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Blocked kick hands Irish OT victory

Sheldon mounts two long, fourth-quarter drives, then blocks a kick in OT to beat No. 1 LO
by: Vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego's AJ Kingsbury and his teamates were in tears after the Sheldon defense blocked the Laker's extra point attempt in overtime, ending Lake Oswego's state championship bid and season with an 11-1 record.

LAKE OSWEGO - Top-ranked Lake Oswego and third-ranked Sheldon were so evenly matched that it took a special teams play to decide their quarterfinal playoff game Friday night.

Anthony Yakovich's blocked extra-point try wound up being the difference as Sheldon squeaked out a 28-27 overtime victory.

It capped an impressive come-back for the Irish, who trailed 21-14 with 2:22 left in regulation. But Sheldon mounted a 13-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with Jordan Johnson's three-yard scor-ing toss to Curtis White with 17 seconds remaining.

That sent the game to overtime and, after starting at the Lakers' 25, the Irish needed just four plays to register the first score in the extra period. The last play was another three-yard pass from Johnson to White, which gave the Irish a 28-21 lead.

Lake Oswego cut that deficit to a single point when Jay Matthews scored on a five-yard screen pass from Jack Lomax on the Lakers' first possession of overtime. All that was needed to send the game to a second overtime period was an extra point by Lake Oswego's sure-footed place-kicker, Pat Barry.

The center snap appeared to be a little high, but holder Nick Halberg was able to make the placement. Still, the timing was off just enough that Yakovich was able to break through the line and get a hand on the ball, which wound up falling well short of the crossbar.

It was a game that neither team led by more than a touchdown. It was 7-7 at halftime, although Lake Oswego could have taken a lead into intermission after Sheldon failed to convert a fourth-down try from its own 21. But the Lakers couldn't capitalize on the opportunity and wound up turning the ball back over on downs just before the break.

The Irish got bold again with their first possession of the second half when they opted for a fake punt from their own 17. That attempt failed, and this time, the Lakers capitalized when Zach Young scored on a one-yard run to give the Lakers a 14-7 lead.

That's the way it stayed until the 4:51 mark of the fourth quarter when Sheldon's Tyler Martell scored on a five-yard pass from Johnson. To get that score, the Irish traveled 80 yards in eight plays.

But the Lakers answered quickly, maybe too quickly, as they went 79 yards in just over two minutes. Lake Oswego got the lead back, at 21-14, when Lomax hit Anthony Culver with a 36-yard scoring strike with 2:22 left.

Then, Sheldon mounted another 80-yard drive in two minutes. The key play came on a fourth-and-four from the Lake Oswego 40 with 1:08 remaining. On that play, Johnson found Martell by himself in the middle of the field and hit him for an 18-yard gain.

Five plays later, Johnson connected with White in the right corner of the end zone and the game was tied again. But this time, the Irish seemed to have the momentum on their side.

Johnson finished the game 14 of 20 for 171 yards and three touchdowns. He was also his team's leading rusher with 21 carries for 90 yards and another score.

Young led the Lakers with 169 rushing yards on a season-high 37 attempts. He finished his senior year with 2,225 yards and 35 touchdowns.