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The Tigers, with a dominating defensive effort, get a 31-7 victory over the Lakers

PMG PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Lake Oswego senior receiver Joe Hutson (left) goes up for the ball against Tigard senior Max Lenzy during Friday's Three Rivers League game.All good things come to an end, and that became true in painful fashion for the Lake Oswego football team Friday, Sept. 27.

Lake Oswego saw Special District 5 foe Tigard step forward with a dominating performance last Friday, powering their way to a 31-7 victory over the defending Class 6A state champions at Tigard High School.

In the process the Lakers lost for the first time in 372 days and saw their 13-game winning streak snapped.

"It didn't go as we planned, obviously," said Lake Oswego senior running back Casey Filkins, who finished with 41 yards in total offense. "We came into it super fired up so it's a total letdown to come into this and have the result be what it is, but it's also a learning opportunity. We played Clackamas tough last year and ended up losing that game, and we ended up getting the result that we did. So we're fine when we face adversity and we're going to learn as a team."

"It didn't go the best," said Lake Oswego junior quarterback J.J. Woodin, who threw for 152 yards in the loss. "We had to battle through a lot of adversity, but there are no excuses. We're just going to watch film and get better. We're going to get better every single day and get ready for Clackamas."

With the loss, Lake Oswego moved to 1-1 in Three Rivers League play and 3-1 on the season. Tigard, meanwhile, improved to 2-0 in TRL play and 4-0 overall, putting the Tigers in a tie with Tualatin for first place in the league standings.

"I love my brothers for this. This is the greatest win of my life," said Tigard senior tight end/linebacker Andrew Carter. "It's that big, (but) we're not satisfied yet. This is just a step and we're going bigger. For right now, this is great and we're having fun."

"Oh, this is huge," said Tiger senior Max Lenzy, who had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. "We didn't get to play them last year and it was great to play them. They're a great team and this was a great team win for us."

"This is huge for us. It boosts our confidence and we're going to come together and really see what we can do as a team," said Tigard senior linebacker Kamryn Hosley, who had two of the Tigers' eight quarterback sacks in the win.

Tigard, while shining in all aspects of the game in Friday's win, seemed to step up in a big way on defense. The Tigers limited the potent Laker attack to just 164 yards of total offense in the contest, including just 14 yards in the second half.

"We all trust each other on defense," Lenzy said. "They only scored seven points and that was a great feeling."

"It was really good," Tigard senior lineman Johnny Nomani said. "We had a game plan to stop Casey Filkins. We wanted to shut down the gaps and stop the run."

"We had a great game plan by (defensive coordinator coach Shane) Kessler. That guy's a genius," Carter said. "And we came out and played hard every play. They started to break apart and we came together as a team. I've never seen a team play like that in all my years."

Tigard took a 3-0 lead Friday on a 43-yard field goal by senior Jackson Cleaver with 1 minute and 47 seconds left to play in the first quarter.

The Lakers came roaring back, though, with Woodin completing passes for 17 and 54 yards to junior receiver Malcolm Williams and moving the ball to the Tigard 5-yard line. Two plays later, Lake Oswego junior Tyler Miller powered his way into the end zone from a yard out, giving the Lakers a 7-3 lead with 11:58 left in the second quarter.

"It was a great feeling, but we have to do that a lot more," Woodin said of the touchdown drive.

It didn't take the Tigers — and Lenzy — long to answer. Lenzy returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown that gave Tigard a 10-7 lead with 11:42 left before halftime.

"There was great blocking and a great set-up by my teammates, and it was just a great return all together," Lenzy said. "It really changed the momentum of the game."

It certainly did.

The Tigers got another touchdown later in the period when junior quarterback Drew Carter connected with senior receiver Tyler Penn on a 48-yard TD pass, upping the Tigard lead to 17-7 with 2:01 left before intermission.

"I had a post and I set (the defensive back) up and hit it, and Drew Carter threw a perfect ball," Penn said. "It was awesome. It felt amazing. It was surreal."

Tigard took its 10-point lead to halftime, but there was no letdown after the break — just the opposite.

The Tigers, on the opening possession of the third quarter, put together a 78-yard, 16-play drive that was capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by senior Josh Burns.

The touchdown ended a march that took 6:38 off the clock and gave Tigard a 24-7 lead with 5:22 left in the period.

Gilbert, showing speed and elusiveness, had the final touchdown of the night, running 56 yards to the end zone, upping the margin to 31-7 with 7:06 left to play in the contest.

Soon after, Tigard was celebrating a victory over the top-ranked defending state champions.

"Of all my life, this has to be No. 1. This is the most fun we've ever had," Andrew Carter said. "I'm just blown away by how hard we played today."

"This is really big for us," Nomani said. "We came out Monday with the mentality that we needed to work our butts off. This meant a lot to us."

For their part, the Lakers knew they had to move forward, go back to work and put Friday's loss behind them.

"I think this loss will humble us and we're going to get ready to go," Woodin said. "Our line played a great game. The receivers played a good game. Everyone played a good game, but we just have to come out and get better."

"There's so much to learn from this game. I think the coaches can say that and we can say that as players," Filkins said. "We just have to get better overall. It's something that can motivate us. This whole season, people have been patting us on the back — now we have a chip on our shoulder and that can be a good thing."

For the Tigard defense, senior linebacker Cole Scott, Hosley and senior lineman Brayden Zolkoske had two quarterback sacks each, senior lineman Bryce Goetz and junior Aden Murphy each had one sack, and Goetz, Andrew Carter, Gilbert and Nomani each had a tackle for a loss.

Gilbert led the offensive attack, rushing for 156 yards on 25 carries. Burns added 44 yards on seven carries and Drew Carter ran for 25 yards on seven carries.

Drew Carter also completed 6 of 16 pass attempts for 119 yards, with Lenzy making three catches for 58 yards and Penn two for 56 yards.

For Lake Oswego, Filkins ran for 33 yards on 10 carries, while Woodin completed 8 of 20 passes for 153 yards, with Williams making three catches for 108 yards and Filkins three for 18 yards.

For the Laker defense, senior Cody Carlson and senior Hayden Hilliker each had a tackle for a loss.

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