Day by day, play by play and game by game, the Sherwood football team is showing that it's the real deal.
The Bowmen proved it again on Friday, Sept. 20, when they routed Lakeridge 50-13 on the Pacers' homecoming night at Lakeridge High School.
"It was really fun tonight doing that, and that was our main goal — to ruin their homecoming in a way," said Sherwood junior lineman Noah Culbertson, who helped the Bowmen rush for 441 yards on 37 carries Friday night. "All through our non-league season, we want to come out and play good teams and get better for league and playoffs. We just want to keep it going."
"All the analysts, only like three of them out of 15 picked us, so to come in here and get a win, and a big win by a good margin, is awesome," said Sherwood senior running back Lucas Voss, who led his team with 14 carries for 112 yards and three touchdowns.
With the win — Sherwood's third straight blowout victory — lifted the Bowmen's overall record to 3-0, while the Pacers lost for the second time in three games and fell to 1-2 overall. Lakeridge is also 0-1 in Three Rivers League play.
"We just have to execute," said Lakeridge senior kick returner/wide receiver Bryson Corbin, who led his team in return yardage in the contest. "We made too many mistakes. We shot ourselves in the foot."
"I think everyone was out there giving it their all — we just weren't doing our jobs right," added Lakeridge senior linebacker Ty Glumbik, who finished with eight tackles (including three solo stops). "Everyone was trying to do too much and we've just got to focus on our jobs and that's all it is."
Sherwood held the upper hand early on, starting its second possession after an interception by Bjorn Bergstrom at the Pacers' 34-yard line. From there, on second-and-14, Sherwood quarterback Gavin Evans threw to the right post and connected with Blake Jensen for a 23-yard touchdown. Along with the first of Kaedin Steindorf's six extra points, Sherwood led 7-0 with 4 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Then, after a Lakeridge three-and-out — which included a sack by Jensen — the Bowmen scored again with 25 seconds to go in the period, capping a short-field series when Clay Peden went around right end for a 7-yard TD run.
After another Lakeridge turnover — this one an Orion Crofut fumble at the end of a 17-yard reception from Cooper Justice — the Pacer defense stepped up to get a stop of its own. This time, Lakeridge stopped the Bowmen deep in their own end and forced a Steindorf punt from the Sherwood end zone.
While Steindorf drilled a 55-yard bomb of a kick, Corbin made an over-the-shoulder catch at his team's 45, turned back upfield and sped 44 yards to the Sherwood 11-yard line. From there, with Lakeridge backed up to the 16-yard line after a penalty, Justice scrambled to his left and rolled into the end zone to cut the Bowmen's lead to 14-7 with 7:33 to go in the half.
Sherwood responded with a 72-yard scoring drive that pushed its lead to 21-7, with Holden Gilbert picking up 23 yards on one carry and Jamison Guerra 20 on another before Voss rolled in to score from 3 yards out.
Undaunted, the Pacers came back with a 65-yard scoring drive capped by Justice's 50-yard TD down the right seam to Xander Houck. While Ben Devries' PAT was blocked by Sherwood's Bryan Cuthbertson, the Pacers trailed just 21-13 with 2:24 remaining in the half.
Lakeridge's good fortune would not last, however.
Sherwood answered with a 75-yard TD drive that took just four plays and 1:36 off the clock, the series ending when Voss went over left tackle to score from 15 yards out with 40 seconds left in the half for a 28-13 lead at the break.
"Our line was amazing tonight," Voss said. "We got five yards and then we carried them another four. All of our backs and our entire line — our offense was just clicking tonight."
"That was our goal — ground-and-pound," Culbertson said. "(The running backs) were really good. They read our blocks and our line — our first line and our second line — we all did good."
As competitive and back-and-forth as the first half had been, the second half was all Sherwood, all the time.
The Bowmen opened the third quarter with a 70-yard scoring drive that began with four straight first downs — two of those on Voss runs — and ended when Voss went up the middle for a 14-yard TD run and a 35-13 lead.
Seven seconds later, Lakeridge snapped the ball over Justice's head for a safety, and six plays after that, the Bowmen scored again on a 47-yard TD drive that ended on Brody Stevens' 2-yard run to extend their lead to 43-13.
And finally, after forcing another Lakeridge punt, Sherwood got a 35-yard TD pass from Evans to Jacob Pollock for the final 50-13 margin with 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
"When we're on, I think we're the most dominant offense and defense in the state," Corbin said. "But when we get 'off' early and start putting our heads down, we've just got to build up."
"They're a great team — props to them — but we just did not play well tonight, not disciplined," Glumbik said. "But we're going to go to practice and we're going to watch film and we are going to figure out what we need to do and we are going to be ready for West Linn."
For the game, Sherwood's Gilbert added 88 yards rushing on four carries and Stevens 85 yards on five carries. Evans finished his day at 4 of 6 passing for 84 yards with two TDs. Cuthbertson led Sherwood with eight tackles (six solo).
For Lakeridge, Jalen John ran seven times for 47 yards, Justice went 8 of 12 passing for 128 yards and one TD, with Houck catching four passes for 86 yards with one TD. Caiden Biege-Wetherbee also made eight tackles in the loss, including five solo tackles.
Next up, Sherwood hosts Central Catholic at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, while the Pacers host West Linn at 7 p.m. Friday.
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