Lake Oswego opens playoffs with 55-33 win over Grants Pass
It isn't easy to fly under the radar as Oregon's third-ranked team and defending state champion, but the Lake Oswego football team seems to be managing it just fine.
The Lakers, with two losses on their 2019 ledger, may not be getting quite the same attention they did a year ago, but they are alive and well in the race for the 2019 Class 6A state title.
Lake Oswego opened the Class 6A state playoffs in fine fashion on Friday, Nov. 8, racing past No. 30 Grants Pass 55-33 at Lake Oswego High School.
"It's funny," said Lake Oswego senior running back/quarterback Casey Filkins, who finished with 20 carries for 264 yards and four touchdowns. "After the game, I'm sure everyone would have told you we didn't play well and had too many mistakes, but after going back through the film, we all realized we actually played well."
"I'm happy we won, but we've got more work to do and our end goal is a championship, not a first-round win," said Lake Oswego senior wide receiver/defensive back Jonas Hunter, who picked off one pass in the win. "So we just have to keep working one game at a time."
With the win, the team's fourth straight, Lake Oswego improved to 8-2 overall after placing third in Special District 5 and advances to the second round of the state playoffs. There, the Lakers will host No. 19 West Salem (6-4 overall after placing second in the Mountain Valley Conference) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Grants Pass finished its season at 4-6 overall after finishing fourth in the Southwest Conference.
The Lakers came out strong on their home field Friday, pounding the Cavemen with two Filkins touchdowns and a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Filkins, operating behind his talented offensive line, scored his first touchdown from 13 yards out, added his second on a 39-yard burst, then hit senior wide receiver Thomas Dukart for a 37-yard TD pass.
Grants Pass answered with a 69-yard scoring strike from Chase Coyle to Joel Valadez, but trailed 21-6 at the end of the opening period.
The two teams then traded scores in the second quarter, with Lake Oswego getting a 79-yard Filkins TD run, and later, a 1-yard Filkins scoring run. The Cavemen, meanwhile, got a 7-yard Coyle TD pass to Spencer Sloan, and after LO's second score, a 99-yard Sloan kickoff return that kept Lake Oswego's lead to 35-21 at the half.
The Lakers kept pounding in the second half, getting a 6-yard touchdown run by junior running back Tyler Miller in the third quarter, and in the fourth, a 14-yard TD run by sophomore running back Gabe Olvera and a 5-yard scoring run by sophomore quarterback Jack Layne.
The Cavemen added a 5-yard Sloan TD run in the third quarter and a 7-yard Coyle throw to Dante Haven in the fourth to close out the scoring.
"I think our defense did a good job, but we were a little sloppy tackling, which we will work on," Hunter said. "Overall, I think we are playing as one group and all running to the ball much better than we were at the start of the season."
"I truly believe that Chase Coyle is the best (quarterback) we will see all year, so it was a great test for our defense," Filkins said.
For the game, Olvera added 12 carries for 157 yards and one TD, Filkins went 3 of 7 passing for 51 yards and one TD, junior quarterback J.J. Woodin hit on 3 of 10 passes for 35 yards, with senior wide receiver Joe Hutson making three catches for 37 yards and Dukart one for 37.
As a team, Lake Oswego rushed for 467 yards and finished with 551 yards in total offense.
Grants Pass' Coyle threw for 315 yards — nine to Valadez for 158 yards and one TD — and his team created 348 yards in total offense.
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