Lions put together a complete game but come up short

The West Linn football team finished its season by playing one of its best games of the year in a 28-20 loss against top-10 ranked Southridge on Friday.

The Lions won the majority of the important statistics in the game, besting Southridge in total yards and time of possession. West Linn also had fewer turnovers and penalties, but the Skyhawks were able to come up with big plays when they needed them.

West Linn struggled to contain Southridge tailback Devin Martinez, who finished with more than 200 yards on the ground and all of the Skyhawks' scores.

Southridge got on the board midway through the first half, capping an impressive drive with a 1-yard run.

The Lions would respond quickly, marching down the field in just three minutes and getting a 6-yard touchdown pass from Hayden Coppedge to Kurt Moon.

West Linn dominated the first half, moving the ball both through the air and on the ground but struggled to capitalize as much as it should have.

Louie Germain ran for nearly 100 yards in the first half while Coppedge was 12-for-14 for 178 yards.

But Southridge's defense was adept at bending and not breaking.

The Skyhawks hit West Linn with a heavy dose of the run. Southridge only threw the ball four times in the first half and two of those passes were picked off by Elijah Molden.

Southridge regained the lead late in the first quarter on another Martinez run. The Lions would hold the ball for the majority of the second quarter but struggled to punch in another touchdown.

Finally, with less than 30 seconds to play in the half, Coppedge would find Moon again on another 6-yard touchdown pass. However, the extra point was blocked, giving Southridge a 14-13 advantage at the half.

Southridge came out of the locker room and, again, pieced together an impressive drive.

The Skyhawks virtually abandoned the pass and Martinez continued to gash the Lions. He would score early in the third period to give his team a 21-13 lead.

The game shifted when, following a defensive stop, the Skyhawks were finally able to gain some separation. Martinez broke a 29-yard touchdown run to make it 28-13.

West Linn was forced to attack through the air and Coppedge responded. But the Lions would not get on the board again until 2:23 left in the game on a 1-yard pass to Nicholas Yokubaitis.

The Lions opted to kick the ball away and forced a Southridge punt, getting possession at their own 20-yard line with less than a minute to play.

However, the Skyhawks' defense rose to the challenge, getting a sack and a strip to end the contest.

The Lions wrap up a year where they were very competitive in what was the most balanced and competitive league in the state, highlighted by snapping Lake Oswego's league winning streak.

A strong group of underclassmen will look to help the Lions take another step next fall.

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