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Lakers put Lions away in a hurry

Lake Oswego goes up 38-0 at the half as the starters get some rest in the teams league opener


by: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego receiver Connor Griffin fights off West Linn's Jarrod Howard after making a reception in last week's 41-0 win over the Lions.Lake Oswego entered its league opener against West Linn looking a little worse for wear and had a big question mark at the quarterback position.

In the days leading up to the game, the Lakers had three quarterbacks who were definitely out and starter Justen Ruppe was questionable.

Ruppe would end up making the start and was remarkably efficient despite only being called upon to make 12 throws. Lake Oswego was dominant on both ends, putting the game away quickly which allowed the team to rest some of its bumps and bruises in the second half.

The Lakers scored on all but one possession in the first half, building a 38-0 lead at the break en route to a 41-0 win.

Lake Oswego set the tone early. After stopping the Lions on their opening drive, Ruppe completed his first pass and then, just two plays later, he threaded a perfect ball to Nick Palermini for a 57-yard touchdown and the Lakers were off and running.

“We really played well from the start and it was nice to get a lead and relax,” coach Steve Coury said.

Lake Oswego's defense then forced a three-and-out and went back to work. Mitch Lomax had a 19-yard catch and Connor Griffin had a pair of 10-yard grabs to help the Lakers convert after a holding penalty. After a 21-yard catch by Jack Anderson, Spencer Anderson broke a 13-yard touchdown run.

Spencer Anderson would then record an interception and, one play later, Ruppe hit Griffin in the corner of the end zone to give the Lakers a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Jack Anderson spelled Ruppe on a handful of plays and the Lakers were effective with him running the ball from that position.

“Justen was probably at about 80 percent. We practiced with a number of guys back there this week and we might use Jack more and more because we like him with the ball,” Coury said.

Lake Oswego tacked on a 24-yard field goal and then Jordan Horak tallied the Lakers' second interception on a tipped ball.

Lake Oswego's highly-touted defense didn't give the Lions much of a chance in the game. West Linn was particularly stagnant in the passing game, using three quarterbacks and gaining just 57 yards through the air.

The Lakers capitalized on the short field again, getting a 13-yard touchdown run by J.B. Holmes with 5:36 to play in the half to go up 31-0.

West Linn was forced into another three-and-out and punted to Lake Oswego's 40-yard line.

On the first play of the Lakers' next drive, Holmes broke multiple tackles and went for a 60-yard score.

Lake Oswego was already dialing it back at the end of the second quarter as the Lions came up with their only defensive stop of the first two quarters in the final minute.

Lake Oswego opened the second half with the ball and moved down the field with Travis Sanders carrying much of the load on the ground.

The Lakers were stopped by Graves booted a 37-yard field goal for the final points of the game.

Lake Oswego went on cruise control in the second half, showcasing multiple running backs while still pitching a shutout on defense.

West Linn shot itself in the foot as well with a handful of drops.

Still, when Lake Oswego came up with a stop on fourth down on West Linn's final drive, the sideline cheered loudly, celebrating the feat of the shutout.

“Any time you can hold a team scoreless it's a big deal,” Coury said.

Lake Oswego expects to face a challenge next week as it travels to take on a dangerous Canby squad.