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LO gets defensive, cuts through the fog for a 17-3 win

by: Vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego's Will Darkins pounds through the mist for a good gain on his way to 136 yards rushing against the Westview Wildcats. Darkins broke the game open with a 44-yard touchdown run at the start of the fourth quarter, giving the Lakers a 17-3 lead and the win.

LAKE OSWEGO - Hampered by thick cover of fog, Lake Oswego opted for a conservative approach on offense and relied heavily on a stingy defense to earn a 17-3 victory over Westview in the second round of the state 6A football playoffs Friday night.

Lake Oswego scored all of the points it needed on the opening drive of the game - a possession that chewed up 76 yards and more than six minutes of the clock. The drive ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Duncan White to Franklin Forward.

Lake Oswego had five first downs on that opening drive, which was three more than Westview had for the entire first half. But the Lakers also had trouble moving the ball at times in the first half, especially when visibility on the Lakers' field decreased to less than 20 yards or so.

At the break, Lake Oswego led 10-0, which included Pat Barry's 27-yard field goal that appeared to disappear into a wall of fog. The Wildcats carved three points off their deficit when Austyn Cole kicked a 20-yard field on the first series of the third quarter.

Lake Oswego then pushed its lead to 17-3 when Will Darkins scored on a 44-yard run around right end on the first play of the fourth quarter. Darkins came into the game nursing a sore knee, which he sprained two weeks ago in the regular season finale against Lakeridge. Against the Wildcats, Darkins estimated he was playing at 85 to 90 percent of his normal capacity but he still managed to run for 136 yards on 26 carries.

For the season, Darkins now has 1,284 yards and 17 touchdowns. Darkins, who doubles as a linebacker, also played a major role on Lake Oswego's defense. He and fellow linebacker Adam Garside each had a sack on Westview's first possession of the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats got the ball back one more time in that period, but they were unable to move past their own 20 and turned the ball back over on downs.

For the game, Westview managed just 155 yards of offense. The Wildcats were led by Kaale Papas, who rushed for 59 yards on 13 carries. Westview quarterback Josh Hill was 6 of 13 for 61 yards.

'(Westview) didn't have a chance to do a lot, and that's a very good offensive team. They've got a lot of weapons,' Lake Oswego Steve Coury said.

Because of the fog, the Lakers decided to scale back their passing attack, but White still completed 8 of 18 passes for 113 yards.