Lake Oswego football opens with 42-21 win over West Salem
The 2019 Lake Oswego football team is not the same team that won the 2018 Class 6A state championship.
But for all the change and newness that have come with this year's Lakers, they're still pretty good.
Lake Oswego proved it on Friday, Sept. 6, beating West Salem 42-21 at West Salem High School in both teams' season opener. Along the way, the Lakers got 210 rushing yards and three touchdowns from senior running back Casey Filkins — the reigning 6A Player of the Year.
With the win, the top-ranked Lakers improved to 1-0 on the season, while the Titans fell to 0-1 overall. On Friday, Sept. 13, Lake Oswego hosts No. 3-ranked Jesuit at 7 p.m.
While pleased with the victory, Lake Oswego coach Steve Coury knows that his team still has a lot of work left to do if it hopes to fly high again in 2019.
"We're a long way from where we need to be," Coury said. "But it was our first live action — we didn't have a jamboree or anything before Friday — so I knew there would be a learning curve. We've got lots of kids who haven't played on Friday nights and we're trying to replace a lot of quality kids."
The Titans started fast on Friday night, shutting the Lakers out in the first quarter and taking a 7-0 lead on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Lowery to Rian Canini.
But the Lakers roused themselves in the second quarter, outscored West Salem 14-7 in the period and tied the contest 14-14 at halftime. LO junior quarterback J.J. Woodin accounted for the first of his team's two second-period TDs when he hit senior wide receiver Joe Hutson for a 10-yard scoring pass and senior kicker Diyar Dezay added the first of his six straight extra points.
Then, following a 19-yard scoring run by West Salem's Jacob Tinseth, Filkins broke off a 72-yard TD carry to tie the Titans at halftime.
And in the third quarter, the Lakers just took over. Lake Oswego scored three unanswered touchdowns in the period, getting two more Filkins scoring runs and a Gabe Olvera score to push ahead of the Titans 35-14.
Filkins got the first two of those TDs, scoring from 54 yards, and later, from 32 yards, while Olvera — a sophomore — cashed in from two yards out.
"(Filkins) is even better, more explosive and faster than he was last year," Coury said. "He kind of carried us if one guy can carry you."
Olvera scored again to open the fourth quarter, this time on a 46-yard romp, to extend the Laker lead to 42-14. West Salem tacked on its final score — a 9-yard TD pass from Lowery to Tyler Jones — later in the period.
For the game, Filkins finished with 210 yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries. While the Laker offensive line is still finding itself — that group includes Tiger Shanks, Marshall McGuire, Cody Carlson, Niko Smith, Bailey Jaramillo, Austin Leykam and Jacob Johnstone — they certainly showed some of their potential on Friday.
"The more they play together, the better we'll be," Coury said, complimenting the leadership of Shanks and McGuire, and adding that "Tiger, with his improvement, went from being a good lineman to a very good lineman."
Woodin, in his first year with the Lakers, completed 7 of 13 passes for 75 yards with one TD and two interceptions, with Filkins catching two passes for 36 yards and Hutson three for 24. On defense, junior Malcolm Williams picked off three West Salem passes for the Lakers.
For the Titans, Jacob Tinseth carried 14 times for 70 yards and teammate Nathan Garcia rushed nine times for 51 yards. Lowery went 10 of 23 passing for 122 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions.
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