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Tough defense propels Lions past Barlow

West Linn controls the game but needs some key stops to preserve its second straight win


by: J. BRIAN MONIHAN - West Linn's Kyle Alarcon, the team's holder, picks up the ball and heads toward the end zone for a two-point conversion on West Linn's final touchdown in a 22-10 win over Barlow. The West Linn football team ground out a tough victory at home as it continues to make strides with league play approaching.

The Lions controlled the majority of the game, nearly doubling Barlow's offensive output but had trouble putting away drives. As a result, the Lions needed a staunch effort from the defense to lock down the 22-10 victory.

Barlow got on the board first, knocking through a 35-yard field goal midway through the first quarter.

West Linn moved the ball well on nearly every possession in the opening half, mixing in the run and the pass well.

Louie Germain racked up 110 yards on the ground as West Linn had the ball for nearly twice as long as the Bruins did in the first two quarters.

“We had a really good first half and controlled the ball. We ran the ball well and made them stop us before we changed anything,” coach Mike Fanger said.

Hayden Coppedge did well in his first start at quarterback, completing nine of 13 passes for 120 yards in the opening half. Matt Fletcher also did well in his series, completing four of six passes.

But the Lions sputtered when they got close to scoring range and had another miscue on a snap that cost them.

West Linn got on the board late in the first quarter on a one-yard run for Gavin Anderson.

Meanwhile, Barlow took advantage of the limited chances it had in the first half, getting an eight-yard touchdown run with 2:36 to play in the second quarter to take a 10-7 lead.

But West Linn responded with a crucial drive to close out the half.

Coppedge moved the Lions down the field efficiently and capped the drive with a 17-yard touchdown strike to Jarrod Howard with 43 seconds left as West Linn regained the lead.

The Lions continued their solid play early in the third quarter. Coppedge hit Howard for a 49-yard touchdown strike and Kyle Alarcon ran in a two-point conversion to bump the lead to 22-10.

Barlow never really threatened to get back in the game but West Linn's offense slowed down and gave the Bruins a number of opportunities.

“Barlow does a good job getting the ball to its best players and their plan on defense kept us off guard in the second half,” Fanger said.

But the defense rose to the occasion. Ellis Eaton wreaked havoc in the backfield for the Lions, pressuring Barlow's quarterback relentlessly and recovering a fumble.

“The defense played well all game. We had three key stops in the fourth quarter,” Fanger said.

Anderson also pulled down an interception to bring another Barlow drive to a stop.

The Lions held Barlow to just 200 yards of total offense and just 79 in the second half.

West Linn will travel to a high-scoring South Salem team on Friday in its final preseason tune-up.