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Lakers tipped in back-and-forth battle

Tigard, running for 515 yards, gets a 45-38 victory

DAN BROOD - Lake Oswego's Jonas Lamont is tackled during last week's game against Tigard. The Lakers had one of their best efforts of the year but couldn't stop the Tigers' run game.Tigard was set to run, run, run.

The Lake Oswego High School football team, on the other hand, seemed happy to put the ball in the air over and over.

The contrast of styles ended up resulting in a thrilling, back-and-forth contest.

And, in the end, the running game won out.

Tigard, rushing for 515 yards, and not throwing a single pass in the second half, powered its way to a 45-38 win over Lake Oswego in a league game played Friday at Lake Oswego High School.

“Our plan was to run it down their throat,” said Tigard senior running back Peyton Olson, who rushed for 337 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries. “And we succeeded.”

With the win, their third straight, the Tigers moved to 3-1 in Three Rivers League play (3-3 overall), putting them in a tie with Tualatin and West Linn for second place in the league standings.

The Lakers moved to 1-3 in Three Rivers League games, and to 3-3 on the season with the setback.

“We played well,” Lake Oswego junior receiver Adam Brumfield said. “I think this was the first week that we played together as a team. We're improving, and we're going to keep getting better.”

“This was a fun one,” said Lake Oswego senior quarterback Mitchell Verburg, who had three passing touchdowns and one rushing TD in the contest. “We played with passion tonight, and they're really good. I'm proud of our team.”

After a thrilling first half, which ended in a 24-24 tie, Tigard came out and set the tone at the start of the third quarter.

In the opening possession of the half, the Tigers moved 88 yards on 13 plays, all runs by senior Peyton Olson and junior Jash Allen, capping off their drive with Allen's 14-yard touchdown run, which gave Tigard a 31-24 lead with 6 minutes and 12 seconds left to play in the third quarter.

Lake Oswego tried to answer back right away, getting a 57-yard pass from Verburg to Brumfield, moving the ball to the Tigard 23-yard line. But that drive ended when Tigard senior defensive back Michael Casugay intercepted a fourth-down pass.

From there, the Tigard running attack went back to work. With Olson, Allen and junior Ryan Minniti call carrying the ball, the Tigers moved 91 yards in 12 plays, ending the drive with Olson's 3-yard scoring blast, which gave Tigard a 38-24 advantage with 10:19 left to play in the game.

“As the second half started, we drove down the length of the field and scored, and then our defense came up with a big interception,” Tigard coach Craig Ruecker said. “And then we drove down and scored again. That was a big swing.”

And the Tigers needed it, as Lake Oswego came storming back in the final stanza.

Verburg completed passes of 30 yards to junior Cameron Nicklos and 17 yards to Brumfield to set up a 19-yard touchdown strike to Nicklos, trimming the Tigard lead to 38-31 with 8:32 remaining.

The Tigers answered back with another run-dominated scoring drive. Olson's 13-yard touchdown run up the middle, his fourth TD of the night, upped the Tigard lead to 45-31 with 5:52 left to play.

The Lakers, again, came roaring back. Verburg's 37-yard run on a scramble helped set up a 5-yard touchdown run by LO junior Martin Sorrelhorse, making the score 45-38 with 4:28 remaining in the contest.

But Tigard, in its ensuing possession, was able to eat the remaining time off the clock — with Olson carrying the ball nine times for 50 yards on the drive — to secure its 45-38 victory.

Lake Oswego took an early 3-0 lead in the game, when senior Ethan Agritelley booted a 37-yard field goal with 9:01 left to play in the first quarter.

Tigard went up 7-3 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Minniti coming with 4:44 remaining in the opening period.

Back-to-back Verburg touchdown passes, covering 58 yards to sophomore Jordan Newlin and 25 yards to Brumfield, gave the Lakers a 17-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Olson's 39-yard touchdown run made the score 17-14 with 11:05 left in the second quarter. Verburg scored on a 6-yard run to push the margin to 24-14 with 4:21 remaining before halftime.

But Tigard, getting a 60-yard TD run by Olson and then, with just 13.4 seconds left in the period, a booming 47-yard field goal from junior Garrick Garguravich, tied the game at 24-24 at halftime.

For the game, the Tigers, as a team rushed for 515 yards on 70 carries.

Olson, battered and bruised after the game, was the workhorse with his 337 yards on 38 carries.

Allen added 115 rushing yards on 17 carries and Minniti ran for 63 yards on 13 carries.

Tigard senior quarterback Chase Crawford completed three of four pass attempts for 35 yards. Sophomore Braden Lenzy had two receptions for 29 yards.

For Lake Oswego, Verburg completed 11 of 27 pass attempts for 251 yards and he also rushed for 66 yards on six carries.

“We can't dwell on this,” he said. “And this game will make us better. We played as hard as we could. And, for our offense, this is going to be a confidence booster.”

Brumfield had four catches for 111 yards and Newlin had three receptions for 65 yards.

Senior Max Mattern was the Lakers' top rusher with 70 yards on six carries.

For the Lake Oswego defense, sophomore Dawson Jaramillo had a tackle for a loss.

Lake Oswego's scheduled game at Sherwood on Friday has been cancelled, with the Bowmen getting a forfeit win, due to player suspensions.