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Lake Oswego clinches TRL title

by: VERN UYETAKE, 
Lake Oswego’s Will Storey cuts down field against Oregon City during last week’s 42-7 victory. Storey had three touchdowns in the game as the Lakers clinched the league title and a first-round bye.

It might be a bit tough to believe considering the final score but Lake Oswego received its biggest test in league all year from Oregon City last week in a game that was for the league title.

The Lakers came away with another convincing victory 42-7 but only led 21-7 after two quarters as some uncharacteristic mistakes kept the Pioneers in the game early on.

'We did some things to hurt ourselves and keep them in the game so we'll have to shore those up going forward,' coach Steve Coury said.

However, it wasn't as if Lake Oswego was ever threatened much by an Oregon City team that is enjoying one of its best seasons in recent years.

The Lakers got on the board first on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jack Lomax to Will Storey. Storey was Lomax's favorite target on the night, catching seven passes for a team-high 113 yards.

Storey has been a valuable weapon for the Lakers this year as, when teams focus on Lake Oswego's speedy wide-outs Micah Hatfield and Nick Rulli, Storey is often able to find room over the middle for big gains.

Later in the first quarter, Lomax connected with Hatfield for another long touchdown, hitting the senior receiver on a 44-yard strike.

Lomax completed 24 of 32 passes in the game for 351 yards and five touchdowns but also threw two interceptions, one of which was tipped. Prior to Friday's game, Lomax had only thrown one interception all year.

Trailing 14-0, Oregon City marched down the field, aided by Lake Oswego penalties and a rushing attack that found some room against the Laker defense.

The Pioneers were reluctant to pass all game as quarterback Zach Roberts attempted just five passes all night, one of which was intercepted by Ryan Bradley.

Oregon City did gain over 100 yards on the ground, however, nearly all of which were picked up by Thomas Coyle.

Coyle got the Pioneers on the board in the second quarter, scoring on a 10-yard run that made it a one-possession game.

'They ran the ball right at us which we haven't seen much this year but the kids proved they could play physically,' Coury said.

But Lake Oswego was quick to respond as Whit Bissett scored on a nine-yard jaunt, making it a 21-7 game at the half.

In the locker room, the Lakers made a few adjustments and Coury was pleased at how the team responded after the break.

'A lot of good things happened in this game. We fought through a little adversity,' Coury said.

Oregon City was never in the game for the second half. Lomax hit Rulli for a 45-yard touchdown which all but sealed the game for the Lakers.

The team's offensive line, consisting of Brendan Lake, Adam Rosa, Scott Johnson, James Cooper, Khashi Jafari and Andre Lee played admirably, protecting Lomax and opening up holes for the team's running backs.

'That line keeps getting better all the time. It's exciting to see them come together,' Coury said.

Sophomore Tyson Coleman had one of his better games of the year, tallying 107 yards on the ground.

Lake Oswego's defense was solid in the second half. Despite losing middle linebacker Jackson Holstein to a hip-pointer earlier in the game, sophomore Michael Stroble filled in admirably.

Late in the third quarter, Lomax hit Storey for a 17-yard touchdown and then, early in the fourth quarter, Storey caught his third score of the day, this time on a 29-yard pass from Lomax.

The win clinched a league title for the Lakers as well as a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Lake Oswego will see the winner of McKay vs. Grant next week.