West Linn racks up nearly 500 yards more of offense than South Salem

After a slow start, West Linn's football team is starting to pick up steam heading into a Three Rivers League that is wide open this year.

“We've improved. We ran the ball well and defended the run well and, when you can do that, you'll be in a lot of games,” coach Mike Fanger said.

The Lions buried South Salem at home on Friday 58-9, dominating all faces of the game.

West Linn had 614 total yards of offense compared to just 121 from the Saxons and put the game away by the half.

“Our offensive line, tight ends and fullbacks did a nice job. We've really controlled the line against Barlow and South Salem,” Fanger said.

Early on, it was the Louie Germain show again. After scoring all six of the Lions' touchdowns in its win over Barlow the week prior, Germain had all five of the team's first-half scores at this game, giving him 11 straight for the team.

“We've been giving our quarterback and receivers a hard time because we'd complete passes and get tackled at the 1- or 2-yard line and then punch it in,” Fanger said.

West Linn scored in the first minutes of the game, marching down the field and getting a 3-yard run from Germain.

The Lions pounded the ball at the Saxons and Germain had 199 yards in the first half.

After another short scoring run made it 14-0, South Salem's defense got it on the board, pressured quarterback Hayden Coppedge into an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone for a safety.

West Linn regrouped with a stop and another score early in the second quarter but South Salem came back by returning the kickoff 97 yards to make it 21-9.

That's as much damage as the Saxons would do on the scoreboard, however. The Lions' defense shut out the South Salem offense.

Germain scored on another pair of short runs following big drives and the score was 35-9 at the break.

While West Linn didn't need to pass much, Coppedge was remarkably efficient. He completed all six of his passes in the first half and finished 12-for-14 for 298 yards.

West Linn broke up Germain's scoring streak early in third quarter when Coppege hit Kurt Moon for a 34-yard score.

Moon would add another touchdown reception later in the quarter, this time from 15 yards out.

The Lions' special teams would get in on the action in the fourth quarter with Ben Jacobs knocking through a short field goal attempt.

West Linn didn't attempt a pass in the fourth quarter but still had trouble just running out the clock. In the closing minute, Kahlil Monson busted through the line for a 51-yard score to cap the rout.

The Lions' defense didn't yield many opportunities for the Saxons to score and kept the visitors pinned back all evening. The Saxons went just 1-for-12 on third down.

About the only thing West Linn did wrong on the evening was to commit 14 penalties.

Still, it was another shot of confidence for the Lions who move to 2-2 on the year.

“When you play well, people are happier and you practice better. It just builds,” Fanger said.

West Linn takes on a 1-3 Lake Oswego team on the road Friday that has played perhaps the toughest schedule in the state so far.

“They're still the champs until someone beats them. They're very athletic and well-coached. I think we can be in it in the fourth quarter and then see what happens,” Fanger said.

West Linn is also getting healthier, getting starting lineman Ben Herod back along with Joe Cozzi.

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