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Kingsmen gridders stumble at LO

The Lakers keep Mayes out of the end zone

LAKE OSWEGO - The Rex Putnam Kingsmen dug themselves a big hole and they were fighting an uphill battle the rest of the way, as they tasted defeat at the hands of eighth-ranked Lake Oswego 35-14 in a Three Rivers League football game here Friday.

The Lakers spent a good deal of last week's practices devising a plan to slow Putnam fleet-footed running back Joevonte Mayes, who had scored five times and rushed for 372 yards in Putnam wins over Centennial and Franklin.

The strategy paid dividends. While Mayes led all rushers with 123 yards on 25 carries, he was unable to find the end zone and he was held scoreless for the first time this season.

Putnam struggled to get any kind of offense going in the first half, while the Kingsmen defense had trouble slowing the Lakers.

And by halftime, the Kingsmen found themselves on the wrong side of a 28-0 deficit.

Things changed after the intermission, and the Kingsmen competed with the favored Lakers. But offensive miscues proved costly.

Putnam came out fired up after the intermission and the Kingsmen scored on their first possession of the second half.

Riding Mayes' legs, Putnam moved the ball quickly to the Laker 1-yard line. Putnam quarterback Ryan Smith took the ball in, trimming Lake Oswego's lead to 28-7.

But the Lakers answered right back. And when Will Darkins scored from the 11, it was a 35-7 ball game.

A short time later, Putnam safety Paul Stirneman intercepted a pass on the flat and ran it back 27 yards for a second Kingsmen score.

The Kingsmen put together another drive late in the third quarter and marched all the way to the Laker one-yard line, before Lake Oswego defender Matt Stutes intercepted a pass in the end zone as the fourth quarter was getting under way.

Putnam's next possession also ended in an interception, and the Kingsmen's final effort was thwarted when Putnam came up short on a fourth-down pass to Stirneman.

Smith completed 10-of-21 passes for 98 yards.

For Lake Oswego, Darkins netted 106 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries; Laker quarterback Duncan White completed 11-of-19 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns.

The Kingsmen (2-1, 0-1) return home this Friday, when they play host to Oregon City (0-4, 0-1).

Lake Oswego (2-2, 1-0) meets Milwaukie (0-3, 0-0) at Milwaukie.