The Lakers, scoring three long-range touchdowns, get a 27-16 win in the Three Rivers League game

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Lake Oswego senior Alex Bassett runs into the end zone for the first of his two touchdowns in the win at 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 big plays on both sides of the ball, notched 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 fourth-ranked Lakers improved to 3-1 in TRL play and 5-1 overall, putting them in a tie with West Linn for second place in league. No. 25 Sherwood moved to 1-3 in TRL games and 2-4 overall, putting the Bowmen in a tie with Canby for sixth.

"We came into this game confident," said Sherwood junior running back Ben Baxter, who ran for one touchdown. "We felt like we could compete with this team. A couple of bounces didn't go our way. We played well, but it just didn't go our way."

"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."

On Friday, the Bowmen turned to their ground-control attack, rushing for 285 yards on 59 carries. Sherwood also had 75 total offensive plays compared to just 48 for Lake Oswego. However, the Lakers gained 433 yards on those 48 plays and had three touchdowns that covered at least 40 yards.PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Lake Oswego sophomore Joe Hutson is on his way to scoring on a 60-yard pass play in the Lakers' win at Sherwood.

"We're capable of making big plays (but) 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 at the goal line as the first half expired.

"That was a big momentum-changer," Bassett said.

Lake Oswego, on its first offensive series, moved the ball 85 yards in seven plays. Bassett finished the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run that gave the Lakers a 7-0 lead with 7 minutes and 47 seconds left to play in the first quarter.

Sherwood answered with 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 that 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, though. Just two plays later, Lake Oswego senior quarterback Jake Dukart connected with Newlin on an 84-yard touchdown pass that boosted 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."

While Lake Oswego struck quickly, Sherwood's next scoring drive covered 97 yards in 12 plays and took more than 10 minutes off the clock. Runs of 26 and 32 yards by senior Rustin Williams helped set up Reuter's six-yard TD run, which cut the Laker lead to 14-9 with 3:48 left before halftime.

But again, Lake Oswego answered quickly. This time, it was a 60-yard touchdown pass from Dukart to sophomore receiver Joe Hutson, the TD strike pushing the Laker lead to 21-9 with 2:40 left to play in the second quarter.

Sherwood tried to respond before the half ended, moving the ball all the way to the Lake Oswego one-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 that kept the Lakers' 21-9 lead intact.

"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, on a drive that started at its own nine-yard line with 2:40 to play in the third quarter, moved 91 yards in 16 plays and capped things off with Baxter's one-yard touchdown blast. That score trimmed the Lake Oswego lead to 21-16 with 7:36 left in the game.

But once again, Lake Oswego responded in a hurry. A 22-yard pass from Dukart to senior receiver Kameron Harvey set up Bassett's 40-yard touchdown run, which took their team's margin to 27-16 with 6:26 remaining.

"I saw the hole 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 and wrapping up the 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 passes 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 sacks and another tackle for a loss, Hutson had an interception, sophomore Cooper Winn had a 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 5 of 15 passes for 76 yards, with senior Jaret Scott making two catches for 40 yards.

For the Sherwood defense, Jenkins had an interception, and senior Carsen Christensen and sophomore Nick Severson each had two tackles for losses.

Next up, Lake Oswego will host West Linn at 7 p.m. Friday, while Sherwood will travel to face league-leading Tigard at 7 p.m. Friday.

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