Southridge honors Andrew Keller before its Friday game

BEAVERTON — It was a night for pride at Southridge High School.

The Skyhawks football team, hosting 2011 state champion Lake Oswego on Friday night, kicked off their evening by celebrating the life of Andrew Keller.

Keller, a 2008 Southridge High School graduate and a former captain and MVP of the Skyhawk football team, was killed in action while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan on Aug. 15. Prior to Friday's kickoff against LO, families, alumni and community members gathered for a pre-game dedication ceremony that paid tribute to Keller.

And then the Skyhawks went out and did themselves proud in honor of Keller and his family. Southridge didn't win, but pushed the powerful lakers to the limit before finally falling 28-21.

“It was a special game for our community, school and players,” said Southridge coach Doug Dean. “We retired the number 13 in his honor and presented his jersey to his family. It was a special and touching moment.”

The Skyhawks started fast on Friday night, grabbing a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when quarterback AJ Woodin connected with Jordan Morgan for a 59-yard touchdown pass and Joseph McRae added the extra point.

The Lakers responded before the end of the period, though, tying the contest on a 30-yard Harrison Ramey run and a Griffin Graves PAT. That scored launched LO on a 21-0 streak that included an 87-yard Ramey-to-Conner Griffin TD pass in the second quarter and a 36-yard scoring run by Spencer Anderson in the third to give the Lakers a 21-7 lead.

Southridge came back later in the third, however, with a 15-yard scoring strike from Woodin to Kevin McClean that brought the team within one score at 21-14.

The Lakers tacked on their final score in the final quarter — this a 29-yard Griffin-to-Ramey TD pass — before Southridge answered again on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Woodin to Morgan. The Skyhawks' defense got the ball back late in the game, but the team was unable to complete its comeback.

“Lake Oswego is a very good football team and I very proud how our kids competed,” Dean said. “It was the first game we felt we competed for 48 minutes.”

For the game, Southridge's Devin Martinez carried 18 times for 77 yards, and Woodin completed 13-of-25 passes for 144 yards, with Morgan making four catches for 83 yards. LO's J.B. Holmes carried 21 times for 132 yards, and Anderson 7 times for 83 more. Ramey hit on 6-of-16 passes for 137 yards, two of those to Griffin for 117 yards.

On Friday, Southridge (0-0, 1-3) plays at Beaverton (0-0, 4-0) in both teams' Metro League opener.

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