WEST LINN - The West Linn Lions rode the legs of Kyle Quinn and their defense to a 28-23 upset of Clackamas in an emotional high school football game at home Friday night.
'This is the biggest win of our season,' said West Linn senior co-captain Zach White. 'And there's a lot more to come after this. This gets us on the road to go to the playoffs and to go deep in the playoffs. It's the first time West Linn's beat Clackamas in like six years. It's a huge win.'
Quinn, a 6-0, 185-pound running back, was a workhorse, rushing 27 times for a career-high 106 yards and scoring all four Lion touchdowns.
But it took the Lions awhile to get rolling.
Clackamas dominated early, building a 10-0 first quarter lead, thanks to a 25-yard field goal by Kyle Salgado and an errant punt snap that set up a short touchdown jaunt by Clackamas star running back Brad Wagner.
Quinn got a touchdown back, capping off a 15-play drive with a 4-yard sprint to paydirt.
Clackamas scored on a 30-yard run by Wagner to make it 17-7.
But that's where the tide began to turn.
West Linn defensive back R.J. Sewell leaped high to pick off a Cavalier pass near midfield. And two plays later, West Linn quarterback Mychal Zito completed a long bomb to Erik Koczian to set up another Quinn touchdown. And the Lions found themselves within three, at 17-14 at halftime.
West Linn got the best of the play in the second half, as the Lion defense slowed Wagner and created problems for Clackamas quarterback Ryan Cook, through aggressive defensive play.
Wagner rushed for 112 yards, but he had only 15 yards in the second half.
West Linn went up for good, at 21-17, late in the third period, when Quinn capped off a 62-yard drive with a 22-yard run to paydirt.
Quinn set up his game-winning score early in the fourth quarter when he busted free for 48 yards. Clackamas' Armani Guerrero knocked the ball loose at the 5, but West Linn lineman Ziad Alsahili pounced on the fumble at the 1, maintaining possession for the Lions.
Two plays later, Quinn went one yard up the middle, and the Lions found themselves up 28-17, with 10 minutes remaining.
Clackamas got one touchdown back when Kylle Walkoski hauled in an 11-yard pass with 1:50 to play. But that was as close as the Cavaliers could get.
The Cavaliers missed two-time all-league wide receiver Ricky Cookman, who sat out the game with a broken collarbone.
'I don't want to say we're down,' said Wagner. 'But it hurts mentally not having Cookman. But we'll be alright. We'll work hard in practice and we'll bounce back.'
It was the third win in as many games for the Lions, who topped Benson 27-0 and David Douglas 21-19 in preseason.