LO football team has no letdown
- Bill Stewart
- Lake Oswego Review - Sports
When you're ranked No. 1 in the state and you're going up against possibly the worst team in the league, it would be understandable if you took it easy for one game.
But that wasn't in the game plan last Friday when Lake Oswego traveled to Putnam. The top-ranked Lakers just simply took care of business while posting an impressive 41-0 victory over the Kingsmen.
'We came out and played well from the get-go,' Lake Oswego head coach Steve Coury said.
The Lakers' domination included a 28-point first quarter. After going up 35-0 just five minutes into the second period, Coury decided to pull all of his starters and let his reserves play the rest of the way. And they played well, too.
'It was a great team effort,' the coach said.
As a team, the Lakers gained a whopping 343 yards on the ground. That included a 212-yard effort by Zach Young and he did it on just 13 carries. He also scored three touchdowns.
Those scores came after a pair of 15-yard touchdown passes by Jack Lomax. The first one went to Kyle Hayes and second one went to Michael Wesner. Strangely enough, those were the only completions Lomax had on the night (out of five attempts).
'Throwing five times is not enough work for (Lomax),' Coury admitted. 'A guy like Jack has to get more game experience.'
But Coury has never been one to let a score get out of hand, even if it means benching his starters for a large majority of the game, like he did against Putnam.
Coury and his coaching staff had actually intended to throw the ball more against Putnam, but the score became lopsided too quickly. And the game plan 'didn't work out for us,' the coach said.
With Lomax, Young and their fellow first-teamers sitting on the bench, Lake Oswego's reserve corps got to show just how talented they are.
The most notable performance among that group was turned in by running back Micah Hatfield, who carried the ball 11 times for 67 yards. Not too far behind was Dylan Stowell, who carried six times for 43 yards.
Also impressive was backup quarterback Jared Van Hoon, who completed the only pass he threw and he also ran for a 14-yard touchdown (which was the only score in the second half).
And 'they were playing against Putnam's starters,' Coury said of the performances turned in by his reserves.
Overall, it was a solid effort for a team that could have experienced a major letdown after beating Jesuit the week before. To avoid a possible letdown, Coury left his team with one big message before the game.
He told his players, 'We've got to worry about ourselves. It doesn't matter who we're playing.'
As expected, Lake Oswego was virtually everyone's top pick when the Associated Press Top 10 poll came out on Tuesday. The Lakers garnered 14 of the 15 first-place votes that were cast. But Coury and his players really don't care where they stand in the polls, at least not at this point in the season.
'I wish it was December,' he said. But right now, 'we don't put a lot of stock into it … If we sit around and dwell on it, then there will be somebody waiting in the wings to knock you off your perch.'
The Lakers (1-0 TRL, 4-0 overall) will try to keep that focused approach going against Milwaukie on Friday. Lake Oswego will be heavily favored once again, but Coury said the Mustangs are an improved team over last season.
So, 'now it's back to work,' the coach said.