The South pitches a rare shutout in the game featuring a handful of local seniors

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lake Oswego quarterback Alex Matthews was the starter for the North squad in this years Les Schwab Bowl and was under pressure for much of the game.

There weren't too many highlights for the North squad in last week's Les Schwab game at Hillsboro Stadium. Despite a valiant effort on defense, the South's large and fast line eventually worse down the North, grinding out a 21-0 victory.

While the game generally features offense to spare and dozens of highlight-reel plays, it was the defense that shined and the first points of the game didn't appear on the scoreboard until midway through the third quarter.

The North entered the game missing a substantial piece of offensive firepower in Lake Oswego runningback Steven Long who missed the game with a knee injury.

"It was a tough thing for him. He's still probably about four months away and he'll probably greyshirt next year," Coury said.

Coury was the head coach of the North squad this year and got to coach his son Stevie in one final game along with Lakers Turner Young and Alex Matthews and Lakeridge's Blake Dutton.

"It was a great week. This really is a special group of guys this year," Coury said.

Dutton was an early target for Matthews on short crossing patterns to start the game but the team struggled to come up with a sustained drive.

The North came up with an interception near midfield late in the first quarter but couldn't take advantage of it.

Turnovers ruled the first half of play. A fumble gave the South the ball deep in the North squad's territory but the South coughed the ball up on the very next play to keep the game scoreless.

Matthews was under duress for virtually the entire game as the starting quarterback for the North team.

"I thought (Matthews) did a great job hanging in there. He didn't see that kind of pressure all year," Coury said.

The South's line got to him quickly and the secondary didn't give him many targets down the field.

A North interception in the final minute of the first half put the team in scoring position but the North gave the ball back with an interception on an attempted trick play.

Meanwhile, the North's defense matched the South. Young and the rest of the defensive line bottled up the South's running attack and the South failed to break through.

"Defensively we really played well but they just outperformed us up front," Coury said.

The North fumbled on their first possession of the second half and the South finally converted midway through the third quarter.

Sean Bellotti booted a 29-yard field goal that barely cleared the crossbar.

North moved the ball a bit on its next possession, getting a pair of catches from Stevie Coury, including one on fourth down.

However, the North was stuffed on a pair of 4th and 1 plays later in the quarter and Bellotti hit a 40-yard field goal to make it 6-0 with one period to play.

The game turned early in the fourth quarter when a missed tackle allowed Taylor Walcott to go 67 yards for a touchdown. A two-point conversion made it 14-0 and the South's defense continued to swarm.

Later in the quarter, Walcott hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass to put the game away.

Matthews will attend the University of Pennsylvania next year, Young will attend Western Oregon University, Coury will attend Oregon State University, Long will attend Portland State University and Dutton will attend Denver University.

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