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Lakers get Grant on Friday

by:  VERN UYETAKE, 
Jeff Kremer, one of the top defensive linemen in the state, and the rest of the Lake Osweg football team, begin the quest for a title on Friday against Grant.

Lake Oswego figures to be tested right out of the gate as it kicks off its playoff run following an opening round bye.

The Lakers will take on Grant, the No. 2 seed from the PIL at home on Friday at 7 p.m.

While the Generals haven't been talked about much as one of the state's elite teams they could still pose some problems for the top-ranked Lakers.

Grant currently sits at 7-4 following a narrow 31-28 victory over McKay last week in the first round of the postseason.

Grant rolled through much of its league schedule and was only tripped up by PIL champion Lincoln 31-28 in the final regular season game of the year.

Grant's other three losses came out of league but the Generals played both Westview and Canby tough in defeat.

The Generals feature arguably the best rushing attack that the Lakers have seen since their preseason battle with Jesuit.

And at the forefront of that attack is quarterback Kenneth Acker.

Heading into the playoffs, Acker was the sixth leading rusher in the state, piling up nearly 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns.

While the Generals run the option and have done so with great success, Acker has also shown a soft touch through the air, racking up over 1,000 yards passing to go along with eight more touchdowns.

The Lakers' quick and agile defense will look to contain Acker as much as possible and a Grant offense that has tallied a number of lopsided victories this season.

Defensively, Grant is a physical team but it has not gone up against anything resembling Lake Oswego's offense, particularly its passing attack since many of the teams in the PIL rely almost exclusively on the run.

In fairness, there simply aren't many passing attacks like Lake Oswego's in the state.

The Lakers appear to be almost completely healthy heading into their first game but a difficult bracket lies in front of them.

If Lake Oswego defeats Grant, it will face the winner of Westview vs. Sheldon.

The Irish won the Midwestern Conference this year and knocked off Lake Oswego in the state quarterfinals last year while Westview took fourth in the Metro League but pummeled Central Catholic 42-7 in the first round of the playoffs.

And, potentially lurking is an ominous rematch with Jesuit that would occur in the semifinals if both teams reach that point.