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Young, Lakers slosh way to second-round victory

Despite sloppy conditions, Zach Young rushes for 161 yards, three touchdowns in LO's 28-14 win
by: Vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego's Zach Young eludes Canby tacklers enroute to 161 yards rushing in the mud and three touchdowns.

Canby was hoping its wet, muddy field would be enough to neutralize Lake Oswego running back Zach Young. It was just wishful thinking for the Cougars, though, as Young ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns to lead the top-ranked Lakers to a 28-14 victory in the second round of the 6A state football playoffs Friday night.

Canby's slick surface did slow Young down a little bit. Normally, he gets at least one long run per game. But against the Cougars, Young's longest run was just 10 yards.

Instead, Young chipped away at the Canby defense, bit by bit. He finished the night with 35 carries, which was his highest total since the opening week of the season.

Helping Young's cause was the fact that Lake Oswego quarterback Jack Lomax was able to pass the ball effectively in the sloppy conditions. During the game's first scoring drive, Lomax completed four passes for 54 yards. That included a 14-yard scoring strike to tight end Michael Wesner, which gave the Lakers a 6-0 lead with 3:32 left in the opening period.

But the Cougars quickly answered with their most impressive drive the night. Starting from their own 15, Canby ran the ball 11 consecutive times before reaching the end zone. The drive was capped by T.J. Gorman's 10-yard run, and Paul Madeira tacked on the extra point to give the Cougars their first and last lead of the game at 7-6.

But Lakers quickly answered. With the Canby keying on Young, Lake Oswego went to the air for the first play of its next possession and it went for 28 yards to Micah Hatfield, who spent most of the season as a backup running back to Young. Two plays later, Will Storey, the backup fullback, hauled in a 16-yard pass to the Canby 21.

With the Canby defense off-balance, the Lakers went back to the run and four plays later Young scored on an eight-yard carry. A failed two-point attempt left Lake Oswego's lead at 12-6 with 7:35 left in the first half.

After a three-and-out series by the Cougars, the Lakers needed just five plays to find the end zone again. Young got the honors one more time with a six-yard scoring run, which made the score 20-6 with 4:03 left in the half.

That touchdown was redemption of sorts for the Lakers, who appeared to score on the first play of the possession on a pass from Lomax to Wesner. But the touchdown was called back on a holding penalty.

After a scoreless third quarter, both teams managed a touchdown in the final stanza. Lake Oswego started off with a 90-yard drive that was capped by Young's 10-yard scoring run. After mixing up their play calling during the first three quarters, Lake Oswego stayed solely with the run during that drive as Young carried the ball 10 times.

A two-point conversion pass to Hatfield made the score 28-7 with 8:02 left in the game.

It looked as though Canby would get that touchdown back on its next possession, but a solid drive ended at Lake Oswego's 4-yard line when Wesner intercepted a pass along the sideline.

Canby got a bit of a reprieve, though, when Lake Oswego went three-and-out on its next series. Then, a one-yard punt gave the Cougars the ball at the Lake Oswego 13. Four plays later, Travis Newton barged into the end zone on a one-yard run.

But it was too late for a Canby comeback by then as the Lakers ran out the remaining 2:47 on the clock.

The victory improved Lake Oswego's season record to 11-0 while ninth-ranked Canby dropped to 9-3. Lake Oswego will now host Sheldon next Friday in the quarterfinals.

Young's performance pushed his season rushing total to 2,056 yards, and he now has 33 touchdowns. Lomax finished the game 7 of 12 for 122 yards.

Gorman led Canby with 79 rushing and 66 yards receiving.