Canby drops last home game to West Linn 49-7
It certainly was not the way Canby wanted to end their last home game of the season. In welcoming the visiting West Linn Lions, the Cougars looked to end a five game losing streak. West Linn had other ideas. The Cougars were defeated 49-7 on senior night.
West Linn received the ball to start the game, and put themselves to work. In 27 seconds, they put the first points up on the board courtesy of a 13 yard senior Tyler Good touchdown run.
After a 10 play drive from Canby that petered out at their own 39-yard line, West Linn took over after the Cougars punted it away. It wouldn't take much longer on their second possession for the visiting team to score. Junior quarterback Ethan Long connected with sophomore wide receiver Casey Tawa on a 19 yard pass to get the second touchdown of the night. Senior kicker Hunter Scott put his second point after between the uprights. Scott would make all seven of his point after attempts.
Canby's next two drives were disastrous. After a three and out, junior punter Tyler Kellar would have his punt blocked from the 11-yard line, and recovered by the Lions defense on the 14-yard line. The ensuing West Linn play saw Long run it in at 2:34 of the first quarter. The score was 21-0 for the Lions.
"It always feels good to dominate like that," Long said. "When we do things right, we execute well and dominate like that. But I think we need to clean up a lot still, there was a lot of sloppy things that we did, me especially. I had a lot of good pickups by our linemen, and our receivers did a phenomenal job, so did our backs. It always feel good to get a good win."
Canby got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff only to fumble it away on their 35-yard line two plays later. West Linn slowly inched their way towards the Cougars goal line, and at 11:39 of the second quarter, they found their way in. Long hit senior wide receiver Qawi Ntsasa on a three yard touchdown pass to put the Lions up by four touchdowns.
"It feels natural with me and Ethan back there," Ntsasa said. "I think we have a good connection, and I feel like I'm his go to guy."
The Cougars struggled to generate any offense on their next drive, only making it as far as their own 40 yard line before being forced to punt it away on a fourth and four. West Linn made the most of it, taking the ball 77 yards downfield to score their fifth touchdown. The final play of the drive was a Long pass to Ntsasa from 33 yards out at 4:02 of the second quarter.
Canby would start to find their rhythm offensively on their next drive, picking up three first downs before sputtering on the West Linn 31-yard line and ultimately turning the ball over on downs. With the clock winding down on the half, the Lions moved the ball into Canby territory and as the scoreboard read zeros, Long connected with Ntsasa for his third touchdown of the half. Heading out of the first 24 minutes of play, it was 0-42 for the visiting team.
To start the second half, the Cougars came out and put together a lengthy drive that consumed much of the third quarter. They moved the ball from their own 32-yard line on the strength of a variety of running backs, including senior Jacob Huggins, junior Tristan Ramirez, and junior Steven Dale. Quarterback Trent Wakefield was four for five on the drive, and ran the ball himself. Ultimately, at 3:39 of the third quarter, a determined Huggins pounded his way into the end zone from eight yards out, giving Canby its first score of the night.
"Once I turned and saw the whole created by my linemen, I thought, 'Okay, this is it, now or never,'" Huggins said. "So I ran in as hard as I could, hit the guy as hard as I could, and reached the ball over. I did not want a shutout tonight."
West Linn would have an answer a little over a minute and three plays later. Long connected Tawa for a second time and to score from the Canby eight yard line. The score was 7-49 at 2:12 of the third quarter.
Canby would have some offensive moments in the fourth quarter, driving the ball 49 yards down the field thanks to Ramirez heavy run game.
"I don't really mind it because I've been running the ball for a long time now, and so I'm used to it," Ramirez said. "It doesn't really put that much pressure on me."
However, they would fail to get into the end zone on fourth and goal, and turn the ball over on downs.
At the final buzzer, Canby was defeated 7-49. The Cougars drop to 1-6 in Three Rivers League play, 2-7 overall. West Linn improves to 4-2 in the TRL, and 6-2 overall.