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Lakers can't find their offense against West Linn

LO runs the ball well but find scoring difficult in league-opening loss

Photo Credit: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lake Oswego's Max Mattern breaks into the secondary against West Linn in last week's game. Mattern had over 100 yards rushing in the contest and his team's only touchdown.Lake Oswego's offense struggled to find its footing last week as the Lakers dropped their league opener to West Linn 20-6.

While Lake Oswego found plenty of success running the ball behind its offensive line, the team had difficulty turning its drives into points. The Lakers rushed for nearly 200 yards in the game but were not efficient on third and fourth down conversion attempts and ultimately became one-dimensional as they fell to 1-2 on the year.

West Linn got off to a fast start in front of a big home crowd, getting a good opening kick-off return and then going 46 yards for a quick touchdown.

Lake Oswego was then forced to punt after getting into West Linn territory but, after coming up with a stop, the Lakers got the ball back near midfield late in the first quarter.

After five straight runs, Zach Parker caught a 17-yard pass from Mitchell Verburg and, on the next play, Max Mattern charged ahead for a 16-yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt failed making the score 7-6.

West Linn would respond quickly. The Lions got a big run on fourth-and-inches and nearly fumbling the snap which set up a touchdown pass on the next play.

A holding penalty and a sack put an end to Lake Oswego's next drive and the Lakers trailed 14-6 at the break.

Lake Oswego continued to pound the ball on the ground, picking up chunks behind strong runs from Mattern and Drew Pieringer but a pair of incompletions ended the Lakers' opening drive of the second half. Lake Oswego would punt and pin West Linn back on its own three-yard-line.

West Linn would start to pull away on the very next play. Quarterback Tim Tawa connected with Connor Berggren on a long pass and the Laker defender fell down after an attempt to knock the pass down. Berggren then would take it the distance for a 97-yard touchdown as the big play came back to haunt the Lakers for the second straight week.

A 24-yard run by Mattern helped push Lake Oswego into West Linn territory again as the Lakers looked to respond but, after being faced with fourth down, an incompletion put an end to the drive.

West Linn was then able to chew up some clock into the fourth quarter as it got its running game going but, after a big sack by Nate Hidalgo, West Linn settled for a field goal attempt which it missed.

Late in the game, Lake Oswego mustered one final rally after Verburg connected with Parker on a 45-yard pass which constituted roughly half of the Lakers' receiving yards in the game.

However, an interception at the West Linn 11-yard line sealed the victory for the Lions.

Lake Oswego will be back at full strength next week with the return of its players who were issued a suspension for violating team rules during a preseason camp. The Lakers will host 0-3 Tualatin.


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