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The Year in Review: Lakers dominated opponents in the regular season

by: FILE PHOTO / VERN UYETAKE, 
Tyson Coleman puts a wicked stiff-arm on an Oregon City opponent in Lake Oswego’s last league game of the season. The victory over the Pioneers clinched the Three Rivers League title for the Lakers.

Lake Oswego 35, Juneau-Douglas 10

There were loads of question marks heading into Lake Oswego's season-opening game at PGE Park in early September. The Lakers knew they had a good team but, before they took the field, they weren't even the unanimous favorite to win their own league.

Lake Oswego had a dinged up line and loads of inexperienced skill players as only three starters returned from the 2007 squad.

But the Lakers flexed their muscles early against an equally young Crimson Bears team. Lake Oswego scored five touchdowns in seven possessions in the first half and then showed mercy on the visitors from Alaska.

Jack Lomax completed 11 of 13 passes for 241 yards and four touchdowns in the game and the Lakers also picked off the first two Juneau-Douglas pass attempts in the game in front of a large crowd at PGE Park.

Lake Oswego 36, Jesuit 33

The Lakers sent shockwaves throughout the state when it knocked off previously No. 1 and perennial powerhouse Jesuit at home in front of a nationally televised audience.

In one of the best-played and most exciting games of the entire season, Lake Oswego trailed for much of the game as the Crusaders' ground attack appeared to be too much to handle.

But the Lakers showed their resiliency, scoring two touchdowns in the final 4:21 of the game to pull off the dramatic victory.

In a wild finish, Lake Oswego recovered a kick-off and marched the length of the field twice, converting a pair of two-point tries in that time as well.

Trailing 33-28 with 1:37 to play in the game, Lomax led his team down the field, converting on fourth down and eventually connecting with Micah Hatfield for a seven-yard touchdown with less than 20 seconds to play.

The team rallied from being down by two touchdowns twice in the game and dominated through the air. Lomax threw for 301 yards in the contest.

Lake Oswego 41, Clackamas 14

It was one of the Lakers' most dominating performances of the year. Clackamas had expected to at least contend for the league title this season which made the opening league game for both teams extremely important.

And Lake Oswego put things away early.

Tyson Coleman turned a shovel pass from Lomax into a 73-yard touchdown and the rout was on. Just minutes later, following an interception by Hatfield, Lomax connected with Coleman again.

Clackamas would score on its next drive but the Lakers' three-man defensive line of Josh Kennedy, Jeff Kremer and Blake Heim stymied the Cavaliers all night.

Lake Oswego would end up scoring touchdowns on its first five possessions and held a 34-6 advantage at the half.

Once again, the third and fourth quarters were spent simply trying to not run the score up in what would become a theme throughout the season.

Lake Oswego 47, Lakeridge 0

The annual Civil War game didn't have quite the shine on it this year as it has in seasons past with the Pacers fielding an extremely small but spirited team.

The Lakers were workmanlike in a 47-0 victory. Lake Oswego ran the ball with 11 different players and, despite throwing his first interception of the season, Lomax was terrific once again.

The Lakers put the game away before the half again leading 28-0 at the break and holding the Pacers to under 120 yards of total offense in the game.

Lake Oswego 44, Putnam 3

Surprisingly, the first and only time the Lakers would trail in a league game this season would happen at home against the Kingsmen.

Putnam scored an early field goal and, after the first quarter, held a 3-0 advantage over the No. 1 ranked Lakers.

On a very wet evening it took some time for Lake Oswego's offense to pick up steam but once it did, it was a smooth-running machine again.

Coleman got things started with a three-yard touchdown run and then hit Will Storey, who had seven grabs for 110 yards in the game to make it 14-3.

Coleman and Storey would each score again in the second quarter, turning a 3-0 deficit heading into the period into a 28-3 lead at the break.

Storey would catch his third touchdown of the game in the third quarter and Colby Reis would also kick a 32-yard field goal to pad the lead.

Lake Oswego 41, West Linn 7

The Lions would end up claiming the No. 2 seed in the TRL, losing just once to a league opponent. And that one loss wasn't even close.

The Lakers showed just how dominant they were in league play by easily swatting the Lions away. Once again it took Lake Oswego a quarter to get rolling.

The game was scoreless until midway through the second quarter when Lomax connected with Coleman for a 12-yard score. Nick Rulli, who turned in one of his best games of the season, then came up with an interception and Lake Oswego turned it into another touchdown.

Rulli would then contribute offensively with a 59-yard score late in the half to make it 19-0.

Once again, the Lakers' defense wreaked havoc on the Lions as Kennedy, Kremer and Heim had little trouble getting to West Linn's quarterback.

Rulli would score on a 58-yard touchdown pass early in the second half and Lake Oswego would eventually take a 41-7 lead before the Lions broke up the shut out with less than a minute to play in the game.

Lake Oswego 48, Milwaukie 0

Every eligible Laker got some playing time on Homecoming against Milwaukie.

