Five turnovers hinder West Linn in tough loss on the road

The West Linn football team continued its slow start out of the gate this fall, dropping a mistake-riddled decision in Grants Pass 44-30 last week.

The Lions fumbled six times and lost four of those loose balls, gave up a safety and had an interception but still stayed within striking distance until midway through the fourth quarter.

For the second straight game, West Linn was one-dimensional on offense, struggling to establish a consistent running game. Louie Germaine handled the load again, taking 20 carries for 74 yards but sacks and bad snaps meant the Lions had just 21 net yards on the ground.

Meanwhile, Grants Pass made its living running the football. Zachary Hannan plowed for 187 yards in the game on 12 carries and the home team racked up more than 300 yards rushing.

The Lions were effective against the pass, giving up just 131 yards and picking off three passes. Kevin Edwards, Kurt Moon and Cody Coppedge tallied the interceptions.

West Linn fell behind quickly, giving up a pair of first-quarter touchdowns two minutes apart.

But the Lions rallied to start the second quarter. Germaine punched in a score from 1 yard out and a two-point conversion from Braden Vogt to Moon made it 14-8.

That momentum would be short-lived, however. Just one minute later, Hannan broke a 66-yard run to make it a two-score game again and, on West Linn's next possession, Grants Pass picked off a pass and returned it 50 yards to make it 29-8.

The Lions rallied to stay in the game, getting another touchdown burst from Germaine but Grants Pass tacked on a pair of field goals to close the half with a 35-15 lead.

The halftime score could have been worse for the Lions if not for a pair of stops in the red zone to hold Grants Pass to field goals.

West Linn continued to have success through the air in the second half. Quarterback Hayden Coppedge threw for 327 yards, but the Lions continued to hurt themselves.

After giving up a safety, West Linn got on the board again on the first play of the fourth quarter with Coppedge connecting with Vogt for an 8-yard strike.

That drew the Lions within two touchdowns again but they could never get any closer.

Grants Pass notched the clinching score with 2:18 to play on a short run.

West Linn responded by marching down the field, culminating with a 16-yard pass from Coppege to Chance Mazzia. Vogt then caught a two-point conversion to cap the scoring for the Lions.

West Linn will travel again this week, taking on Barlow who are 1-1 with a win over Westview and a loss to Sunset.

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