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Late Sherwood TD drops Lakers to 2-3 in TRL

Lake Oswego falls just short against a top-10 team for the second straight week

Photo Credit: SUZIE HALBERG - Max Mattern fights for the end zone during Lake Oswego's home game against Sherwood last week. The Lakers ran the ball well but came up just short against the Bowmen.For the second week in a row, Lake Oswego's football team was one play away from upending a state title contender and, for the second straight week, the Lakers were left unsatisfied, knowing that they played a top-10 opponent dead even for four quarters but didn't get the result they were looking for.

Lake Oswego's defense turned in a stellar performance against a Sherwood team that has been one of the highest-scoring squads in the state in recent years and led 14-3 in the second half. However, a failed conversion at the Bowmen's one-yard line and a late touchdown doomed the Lakers in an 18-14 defeat.

“We're a little frustrated. That's two weeks against two very good teams where we've had a chance to win but we know we can't hang our heads,” coach Steve Coury said.

It was one of the best defensive efforts in recent memory for Lake Oswego as the Lakers slowed down Sherwood's wing-T offense better than nearly anyone since the Bowmen's rise to prominence.

“I think, if you go back 10 years, you wouldn't find many teams that held them to just two touchdowns,” Coury said.

Both teams' running games were on display on Friday. Lake Oswego knew Sherwood would hit them with its misdirection ground attack and, in fact, Sherwood only attempted seven passes all night, completing just two of them. Andrew Bartley also tallied an interception as the Bowmen were entirely one-dimensional.

The first half was a battle of field position and Sherwood struck first on a 39-yard field goal in the opening quarter.

Lake Oswego relied heavily on its bruising running back, Max Mattern, giving him 22 carries which led to 143 yards on the ground.

The Lakers finally broke through in the second quarter, getting deep into Sherwood territory before Will Burton eventually punched in a two-yard touchdown run to give his team the lead.

Lake Oswego held Sherwood to just three points in the first half and was brimming with confidence coming out of the locker room.

The Lakers started to find more success against the Bowmen's front line and mounted another scoring drive early in the third quarter.

Burton would put the finishing touches on the drive, this time from one-yard out as Lake Oswego went up 14-3.

However, Sherwood would respond, making a few adjustments at halftime and finally finding some cracks in the Laker defense.

The Bowmen would score later in the quarter and would convert on its two-point attempt to make it 14-11.

Lake Oswego had chances to put the game away in the second half as it continued to have success on the ground, gaining field position and eating up the clock.

Sherwood would block a field goal attempt in the game and then, as the Lakers were driving to go back up by two scores in the fourth quarter, they ran into trouble deep inside the red zone.

Lake Oswego would reach the one-yard line but came up short on fourth down, giving Sherwood the ball back.

“That really was my fault. I did a poor job coaching there and with play-calling,” Coury said.

The Bowmen moved away from their own goal line but eventually had to punt back to Lake Oswego. The Lakers took over, looking to run more time and either get a game-clinching score or at least pin the Bowmen deep in their own territory.

However, a turnover allowed Sherwood to regain possession with a short field in front of them. The Bowmen capitalized with a short touchdown run with less than two minutes to play and the Lakers couldn't come up with any final heroics.

Lake Oswego will take on a Newberg team that has played some of the TRL's best teams extremely tough this year next week and closes out the regular season at home against Lakeridge.

“If we can sneak into the playoffs, we feel like we can compete with anyone,” Coury said.

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