Lomax would complete his 26th touchdown pass of the season to go along with just one interception to this point. Against the Mustangs he was a tidy 12-for-13 for 238 yards and four touchdowns.

Lake Oswego took a 28-0 lead after one quarter in front of the raucous home crowd and would eventually lead 42-0 at the half.

Lake Oswego 48, Sprague 21

On the road against one of the Central Valley Conference's better teams, the Lakers continued to roll. For the first time in three games, Lake Oswego would trail after giving up a first-quarter touchdown.

However, the Lakers would rally quickly when Lomax connected with Storey for an eight-yard pass before the end of the opening period.

Lomax would then connect with Rulli for two touchdowns before the half as the Lakers took a 28-7 lead into the locker room. Rulli would complete his hat trick in the third quarter with another touchdown catch as Sprague had no answer for the Lakers' passing attack.

Lake Oswego 42, Oregon City 7

Amazingly, the Lakers hadn't clinched the league title heading into the final regular season game of the year. Lake Oswego ended up scoring over 40 points in every league game this year but actually received its biggest test in the TRL in a five-touchdown win over the Pioneers.

Lake Oswego took a 14-0 lead early in the game on passes from Lomax to Storey and Hatfield before Oregon City used its running game to get into the end zone and cut the lead in half.

The Lakers would reclaim momentum before the break on a nine-yard scoring run by Whit Bissett.

And the Lakers came out of the locker room set to put the game away. Lomax hit Rulli for a 45-yard touchdown to put the game away as the offensive line of Brendan Lake, Adam Rosa, Scott Johnson, James Cooper, Khashi Jafari and Andre Lee pushed Oregon City around for much of the night.

Tyson Coleman would run for 107 yards in the game and Lake Oswego clinched a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Lake Oswego 41, Grant 7

Things got ugly quickly for the Grant Generals in the second round of the playoffs. Lake Oswego led 21-0 after eight minutes.

Coleman scored on a 17-yard run 70 seconds into the game and, following an interception by Hatfield, Lomax rewarded the receiver and quarterback by finding Hatfield in the end zone for the team's second score.

Hatfield would then recover a fumble which led to another touchdown. Grant's best player, quarterback Kenneth Acker also tore his ACL in the game as nothing went right for Grant.

Coleman had a big game for the Lakers and Brian Zinsmeister came up with two interceptions in the second half to seal the playoff victory for Lake Oswego.

Lake Oswego 34, Sheldon 13

For the first time since the second game of the season, the Lakers were held under 40 points and, for the second time all season, the team was faced with a two-touchdown deficit.

In the quarterfinals, Sheldon took an early 13-0 lead but, following the Irish's second score, the Lakers marched down the field and Lomax eventually hit Brad Halberg in the end zone.

Lake Oswego then came up with a big stop on fourth down and, with less than a minute to play in the first half, Coleman scored on a one-yard run to tie the game at the break.

That score seemed to demoralize the Irish as the Lakers came up with a big stop on defense to start the third quarter and then marched 75 yards for the go-ahead score, a 33-yard touchdown to Storey.

Bissett would score on the ground to up the lead for Lake Oswego as Coleman left the game with an ankle injury.

Bissett would score again to complete the scoring late in the game.

Lake Oswego 32, Jesuit 28

In a rematch that lived up to its billing, the Lakers earned a trip to the state title game in thrilling fashion again over the Crusaders.

This time it was Lake Oswego that would jump out to an early lead.

Storey hit an open Rulli on a halfback pass for the game's first score and Coleman scored on a two-yard run to give the Lakers a 14-0 lead.

However, Jesuit would rally with a passing touchdown and then an 83-yard run by Anthony Blake to tie the game.

Lake Oswego would regain the lead on a pass from Lomax to Hatfield and a missed extra point made the score 20-14 at the half.

The Crusaders would take their first lead of the game early in third quarter but the Lakers responded when Hatfield came down with his second touchdown reception of the game.

Jesuit would score once again to go up 28-26 before Lomax hit Storey over the middle. Storey made a brilliant one-handed grab on what might have been the play of the season for the Lakers. He would take the pass and go 65 yards for the score.

Lake Oswego then came up with a huge stop in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Southridge 35, Lake Oswego 21

Lake Oswego's run comes to a disappointing and unexpected end. Four turnovers and 144 yards worth of penalties hurt the Lakers as their high-powered offense could only muster three downs.

Still, Lake Oswego jumped out to an early 14-0 lead. Completing a 98-yard drive Lomax hit Hatfield for an 11-yard score and, on the first play of the second quarter, Lomax would scramble into the end zone from 15 yards out.

But Southridge scored three touchdowns in the second quarter all of which came after Lake Oswego turnovers.

The Skyhawks would increase their lead on their opening possession of the second half before the Lakers came back on a 17-yard pass from Lomax to Hatfield, cutting the lead to 27-21.

Southridge's offense didn't do much against Lake Oswego's defense and the Lakers had a handful of chances to reclaim the lead but penalties and missed opportunities thwarted them.

Southridge was able to convert key first downs late in the game to seal its first state championship.