Cougars fall to explosive Lake Oswego at home
Canby—The Cougars faced a stern test at home as they battled against the visiting Lake Oswego Lakers. Both teams entered the contest 2-1, but Canby would fall to the larger team 35-9 at the sound of the final horn.
From the start, the Lakers asserted themselves offensively and defensively. They kept Canby off the scoreboard in the first half, and put up their own numbers.
After forcing a four and out on Canby's opening drive, Lake Oswego began on the Canby 48 yard line and needed three plays to get the first touchdown of the night. Senior quarterback Jake Dukart would hit junior wide receiver Jordan Newlin in stride on a 28 yard pass at 9:25 of the first quarter. Following senior Jake Bazant's extra point, the Lakers were up 7-0.
After forcing yet another punt from the Canby offense, Lake Oswego took over on their own 14 yard line. The second play of the drive, sophomore running back Casey Filkins busted loose and ran 52 yards to reach the Canby 28 yard line. Following a few more plays, Filkins would punch it in on a run up the middle, scoring Lake Oswego's second touchdown.
"It was just a regular zone play, we had two tight ends and then I find the hole and go in," Filkins said of his touchdown. "I got a good block and I cut off it, and went into the end zone."
Canby would be forced to punt away on the following possession, Dukart would hit junior Matthew Sebolsky on a 65 yard pass that went up the Canby sideline. Sebolsky would have scored had it not been for Canby's Joe Henry making the tackle, but the next play, Filkins carried the ball up the middle again for a six yard touchdown run. Another good extra point put the game 21-0.
The most promising drive for Canby in that first half happened on their next offensive possession. Four plays into the drive, junior running back Tristan Ramirez would take the ball off the right side of the line and run it 39 yard to the Lake Oswego 26 yard line. Ramirez would have seven carries for 78 yards on the night. A series of run plays would put Canby on the 11 yard line where they attempted a field goal, only to have it blocked by Lake Oswego's defense.
The turnover on downs was quickly seized upon by the Lakers, who three plays later found the end zone again. Junior Lake Oswego running back Collin Bracken ran the ball up the middle 61 yards, shaking tacklers as he went to score at 3:20 of the second quarter. The extra point brought the tally to 28-0.
Lake Oswego would force one last four and out in the first half, and Dukart would connect with Newlin again for 58 yard touchdown pass to bring the Laker advantage to 35.
Coming out of that second half, Mike Vaught told his players to just have fun.
"Class act by coach Coury to pull out his stars in the second half," Vaught said. "We told our kids we were going to come out and half fun in the second half and not worry about the scoreboard. We got to play our freshmen, it was a good experience for them."
The third quarter was more of a stalemate, but Lake Oswego's defense still showed up to work. A 14 play drive that spanned 46 yards nearly resulted in a Canby touchdown. Quarterback Trent Wakefield almost finding senior Joe Henry on two occasions in the end zone, but to no avail.
Lake Oswego would carry the turnover on downs into the fourth quarter, but would fumble it away. Canby would capitalize on the turnover, with Henry running 32 yards off a sweep right to put Canby's first points on the board. Senior Shawn Elliot would score the point after, and Canby would have 7 points on the board.
"It felt great, getting away feeling those guys slip off of me, but I'm proud of the guys and how they fought," Henry said. "It was a hard fight, those guys are a lot bigger than us. We're one of the smallest teams in the league."
Lake Oswego would get a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, but a series of bad snaps would pin them on their own 10 yard line. One more bad snap would go out the back of the end zone, giving the Cougars two points on a safety.
"We had our JV guys in in the fourth quarter, and it got kind of sloppy, which it tends to do for whatever reason," Lake Oswego head coach Steve Coury said. "Our kids just have to keep getting better."
But it was too little too late for the Cougars. When the horn blew at the end of the fourth, Lake Oswego defeated Canby, 35-9.
"I think we were so much more athletic against them," Coury said about the match up, post-game. "Our athletes against theirs was kind of a mismatch. Jake Dukart played well, he got the ball out to the right guys. Casey Filkins is a special guy with the ball in his hands.
"We're just a pretty good football team," Coury added.
As for Canby, they face a tough opponent in Sherwood next week, and Vaught knows that they will have to go back to the grind.
"We'll take it as what it is, and go back and regroup," Vaught said.