Lakers rally twice for quarterfinal victory over Grant
Lake Oswego running backs Will Darkins and Sam Buckingham combined for 144 yards rushing and two touchdowns and the Lakers' defense contributed some big plays down the stretch as Lake Oswego squeaked out a 20-19 quarterfinal victory over Grant Friday night in the 6A state playoffs.
The Lakers (10-2), who had to overcome deficits two times in the second half to pull out the victory, will now play in the semifinals for the third year in a row. A victory there would put the Lakers in the state championship game for the third time in five years.
The Lakers needed several big plays in order to beat the previously unbeaten Generals (11-1). The first big play came midway through the first quarter when the Lakers faced a fourth-and-two play at the Grant 35. Everyone figured Lake Oswego would give the ball to Darkins on the play. Instead, the Lakers went to the air as quarterback Duncan White found Kyle Lavender behind the secondary for a 35-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Lake Oswego lead. Grant tied the game midway through the second quarter when Paul McCoy turned a screen pass that appeared to be stopped for a loss into 26-yard touchdown reception.
McCoy nearly struck again on the final play of the first half, when the Lakers were attempting to take the lead with a pass into the end zone. But McCoy picked off the pass and then weaved his way through the Lakers' offense before being tripped up by Lake Oswego center Sam Gerwe after a 79-yard return.
The Generals then got their first lead early in the third quarter when quarterback Andre Broadous reeled off a 72-yard touchdown run that included at least four broken tackles along the way. A blocked extra point left Grant with a 13-7 lead.
Lake Oswego answered on its next possession - a 19-play drive that covered 89 yards and consumed approximately nine minutes. The drive would have stalled, though, if not for a 10-yard reception by Jon Dulong on a fourth-and-seven play. Three plays later, Darkins plunged in for a one-yard touchdown and the Lakers had the lead back at 14-13.
Then it was Grant's turn and the Generals responded with a 77-yard drive that was capped by Broadous' seven-yard touchdown run. A failed two-point conversion attempt left Grant's lead at 19-14 with 8:58 left in the game. The Lakers then needed just seven plays to answer back with Buckingham going the final 14 yards up the middle for a touchdown.
The Lakers also went for two and missed, leaving the Lakers' lead at 20-19 with 5:43 left. That was plenty of time for the Generals, who quickly moved to the Lake Oswego 28, thanks to a trio of runs by Broadous for 30 yards and a 15-yard face-mask penalty on the Lakers.
But the Generals lost yardage on their next three plays and faced a fourth-and-14 play with 50 second left. For a moment it seemed Broadous would be able to scramble for the needed yardage. Instead, he threw long and none of his receivers were in the area as the ball fell incomplete.
The Lakers then ran out the clock with three kneel-down plays. Broadous finished with a game-high 157 yards rushing on 16 carries. Darkins had 87 yards on 27 attempts and White completed 11 of 16 passes for 162 yards.