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Lakers fall to Southridge, ready for league


Lake Oswego falls to 1-3 but looks forward to defending its TRL title again

The Lake Oswego football team wrapped up its brutal preseason schedule last Friday with a tough loss to Southridge 31-13.

Once again, it was a chance for the inexperienced Lakers to cut their teeth against a bonafide state title contender. Lake Oswego continues to make strides. Defensively, the team was solid against a prolific offense and held its own despite giving up a pair of big plays.

The Lakers also ran the ball well with Nick Underwood doing yeoman's work to the tune of 99 yards. Max Mattern also had a nice night, running for 56 yards on eight carries.

Lake Oswego fell behind 10-0 but got right back in the game when Underwood broke a 44-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

However, Southridge responded with a back-breaking 44-yard scoring run of its own late in the half to take a two-score lead into the break.

“The way I see it, we gave up a couple of big plays and gave them 14 points but other than that we were right with them,” coach Steve Coury said.

The Lakers remained in contention until late in the game. In the third quarter, Mitch Verburg found his favorite target in Jordan Horak for a 17-yard scoring strike. The extra point failed but Lake Oswego only trailed 17-13.

The Skyhawks retained composure though. Southridge put together key drives when it needed to, scoring again to make it a two-score advantage in the fourth quarter.

Southridge defended well against the pass as the Lakers attempted a late comeback and then broke another long touchdown run to seal the game.

Lake Oswego ran for nearly 200 yards in its best rushing effort of the season.

“Obviously we want to be as balanced as possible but we did a nice job on the ground. We're still kind of searching for our identity,” Coury said.

While the Lakers fell to 1-3, they have battled perhaps the toughest schedule in the state so far and should be more than battle tested heading into league play.

The Lakers open up against West Linn at home this Friday and will face a league that is perhaps the most balanced in the state.

“We know everyone is still gunning for us because of our success in the past but I think our competition is going to help us,” Coury said.