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Lions put on a show on offense in 63-21 win over Lake Oswego

West Linn scores nine touchdowns in three quarters to easily advance.

VERN UYETAKE - Qawi Ntsasa celebrates one of his three touchdowns on the night during the Lions 63-21 victory over Lake Oswego.When West Linn and Lake Oswego met on the same field in the regular season, the Lakers held the Lions to six points until late in the third quarter. On Friday, in the second round of the playoffs and with better weather conditions, West Linn wanted to show what its offense could do.

The Lions, playing at nearly full strength for the first time in more than a month, quickly ran away from Lake Oswego after falling behind in the opening minutes, racking up a 63-21 victory to advance to the quarterfinals.

West Linn was a little slow out of the gates, going three and out on its opening drive and giving the Lakers good field position near midfield.

Lake Oswego showed it wasn’t intimidated by the No. 1 Lions, marching down the field until facing a fourth down at the eight-yard line.

Quarterback Jake Dukart then found Cam Nicklos over the middle for a touchdown as the Lakers grabbed an early lead.

But West Linn wouldn’t take long to respond. After a 33-yard pass to Jake Meisen, Tim Tawa hit Qawi Ntsasa on screen pass that Ntsasa took for a 24-yard touchdown to tie the game.

“We wanted to show that we were better than we were in that first game and that we’re back to being an explosive offensive team,” Ntsasa said.

The Lakers went three and out on their next drive and their offense took a hit when explosive freshman tailback Casey Filkins went down with a leg injury and wouldn’t return to the game. West Linn took over at its 35-yard line and, two plays later, Dawson Jolley found a small hole and used his speed to break a 62-yard touchdown run, giving West Linn a lead it wouldn’t surrender.

After another quick defensive stop, penalties backed the Lions up on their next drive, an issue that would be one of the few blights for West Linn on the night but Tawa would connect with Ntsasa again and the receiver went 62 yards for another score.

“I just do what I’m supposed to on each play. Tim did a nice job finding me and I made some plays,” Ntsasa said.

Lake Oswego started its next drive at midfield after a pair of West Linn turnovers and Dukart would find Jordan Newlin in the end zone from 23 yards out, putting the Lakers within one score again.

After a West Linn point, the Lakers took over with a chance to tie the game midway through the second quarter but a sack by the Lions’ Mitchell Johnson pinned the Lakers back and forced them to punt.

Tawa hit Meisen for two big passes, the second of which went for a 25-yard touchdown with 4:21 left in the half, making it 28-14.

“I had an idea that we’d go with two tight ends some and try and pound it, but eventually we went back to what we do best and got it rolling,” West Linn coach Chris Miller said.

West Linn would all but put the game away in the closing minutes of the first half.

After another three and out by the Lakers, Ntsasa broke his most electrifying play of the night. Tawa would hit him on another screen pass and he made two Lake Oswego defenders miss on a cutback before going 73 yards for a touchdown.

“We’re so dangerous when we’re spreading the ball around. You can’t just key on any one guy,” Miller said.

Another sack on defense pushed Lake Oswego back to its one-yard line and, after a low snap on the ensuing punt, the Lions took over at the Lakers’ 17-yard line.

“We were close in the second quarter and then the last four minutes of the half were a disaster and we kind of fell apart,” Lake Oswego coach Steve Coury said.

On the very next play, Tawa scrambled into the end zone and West Linn would lead 42-14 at the break.

Lake Oswego opened the second half with the ball but, on the second play from scrimmage, Elijah Molden recorded an interception. One play later, Tawa hit an uncovered Jake Meisen from 34 yards out to seal the game.

“The defensive line did a nice job getting pressure. I feel like it’s similar to last year where we’re starting to peak at the right time,” Molden said.

Tyler Good and Brodie Corrigan would each score on touchdown runs in the third quarter to cap West Linn’s scoring.

Lake Oswego would tack on one final touchdown in the final period on a five-yard run by Martin Sorrelhorse.

“I’m proud of the way our kids battled. That’s just a really good high school football team. There’s no excuses, they’re just a lot better than we are,” Coury said.

Tawa completed 13 of 18 passes for 335 yards in the game while both Ntsasa and Meisen had over 100 yards receiving.

West Linn moves on to face No. 8 Sprague at home next Friday in the quarterfinals. Sprague is coming off an overtime victory over Sherwood.