Already without star seniors Sam Bodine and Dominic Shorter, the Cougars lose junior Jace Cates and lineman Craig Fobert in their 35-14 league setback.

Dominic Shorter did not play in the Canby football team's 35-14 loss to Lake Oswego on the road Oct 4. He hurt his foot in the Cougars' win over Oregon City a week earlier.LAKE OSWEGO — It just keeps getting worse for the Canby football team.

Hoping to move on after Sam Bodine’s grotesque leg injury a week earlier, the Cougars found out Friday night that their health woes aren’t done wreaking havoc on their season.

They gave up the final 21 points of the game and lost 35-14 on the road to Lake Oswego, a result exacerbated by their growing list of hurt players.

“We’re probably the most unlucky team in the world,” senior Noah Kyllo said.

Canby (3-3, 1-1 in the Three Rivers League) was aiming to build on its league-opening win over Oregon City, but instead it was handed its first conference loss of the year and its seventh-straight setback in its all-time series with the Lakers. It hasn’t defeated Lake Oswego (2-4, 1-1) since 1998.

And that didn’t even seem like the worst news for the Cougars, whose roster has become decimated by injuries.

Bodine attended the game in a wheelchair, his lower left leg wrapped in a cast. The star linebacker was rolled to the middle of the field before the game as an honorary captain.

Canby was also without senior running back Dominic Shorter, who sustained a fracture in his left foot during the team’s emotional victory against Oregon City. Shorter, the leading rusher through five games, wore a walking boot.

Bodine and Shorter were just the latest additions to a list of talented athletes sidelined with health issues. The list already included Devon Fortier (knee) and Timmy Johnson (heart).

Then the game started.

Standout junior Jace Cates left the field in the second quarter after an apparent leg injury and did not return. He tweeted the day after the game that he did not sustain any fractures or breaks and that he was scheduled to have an MRI taken on Oct. 7.

In the second half, senior lineman Craig Fobert did not return after being sidelined by what coach Mike Vaught said appeared to be a knee-related injury.

“When you have six first-team all-league-caliber guys out of the game, you can’t replace that,” said Vaught, who used crutches during the game to alleviate pain in his left Achilles tendon. “You lose a couple and you’re all right. To lose three you think you’re maybe OK. But when you have six guys in one game that aren’t playing ... you can’t blame it on the injuries, but there comes a point where you can’t lose that caliber of kids and compete at the same level.”

Senior tight end A.J. Schlatter also came out of the game midway through the fourth quarter after being tackled hard at the end of an 18-yard reception.

Schlatter did not have concussion symptoms and was able to return to action, but Lake Oswego sealed its win moments later with an interception and 57-yard touchdown run from scrimmage, both by senior Craig Hodges.

Even with all of their injuries, the Cougars trailed by just seven points early in the fourth quarter and entered the red zone on an impressive drive that began at their own 22-yard line.

But they coughed up the ball on a fumble a few feet from the goal line, and the turnover proved costly. The Lakers capitalized, taking a 28-14 lead with 7 minutes 11 seconds left on a 59-yard touchdown run by Hodges.

“We were one play away from being 21-21,” Vaught said. “The fact that we had that many guys go down and our kids still competed at such a high level — we were right there in the fourth quarter. It just didn’t happen.”

Canby didn’t help its cause in the first half, giving up several big plays. Lake Oswego scored its first touchdown on a 66-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Mitchell Verburg to senior receiver Charlie Callen early in the second quarter.

The Lakers took a 14-0 lead on a 7-yard touchdown run by senior A.J. Van Leeuwen that was set up by a 54-yard rushing gain on the previous play.

Then the Cougars manufactured a comeback. On the second play of their ensuing possession, senior Cole Thompson darted through a gap and scampered 70 yards for a touchdown with 4:48 left in the first half.

“I just broke up the middle, cut outside and Trey Bellmore had a huge block behind me,” said Thompson, who finished with a team-high 107 rushing yards on nine carries. “I didn’t even see it. Everyone told me I was about to get caught and he stepped it to knock some guy out. I just ran.”

Added Kyllo: After Cole had that run, we were all really excited. We were powering through. We had a real shot right there.”

Canby’s prospects brightened further when Schlatter forced a fumble deep in Lake Oswego territory. Senior quarterback Austin Taylor rushed for a 3-yard score two plays later, and Alejandro Sandoval converted the extra-point kick to force a 14-14 tie early in the third quarter.

But the Cougars were burned by three more big plays.

Midway through the third quarter, Verburg hit junior Will Burton in stride for a 50-yard touchdown. After Canby’s goal-line fumble, Hodges broke free for his 59-yard run. And the Lakers guaranteed their win with the interception and ensuing touchdown run by Hodges.

“They’re a good team, and we made a couple mistakes,” said senior lineman Zach Kraus, whose team will face Lakeridge on the road at 7 p.m. Oct. 10. “But we’re gonna bounce back. We have to get going against Lakeridge. We’re a tough team, and everybody wants to play, so (the injuries) give everyone else a chance. You practice hard, and that’s all you can really do.”

Vaught said having a Thursday game compounds his team’s health woes because it gives injured players less time to recover and healthy players less time to learn new roles.

“They’re totally snakebit,” he said. “They’re unlucky. But they realize they have to come back and keep practicing and try to find guys to fill in.

“We’re shuffling the cards around. We’ve gotta re-teach (schemes). It’s like going through daily doubles again — going over the depth chart, figuring out who’s gonna play where and starting to teach guys all over again. But this time you don’t have two weeks. You have three days to get a lot of guys ready.”



Lake Oswego 35, Canby 14

Oct. 4 at Lake Oswego High School

1 2 3 4 F

Canby 0 7 7 0 14

LO 0 14 7 14 0

Second quarter

LO — (11:16) Charlie Callen 66 pass from Mitchell Verberg (Ethan Agritelley kick)

LO — (5:40) A.J. Van Leeuwen 7 run (Agritelley kick)

C — (4:48) Cole Thompson 70 run (Alejandro Sandoval kick)

Third quarter

C — (9:20) Austin Taylor 3 run (Sandoval kick)

LO — (6:04) Will Burton 50 pass from Verberg (Agritelley kick)

Fourth quarter

LO — (7:11) Craig Hodges 59 run (Agritelley kick)

LO — (3:20) Hodges 57 run (Agritelley kick)

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