Friday's Jesuit at Lake Oswego football game matches traditional powers
Friday's Jesuit at Lake Oswego football matchup in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state playoffs will have all that and much, much more.
The Lakers enter the game as winners of eight straight, coming off a 45-0 wipeout of No. 17 Sherwood in round two and enjoying their best season since 2012.
The Crusaders roll into Friday in equally impressive fashion, carrying a nine-game winning streak, coming off a 56-7 pounding of No. 8 Sprague in the second round and determined to get back to the state championship — a contest they last won in 2015.
So what will happen Friday? No one really knows yet — that's why they play the games — but both sides are excited about the chance that lies ahead.
"It's going to be a big game. I'm excited," said Lake Oswego senior Sam Haney, a first-team all-TRL linebacker. "We're going to play stout, be physical and see how it goes."
"We are all excited," said Laker senior Shawn Elliott, a first-team all-TRL defensive lineman and a second-teamer on offense. "For us seniors, it'll be our last time playing here at LO, it's a great team and they've got a bunch of great players so it's a great challenge for us to take on."
Likewise, the Crusaders understand the challenge that looms ahead and look forward to the opportunity it offers.
"We love being on the road. We want to go to their place and make it ours," Jesuit senior linebacker Blake Baldocchi said. "Don't get me wrong, I love playing at (home), but going on the road — there's just something about it. We like getting after it at their place."
On offense, the Lakers are led by senior quarterback Jake Dukart (6-foot-2, 185 pounds), a first-team all-TRL pick who has thrown for 2,162 yards and 22 touchdowns with five interceptions while completing 57 percent of his passes.
On the ground, Lake Oswego uses a three-headed attack led by first-team all-leaguer Casey Filkins (a 5-10, 175 sophomore who's rushed for 670 yards and nine TDs on 106 carries), honorable mention pick Alex Bassett (a 5-11, 175 senior who's rushed for 492 yards and eight scores on 55 carries) and Collin Bracken (a 6-1, 200 junior who's rushed for 338 yards and six TDs on 25 carries).
At receiver, the Lakers look to first-teamer Jordan Newlin (a 5-8, 145 senior who's made 34 catches for 672 yards and 11 touchdowns), honorable mention pick Joe Hutson (a 6-0, 155 sophomore who's made 14 catches for 349 yards and three scores) and honorable mention pick Kameron Harvey (a 6-7, 205 senior who's made 16 catches for 252 yards and five TDs).
Up front, Lake Oswego is led by first-team tackle Dawson Jaramillo (a 6-5, 310 senior Oregon commit), second-team tackle Elliott (6-3, 240), honorable mention guards Ryan Bertelsen (a 6-3, 260 junior) and Alex LeDoux (a 6-0, 216 junior), and honorable mention pick Laz Glickman (a 6-1, 210 senior) at center.
"I've seen online that they're a really good passing team," Baldocchi said. "They have good receivers, good quarterbacks and a good running back. They're the No. 1 ranked team in the state for a reason."
For Jesuit, junior quarterback Will Spitznagel (5-11, 173) is a third-team all-Metro pick who has thrown for 1,962 yards and 27 touchdowns with one interception while completing 71 percent of his passes.
At running back, Jesuit is led by Metro League Player of the Year Trey Lowe (a 5-9, 183 senior who's rushed for 1,542 yards and 24 TDs on 117 carries) and second-teamer Alex Echevarria (a 5-10, 155 senior who's rushed for 921 yards and 15 TDs on 113 carries).
At receiver, the Crusaders look again to Lowe (21 catches for 534 yards and 10 touchdowns) along with second-teamer Ennis Ferguson (a 6-1, 190 senior who's made 27 catches for 494 yards and five scores).
Up front, Jesuit is led by first-team tight end Isaiah Henderson-Brazie (a 6-2, 216 senior), first-team center Seth Monahan (a 6-2, 238 junior), first-team lineman Travis Spreen (a 6-4, 285 senior), first-team lineman Joe Quillin (a 6-3, 280 junior), second-team lineman Max Imponenti (a 6-0, 216 senior) and honorable mention tight end Matthew Eichten (a 6-2, 229 senior).
"We've got to be strong up front and not let them get to the outside," Haney said. "They've got a good running back so we've got to keep him in front of us at the line of scrimmage."
On defense, the Lakers have held their opponents to just over 12 points a game, picked off 15 passes (five players have two picks each) and recovered four opposition fumbles.
On that side of the ball, linebacker Bryson Breeze (a 5-11, 180 junior) is the TRL co-Defensive Player of the Year, joined on the all-league first team by Jaramillo and Elliott on the line, Haney and Keenan DeRaeve (a 5-10, 175 junior) at linebacker, and Matt Sebolsky (a 5-10, 165 junior) at cornerback.
Honored on the all-TRL second team this year were Bassett at linebacker and Thomas Dukart (a 6-0, 165 sophomore) at safety. Honorable mention picks included junior lineman Miles Lewis, junior lineman Mike Mercep, sophomore lineman Marshall McGuire, junior linebacker Gabe DeVille, and Bracken and Hutson at cornerback.
"We've been taking film sessions more seriously because it's win or go home. We don't have time to mess around," Baldocchi said. "We have film every day at lunch with a bunch of different coaches who bring different points of view."
Jesuit, meanwhile, has held its opponents to just under 15 points a game, picked off five passes (senior Briceton Branch and junior Josh Daul have two picks each) and recovered five opposition fumbles.
Like LO, the Crusaders' roster is littered with all-Metro picks, led by Player of the Year Henderson-Brazie, fellow first-team selections Branch (a 6-1, 174 senior) and Lowe at defensive back, and Spreen on the line.
Honored on the all-Metro second team this year was junior linebacker Zach Carr (6-2, 223), while honorable mention picks included Baldocchi (6-1, 194) at linebacker and Quillin on the line.
"They are a tough team and we are a tough team and it's going to be a tough game," Jaramillo said. "It's going to be smash mouth football. It's awesome."
— Matt Singledecker contributed to this story