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Skyhawks soar into first state title game

Southridge knocks out Lake Oswego 27-7 in the Class 6A semifinals
by: JAIME VALDEZ, CELEBRATE - Southridge's Kevin Coleman is carried off the field along with his teammates as they celebrate their 27-7 victory over Lake Oswego on Friday.

PORTLAND - The deck was stacked against Southridge in its Friday night Class 6A semifinal matchup against Lake Oswego at PGE Park.

The unranked Skyhawks (9-4), the third-place team from the Metro League, were facing the fifth-ranked Three Rivers League champion in Lake Oswego.

They were making their semifinal playoff debut - until this year, they'd made the playoffs just once and were ousted in the second round - and they were facing a Laker team in its fifth semi in six years.

To make matters worse, they saw sophomore quarterback Kellen Mastrud - a key player in their previous three playoff wins - leave the game with an injured foot in the first quarter and not return.

But no one told the Skyhawks they were supposed to lose.

With senior quarterback Tom Farinacci coming off the bench to throw two touchdown passes and engineer three scoring drives, Southridge beat the Lakers (10-3) 27-7 to earn their first state championship berth in school history. Southridge will face Metro rival Jesuit at 5 p.m. Dec. 9 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

"It's a great day," said Farinacci, who completed 7-of-12 passes for 71 yards and two TDs in his return to the lineup after nearly a month on the sideline. "We're going to Autzen Stadium."

After a scoreless first quarter, Lake Oswego took a 7-0 lead on a 54-yard Duncan White-to-Jon Dulong TD pass.

The Skyhawks responded, finally, on the next-to-last play of the first half when Farinacci hit a leaping Tyler Harman in the back of the end zone from 23 yards out.

And in the second half, the Southridge running game took over, with Kevin Coleman racking up most of his 144 yards in the game's final two quarters.

Coleman scored from three yards out midway through the third quarter and again on a 26-yard jaunt midway through the fourth to make it 20-7.

Farinacci then added the closer, hitting Marcus Mathews for a 19-yard scoring strike with 2:48 left in the game for the final 27-7 margin.

For a complete game story and more photos, please see Thursday's edition of the Beaverton Valley Times.