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Canby's first home state playoff win since 2013 is led by a potent ground attack and a defense that remains stingy

The first step to what the Canby High football team hopes is a deep run in the Class 5A football playoffs got off to a good start Friday night in Canby.

The Cougars dispatched visiting Lebanon by a 37-7 count, sending them into the quarterfinals against Thurston on Friday night.

"This was a big night for our program and community," head coach Jimmy Joyce said. "I hope what this team is doing brings a smile to people's faces. It was great to get our first playoff win in seven years and first home playoff win since we beat me in 2013 when I was the OC at Beaverton."

COURTESY PHOTO: SARAH OLIVER - Canby's defensive line played a big part in dominating Lebanon up front in Friday's 37-7 opening round Class 5A state playoff win.

The Cougars once again used a potent running game, key moments in the passing game and a stout defense to take control early and keep their foot on the pedal.

Quarterback Mikey Gibson had a good night on the ground, rushing for 69 yards and scoring a touchdown. Tyler Konold rushed 13 times for 103 yards and two scores, while Bryce Oliver toted the rock 16 times for 94 yards and a score.

Gibson would add a 9-of-16 passing effort for 132 yards and one score on a pass to Joe Brauckmiller.

And while the offense was running up and down the field, the defense was holding firm, getting a number of three-and-outs and keeping Lebanon's offense from finding any real footing in the game.

"Our defense played lights out and again, Joe Brauckmiller was all over the field," Joyce said. "The defense forced four fumbles on the night. Jacob Strand returned to full action this week and he was again dominant on the defensive line along with Casey and Clayton Landale, the Noss brothers and Mathew Hagen."

COURTESY PHOTO: SARAH OLIVER - Canby's defense forced four fumbles and held Lebanon's offense to very little in the 37-7 first-round state playoff win Friday night.

This win, said Joyce, is the culmination of a lot of work and effort in rekindling the spark in the Canby High football program.

"Three years ago when I got here, the goal was to end a long losing streak," Joyce said. "Because of what these young student-athletes have done, that streak is ancient history. Winning no longer is a goal, it is an expectation."

Now the Cougars turn their attention to a home date with Thursday Friday night.

Thurston, the two-time defending state champions, is unbeaten this season and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 31-2 win over Ridgeview. Much like Canby, the Colts appear to have a stingy defense, having given up six points or less in six of its eight games this season, with four shutouts.

"Thurston is the two-time defending state champs and will be a huge test," Joyce said. "We can't wait for the challenge and can't wait to get back to practice on Monday."

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