Lakers win one for Sowers
It's hard to know exactly what to take from Lake Oswego's 35-10 thrashing of Juneau-Douglas at PGE Park on Saturday.
Sure the Lakers looked great. Better than great. They racked up touchdowns on five of seven first-half possessions. They played smothering defense and scored the game's first 35 points.
Had they wanted to, the Lakers likely could have won by 70. But, quite frankly, Juneau-Douglas wasn't much competition.
The Lakers also had some extra motivation, playing this game and the rest of the season for former assistant coach Rich Sowers, who recently died in a motorcycle accident.
'(Sowers) always taught us to play hard and we're going to try and win for him,' quarterback Jack Lomax said.
The Crimson Bears, last year's state champions from Alaska who lost much of that team to graduation, ran an unorthodox offense and, at times, appeared baffled by Lake Oswego's passing game.
As a result, the Lakers held a 35-3 lead at the half and then cleared the bench for the remainder of the contest.
'It was a good way to start the season. We have some things we need to shore up but it was good to get this one under our belt,' coach Steve Coury said.
The Lakers didn't know what to expect from Juneau-Douglas, having seen no film on the team heading into the game.
On their first possession, the Lakers moved the ball with a first-down run by Tyson Coleman and a 21-yard pass from Lomax to Micah Hatfield.
But Lake Oswego was stopped on fourth down. The Crimson Bears picked up a first down on their opening drive when the Lakers jumped offsides but then were stopped and had to punt.
On the first play of Lake Oswego's second drive, Lomax hit Hatfield along the sideline for an 82-yard touchdown with just over four and a half minutes to play in the first quarter.
Then, after a three-and-out by the Crimson Bears, the Lakers needed just one play to get on the board again. This time Lomax hooked up with Nick Rulli for a 52-yard strike. The extra point hit the upright, leaving the score at 13-0.
'It's nice. When a team goes man-to-man we have good players who can play against that,' Lomax said.
Once again, Juneau-Douglas was stopped on just three plays and the Lakers continued where they left off.
Coleman, a sophomore, got things started with a 24-yard jaunt. Rulli then caught an 18-yard catch and, four plays later, Coleman scored from one-yard out.
'I think our young guys up front got better as the game went on. They fought hard and played well,' Coury said.
Will Storey caught the two-point conversion pass from Lomax, making it 21-0.
For the first quarter and a half, Juneau-Douglas didn't attempt a pass. Instead, the team relied on misdirection hand-offs and quarterback bootlegs. But Lake Oswego wasn't fooled by any of it. In fact, until its final drive of the half, Juneau-Douglas only mustered two first downs.
'I think our kids did a nice job adjusting. We didn't know anything about this team going into the game,' Coury said.
Trailing by three scores, the Crimson Bears finally attempted a pass and their first attempt was intercepted by Cole Naone.
Then, it took just one play to score again as Lomax rewarded Naone by hitting him in the end zone from 25 yards out.
Juneau-Douglas's second pass attempt was intercepted as well, this time by Brian Zinsmeister.
The Lakers' string of four-straight scoring drives was stopped, however when Lomax was hit behind the line of scrimmage at the Crimson Bears' 10-yard line and fumbled.
But Juneau-Douglas was quickly forced to punt again and Lomax eventually completed a nine-yard pass to Rulli with 1:27 to play in the half.
'I think that's what we're going to try and do all year. Our goal is to get completions, keep the ball moving and get everyone involved,' Lomax said.
Lomax played just two quarters in the game but he was nearly perfect, connecting on 11 of 13 attempts for 241 yards and four touchdowns.
The Crimson Bears finally mounted a drive, picking up three first downs in the final 90 seconds of the half and converting a 24-yard field goal to break up the shut out.
Coury rested many of his starters in the second half. Juneau-Douglas received the kick-off and moved the ball well again but, as the team neared scoring range, the Lakers forced another turnover with Tyler Phelps tallying an interception.
Lake Oswego took it easy on the Crimson Bears in the second half.
The team's only touchdown came when quarterback Coleton Petrie was stripped in the end zone and the ball was caught by Nate Wilson for a score.
The Crimson Bears then recovered an onside kick but couldn't cut into the lead any further.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Lakers moved the ball well again thanks mainly to runs by Whit Bissett and A.J. Frank. Petrie then hit Alex Smith-Reininga on a 17-yard pass and Michael Stroble rumbled to the seven-yard line but the Lakers opted not to punch the ball in and let the clock run out.
Lake Oswego will likely see a much more competitive opponent next week when it hosts powerhouse Jesuit.
'We're looking forward to playing them. They're a tough team and it's going to be a challenge,' Coury said.
The game will be nationally televised by CBS College Sports Network and all Laker fans are encouraged to wear white to the game in support of their team. The game will start at 6 p.m. to accommodate the broadcast.
Crimson Bears: 0 3 0 7: 10
Lakers: 13 22 0 0: 35
LO: Micah Hatfield, 82-yd. pass from Jack Lomax; Colby Reis kick; 4:39 1st.
LO: Nick Rulli, 52-yd. pass from Lomax; kick failed; 3:01 1st.
LO: Tyson Coleman; 1-yd. run; Will Storey pass from Lomax; 10:03 2nd.
LO: Cole Naone, 25-yd. pass from Lomax; Reis kick; 9:12 2nd.
LO: Rulli, 9-yd. pass from Lomax; 1:27 2nd.
JD: Joe Slagle, 27-yd. FG; 0:00 2nd.
JD: Sam Nauer, INT in end zone; 10:16 4th.
LO: Coleman 12-62; Hatfield 1-21; Stroble 2-21; Frank 4-20, Closs 1-22.
JD: Fagerstrom 16-67, Ma'ake 12-34, Smith 12-12, Wilson 2-6, #33 1-3.
LO: Lomax, 11-13, 241 yds., 0 INT, 4 TDs; Petrie, 2-7, 20 yds., 1 INT, 0 TDs.
JD: Fagerstrom, 4-9, 46 yds. 1 INT, 0 TDs; Smith, 1-4, 15 yds., 2 INTs, 0 TDs.
LO: Rulli 4-83 (2 TDs); Hatfield 2-93 (1 TD); Halberg 2-14; Naone 1-25 (1TD), Storey 1-19, Closs 1-8, Maclean 1-2, Smith-Reininga, 1-17.
JD: Naure 2-20, Fenumiari, 1-15, #3 2-26.
First Downs: 18 13
Rushes: 22 43
Rush yards: 146 122
Pass attempts: 13 13
Completions: 20 5
Pass yards: 261 61
Total yards: 407 183
Fumbles/Lost: 1/1 2/1
Punts/Yards: 2/66 NA
Punt return yds: 2/13 NA
Kickoff return: 1/5 NA
3rd Down Conv: 4-8 4-13
Time of Poss: 22:07 25:53
Northwest Oregon Conference