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Lakers get ready for highly-anticipated rematch with Jesuit

by: FILE PHOTO / VERN UYETAKE, 
Jesuit’s Keanon Lowe will be a point of emphasis for the Lake Oswego defense on Friday. Earlier in the year, Lowe caught two passes for 17 yards and ran a kick-off back for a touchdown against the Lakers.

The Lake Oswego football team has played in a handful of huge games during coach Steve Coury's tenure as head coach.

The list would certainly include two state championship games.

But Friday's semifinal contest against Jesuit has to rank near the top of that list.

The Lakers and Crusaders are widely considered to be the top two teams in the state this year, have built up a nice rivalry over the past few seasons and played one of the most entertaining football games in recent memory earlier in the year.

Lake Oswego won that game 36-33 after rallying from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter.

The Lakers dominated through the air with Jack Lomax throwing for 301 yards and Micah Hatfield and Will Storey each tallying over 100 yards receiving.

And Jesuit dominated on the ground, returning a kick for a touchdown and getting 158 combined rushing yards from Anthony Blake and Keanon Lowe.

Not much is expected to change on Friday.

'They're a very good team and they've only gotten better. And I think we've gotten better. It's going to be similar to last time. We have to stop (Blake) and keep (quarterback Scott Williams) from throwing over our heads,' Coury said.

After falling to Lake Oswego, Jesuit dominated virtually everyone it saw this year, dominating every Metro League opponent it faced with the exception of Southridge. The Crusaders won that game 19-16. Jesuit has also outscored its two playoff opponents 80-21.

On the season, Blake has 1861 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns while Williams has thrown for 1125 yards and 12 touchdowns, eight of which have been caught by Lowe. Lowe also has three kick-off returns for touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Lomax has put up obscene numbers, throwing for more than 3,000 yards with 41 touchdowns and only five interceptions.

Needless to say, if a point spread was put on this game, you'd be wise to bet the over.

The key will likely be turnovers and execution. In the preseason, there were no turnovers until a fourth-quarter squib kick hit a Jesuit player and was recovered by the Lakers.

'We're two pretty similar teams. We're both athletic and fast. It's going to be about doing what got us here and executing on some of those key situations,' Coury said.

Lake Oswego may be at a bit of a disadvantage on Friday as runningback and linebacker Tyson Coleman's status is still uncertain.

The sophomore sustained an ankle injury against Sheldon and didn't return to that game.

Lake Oswego is the only team remaining in the playoff that is not from the Metro League as Southridge and Beaverton square off in the other semifinal.

But, inarguably, the Jesuit vs. Lake Oswego rematch is the most highly-anticipated game of the year with the winner earning a trip to Corvallis the following Saturday.

The Lakers will play at PGE Park in the second game of a double-header.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m.