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Lakers roll over Lions, inch toward TRL title

by: VERN UYETAKE, 
Lake Oswego’s Cole Naone takes off downfield after making a catch in Friday’s 41-7 victory over West Linn. The Lions were previously unbeaten in league.

West Linn found out the hard way last Friday that, once Lake Oswego gets rolling, it's a tough train to slow down.

After a scoreless first quarter where the Lions hung around, it appeared as if they might be able to give the top-ranked Lakers a test.

But Lake Oswego scored touchdowns on its final three possession of the half and held the Lions without a first down in the second quarter. From there the Lakers poured it on en route to a 41-7 win.

"This could have been for the league champions. We were both fighting for the league title," quarterback Jack Lomax said.

The good news for West Linn is that, with a win this week over Clackamas, the Lions will be primed to take second place in the Three Rivers League for the third straight year.

West Linn stopped Lake Oswego on its first two drives. The Lakers moved into scoring range both times but couldn't come away with points.

Ian Markstaller knocked away a fourth down pass on Lake Oswego's first possession and then, after false start penalties thwarted the Lions' first drive, an incomplete pass in the end zone on fourth down gave West Linn another stop.

"We dropped a few balls early and didn't make a few plays we should have but then we got things going," coach Steve Coury said.

West Linn moved into Lake Oswego territory for the first time late in the first quarter. On second-and-long, quarterback Logan Krellwitz scrambled out of trouble and found Dallen Voeller for a 30-yard catch but a sack by the Lakers' Blake Heim stopped that drive and forced a punt.

The Lakers were then able to quickly get into scoring range again with first down passes from Lomax to Brad Halberg and Micah Hatfield. Then, on third down, Lomax hit Cole Naone. With 7:42 to play in the half, Lomax hit tailback Tyson Coleman on a 12-yard touchdown pass, making the score 7-0.

When the Lions got the ball back, another false start made it second-and-15 and then Krellwitz's pass was picked off when Nick Rulli made a spectacular catch.

Lake Oswego scored five plays later on a one-yard run by Coleman.

The Lions got good field position on their next drive thanks to a good kick return from Michael Fay but back-to-back sacks forced a three-and-out.

The Lakers got pressure on Krellwitz all night despite only rushing three players virtually all evening. Heim, Josh Kennedy and Jeff Kremer were all impressive and proved difficult to block.

'Jeff Kremer's unbelievable. He's one of the best I've seen. And when you can get that rush with three players makes it easy on the secondary," Coury said.

Late in the half, Lomax found Rulli on the left sideline. Rulli then used good footwork and blazing speed to stay in bounds and score from 59 yards out, making it 19-0 at the half.

West Linn simply couldn't get anything going in the second half, failing to come up with a first down until its final drive.

Meanwhile, Lake Oswego struck on its second possession of the half and it took just one play to do it.

Lomax found Rulli again and, again, the senior simply outran the defense after making a catch for a 58-yard touchdown.

"Rulli's always been the fastest guy in practice but hasn't really had a chance to show it off," Lomax said.

Lake Oswego ended the Lions' next drive when Kasey Closs came up with an interception. Hatfield caught three first downs for the Lakers before Coleman scored on a two-yard run to make the score 33-0.

The Lakers' final score of the game came on its final possession when Whit Bissett scored on a five-yard run and A.J. Frank scored the two-point conversion.

Late in the game, West Linn recovered a fumbled pitch by the Lakers and mounted its only real drive of the half.

Keaton Hedman picked up a first down on the ground and a personal foul penalty on Lake Oswego moved the Lions near the goal line.

Then Josh Oltman scored from three yards out with 41 seconds to play to break up the shut out.

Next up for Lake Oswego will be its homecoming game this Friday at 7 p.m. against Milwaukie.

Next up

Who: Milwaukie on Homecoming. The Mustangs are currently winless in league.

When: Friday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

Where: Lake Oswego District Stadium.