Big-play Lake Oswego tops Sherwood
SHERWOOD — It certainly was a clash of styles.
For the Sherwood High School football team, it was smash-mouth, pound-it-on-the-ground action, time and time again.
Meanwhile, Lake Oswego relied on its big-play capabilities, both on offense and defense.
Well, the big plays won out.
The Lakers, coming up with timely big plays on both sides of the ball, came away with a 27-16 win over the Bowmen in a hard-fought Three Rivers League game played Friday at Sherwood High School.
"This was a big win," said Lake Oswego senior receiver Jordan Newlin, who had 107 receiving yards in the victory. "We haven't beaten this program in four years. We talked about playing 48 minutes and beating these guys."
"This was big win, definitely for us," said Lake Oswego senior running back Alex Bassett, who rushed for a game-high 109 yards, while scoring a pair of touchdowns. "We haven't beaten them since they came into the league. We really wanted it, and we played well."
With the victory, the Lakers improved to 3-1 in TRL play (5-1 overall), putting them in a tie with West Linn for second place in the league standings.
"It's fun," Newlin said of playing in the Three Rivers League. "You play good team after good team."
With the setback, Sherwood moved to 1-3 in TRL games (2-4 overall), putting the Bowmen in a tie with Canby for sixth place in the league standings.
"We came into this game confident," said Sherwood junior running back Ben Baxter, who ran for one of the Bowmen touchdowns. "We felt like we could complete with this team. A couple of bounces didn't go our way. We played well, but it just didn't go our way."
"It went well. We just need to work on finishing," said Bowmen junior running back Jacob Reuter, who also had a touchdown run in the contest. "We just had heart. We fought the whole way. We have the talent to compete with these teams."
The Bowmen, in Friday's game, turned to their ground-control attack, rushing for 285 yards on 59 carries. Sherwood also had 75 total offensive plays in the contest, compared with 48 offensive plays for Lake Oswego.
However, the Lakers gained 433 yards in those 48 plays, and had three touchdowns that covered at least 40 yards.
"We're capable of making big plays. We can make the little plays, too," Newlin said. "We have three of the best running backs in the state, we have a great quarterback and good receivers."
"We have a lot of exceptional athletes," Bassett said. "We count on big plays every game."
The Lakers also came up with some big plays on defense, most notably, stopping Sherwood by the goal line as the first half expired.
"That was a big momentum-changer," Bassett said.
Lake Oswego, in its first offensive possession of the game, quickly moved the ball 85 yards in seven plays. Bassett finished the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run, which gave the Lakers a 7-0 lead with 7 minutes and 47 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
Sherwood, in the ensuing possession, got a 20-yard run by senior Zach Jenkins, and an 18-yard pass from senior quarterback Wyatt Zettlemoyer to Jenkins. That set up a 30-yard field goal by sophomore Kaedin Steindorf, which cut the Lake Oswego lead to 7-3 with 3:28 left in the first quarter.
It didn't take the Lakers long to answer back. Just two offensive plays later, Lake Oswego senior quarterback Jake Dukart connected with Newlin on an 84-yard touchdown pass play, upping the LO lead to 14-3 with 2:42 left in the first quarter.
"I saw it open up in the middle," Newlin said. "I caught it, and got some big blocks. I almost cramped up. I could feel it, but I got there."
While Lake Oswego struck quickly, Sherwood's next scoring drive covered 97 yards in 12 plays. Runs of 26 and 32 yards by senior Rustin Williams helped set up Reuter's six-yard touchdown run, which cut the Laker lead to 14-9 with 3:48 left before halftime.
But, again, Lake Oswego quickly answered back. This time, it was a 60-yard touchdown pass from Dukart to sophomore receiver Joe Hutson. The TD strike upped the Laker lead to 21-9 with 2:40 left to play in the second quarter.
Sherwood tried to respond before the half ended. The Bowmen moved the ball all the way to the Lake Oswego 1-yard line with just 2.5 seconds left to play in the period. But, on the final play of the half, Hutson, and a handful of his teammates, tackled Williams for a four-yard loss, keeping the Lakers' 21-9 lead intact going into halftime.
"Sherwood likes to run its misdirection," Bassett said. "You have to be disciplined."
"That was a big stop by LO at the end of the first half," Baxter said. "But it gave us a wake-up call. We had fun at halftime, and came out ready to go in the second half."
Sherwood, in a drive that started at its own 9-yard line with 2:40 to play in the third quarter, moved 91 yards in 16 plays, capping things off with Baxter's one-yard touchdown blast, which trimmed the Lake Oswego lead to 21-16 with 7:36 left in the game.
But, once again, Lake Oswego answered back — in a hurry. A 22-yard pass from Dukart to senior receiver Kameron Harvey set up Bassett's 40-yard touchdown run, which upped the margin to 27-16 with 6:26 remaining.
"I saw the hold and ran to daylight," Bassett said. "Our line did a great job. We've got some of the best blockers in the state."
The Lake Oswego defense took over from there, forcing the Bowmen to turn the ball over on downs twice in the final 4:05, wrapping up the 27-16 victory.
"That was one of the most fun games of the season," Bassett said. "It was competitive, and it was intense."
Bassett picked up his 109 rushing yards on just eight carries. Dukart completed 10 of 23 pass attempts for 292 yards. Newlin had three catches for 107 yards. Sophomore running back Casey Filkins had four receptions for 89 yards and Hutson had the one grab for 60 yards.
For the Lake Oswego defense, junior linebacker Bryson Breeze had three quarterback sacks and another tackle for a loss. Hutson had an interception. Sophomore Cooper Winn had a quarterback sack and Bassett had two tackles for losses.
For Sherwood, junior Ian Stormont rushed for a team-high 71 yards on nine carries. Jenkins had 68 yards on 14 carries, Reuter ran for 57 yards on 10 carries, Williams had 58 yards on seven carries and Baxter had 36 yards on 11 carries.
Zettlemoyer completed five of 15 passes for 76 yards. Senior Jaret Scott had two catches for 40 yards.
For the Sherwood defense, Jenkins had an interception. Senior Carsen Christensen and sophomore Nick Severson each had two tackles for losses.
"We continued to improve," Baxter said. "I think this game proves that we can play with anyone in the TRL."
"They did a good job making us put together some long drives," Reuter said. "But we did a good job running up the middle. We played good smash-mouth football."
Both teams face big tests next Friday. Lake Oswego will host West Linn and Sherwood will travel to face league-leading Tigard in games starting at 7 p.m.