Lakers pound Canby in TRL opener
Just to set up Friday's showdown of unbeatens, Lake Oswego had to get past a struggling but dangerous Canby team in its league opener.
The Cougars may have been just 1-3 but they played a tough preseason schedule and were coming off a 31-27 loss to West Linn after blowing a 13-point halftime lead.
Canby entered the game knowing that a win could quickly turn its season around.
As such, the Lakers felt they could ill afford to get off to a slow start which is something the team has struggled with at times this year.
But on Friday Lake Oswego took control early and held off a brief second-half rally for another lopsided win, 41-14.
The Lakers received the ball to start the game and got a big 25-yard reception by Zach Walen to set up a one-yard run by Steven Long to put Lake Oswego on the board.
Lake Oswego's defense then forced a three-and-out and big runs by Long and another first-down catch by Walen quickly moved the team into scoring range again.
Near the goal line the Lakers turned to Long again who scored from three yards out to put the team up 14-0 seven minutes into the game.
"We wanted to come out and take it to them from play one and we were able to jump on them," said lineman Turner Young.
Canby responded with a methodical drive, converting on fourth down twice before scoring on a short run early in the second quarter to cut the lead in half.
But there would be no momentum shift. The Lakers were dominant on offense all evening, scoring on all but one possession.
"It all started with practice. We worked hard all week and it paid off," Young said.
Stevie Coury had three catches on Lake Oswego's next drive, including one on fourth-and-one and the drive ended with a two-yard touchdown by Grant Turner.
The Laker defense then dug in its heels again, forcing another three-and-out before firmly taking command of the game before the half.
A 13-yard scramble by Alex Matthews and a 20-yard run by Long put the Lakers into Canby territory again before Matthews hit Walen for an 18-yard touchdown with 42 seconds in the half.
Canby got a good kick-off return and moved into the red zone before the break but missed a 31-yard field goal as time expired.
The Cougars would start the second half well, going 80 yards and converting on fourth-and-goal at the one to make it 28-14.
The Lakers then fumbled and Canby was suddenly in position to get right back in the game.
"They were able to keep the ball away from us a little bit so to be able to hold them to 14 points is a plus," coach Steve Coury said.
But, once again, Lake Oswego's defense came up big in a key situation, forcing an incomplete pass on fourth down to take over at its own 30-yard line.
The offense would then put the game away. After a big run was negated by a holding penalty, Matthews hit Jordan Horak for a 45-yard reception.
Three plays later Turner would score on a two-yard run, making it 34-14 with 6:56 to play.
After an interception by Walen, Josiah Krauthamer scored on a 10-yard run to finish off the night for the Lakers.
Lake Oswego now gears up for its biggest game of the year so far, taking on 5-0 Lakeridge on the road.
"We always try to keep things in perspective but I'm not sure there's ever been a Civil War quite like this one and that's exciting," Coury said.