awesome game,' said Southridge quarterback Tom Farinacci. 'This has been a huge game in our minds for a while.'

As befits a big game, Friday's contest came down to almost the final play. Lake Oswego had a chance to win the game with 12 seconds remaining, but Laker Pat Barry's 34-yard field goal attempt was barely wide left. After that, all Southridge had to do was kneel down on the final play to run out the clock.

'This is such a great rivalry. I knew it was going to be like this,' Anderson said.

The Skyhawks' defense played a key role in the game, especially in the first half when it held the host Lakers scoreless. The most important play of that half came when Anderson intercepted a pass thrown by Lakers' quarterback Duncan White and raced 65 yards to the Lake Oswego 5-yard line. One play later, Kevin Coleman outran the Lakers to the leftside pylon to score the game's first touchdown late in the first quarter. Mitch Edwards added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

'That's my first pick-off since the fourth grade and it's my first game playing defense in, like, four years,' Anderson said. 'I stepped up. I knew I had to come up big and I did. That was exciting.'

After struggling offensively in the first half, the Lakers (1-1) scored their first touchdown just three plays into the third quarter. Running back Will Darkins got the score on a 49-yard off-tackle play in which he made a nifty move to the outside and outran the Southridge secondary down the right sideline.

The Skyhawks didn't waste any time regaining the lead, though. On its next series, Southridge marched 75 yards in nine plays and running back Paul Werhane picked up the final yard for the score. Edwards again tacked on the extra point and that one point turned out to be the difference in the game.

Lake Oswego put together another scoring drive on its next possession, driving 66 yards in 15 plays. Twice during that drive, the Lakers converted fourth-down plays and Darkins, who finished with a game-high 153 yards, converted both times with short gains for first downs. He also got the call on the final play of the drive, a 1-yard plunge that cut Southridge's lead to 14-13.

With a chance to take the lead, Lake Oswego opted to go for two points. White sprinted right and appeared to have receiver Ryan Shepherd momentarily open in the corner of the end zone, but Edwards converged quickly and knocked the ball down.

'If they get that two-point conversion, the game changes completely,' Farinacci said. 'Then we need to go back down and score.'

'Mitch Edwards came up with a huge knockdown. That was amazing,' Anderson said.

Lake Oswego got the ball back at its own 17 with 6:32 left in the contest, then nearly ran out the clock with an 18-play drive that again required two fourth-down conversions. But the drive ran out of steam at the Southridge 17 and Barry was forced into his failed game-winning field goal attempt with 12 seconds remaining.

For the game, Southridge rushed for 191 yards, with Coleman adding 41 to Smith's 131. Lake Oswego, led by Darkins' 153 on 31 carries, outgained the Skyhawks 283-222, but fell short on the scoreboard.

Miles Vance contributed to this story.

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