Lake Oswego Football: The Year in Review
The 2019 Lake Oswego football team has seen highs and lows that are almost hard to believe.
From incredible wins over Jesuit, West Linn and Lakeridge, to painful one-sided losses to Tigard and Tualatin, the Lakers have just about seen it all.
But through it all, Lake Oswego is still alive and still playing for a shot at a second straight Class 6A state championship.
To look back on the Lakers' wild 2019 ride, just click on any of the hyperlinks below.
To see info about Lakeridge's Year in Review, click here.
There's no other way to say it — the Lake Oswego football team just about did it all in 2018.
The Lakers rolled to the Special District 5 title with an unbeaten record. They kept the heat on in the playoffs and won their first Class 6A state title since 2011. And they came within one controversial late-September contest of going unbeaten for the year.
While everyone knows that Lake Oswego would like to do that all over again in 2019, they also know that the Lakers graduated players who earned first-team all-Three Rivers League honors at seven spots and all-league honors at 16 total.
There's no doubt about it — Special District 5 was the state's best high school football league in 2018.
In addition to Lake Oswego's Class 6A state championship win — the Lakers beat Sheldon 34-27 at Hillsboro Stadium — West Linn and Tigard both reached the state quarterfinals, while Lakeridge and Oregon City also won first-round games.
In 2019, Special District 5 — traditionally known as the Three Rivers League — might be even better.
While no one knows if there's another state champion lurking among the district's seven teams this year, the first statewide coaches poll for 2019 lists five SD5 teams among the state's top 10. That group is led by top-ranked Lake Oswego and also includes No. 5 West Linn, Tualatin and Tigard tied at No. 6, and Lakeridge at No. 10.
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.
Is there much more you could ask from a high school football game?
Ask anyone who watched Lake Oswego's 44-41 win over Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 13, at Lake Oswego High School and they would answer with a resounding "No."
The game, between two of Oregon's preeminent high school football programs — the top-ranked Lakers and No. 3 Crusaders — included huge momentum swings, huge offensive plays, huge turnovers and resulted in a huge win for Lake Oswego.
The 2019 Lake Oswego football team isn't where it wants to be.
But the Lakers are making believers of their opponents, nonetheless.
Lake Oswego made another believer on Friday, Sept. 20, when it won its third straight game by hammering Oregon City 35-15 at Pioneer Stadium. In the process, the Lakers — top-ranked in both the Class 6A coaches poll and OSAA power rankings — improved to 1-0 in Three Rivers League play and 3-0 overall.
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.
The Lake Oswego football team was ready.
The defending state-champion Lakers were coming off a painful defeat to Tigard a week before that snapped their 13-game winning streak, knocked them out of the state's No. 1 ranking and threatened their hopes of winning the 2019 Special District 5 title.
Further, Lake Oswego's Friday, Oct. 4, game featured visiting Clackamas — the last team to beat them before the Tigers and the only team to leave a blot on their 2018 championship-season schedule.
Oh yeah, it was LO's homecoming night, too.
With all that as pretext, the Lakers piled up a 42-point lead after three quarters and rode that dominating effort to a 42-20 victory at Lake Oswego High School.
There's no better way to describe the Lake Oswego football team's 20-17 win over West Linn at West Linn High School on Friday, Oct. 11.
The Lakers, trailing the Lions by three points when they took control of the ball at their own 20-yard line with 2 minutes, 58 seconds left to play, just simply refused to lose.
They drove the length of the field, and then — facing a fourth-and-goal with no timeouts remaining — saw senior running back Casey
Filkins barrel two yards over the right side, tumble into the end zone and score to beat the Lions 20-17 on the night's final play.
The Lake Oswego football team found the accelerator early on, stomped it down and held it there until Canby went away.
The second-ranked Lakers, playing a Special District 5 game on Friday, Oct. 18, at Canby High School, racked up a six-touchdown lead after three quarters against the Cougars and coasted home from there to win 41-7.
This is why they play the games.
A week ago, the second-ranked Tualatin football team had been taken apart on its own home field, while at the same time, Lake Oswego had rolled to its third straight win and ascended to the No. 2 ranking in the state.
On Friday, Oct. 25, the two teams traded roles, with the Timberwolves stepping up to smack the Lakers 35-8 on their home field, with Tualatin racking up 380 yards in total offense while holding Lake Oswego to just 220.
It was the immovable object vs. the irresistible force.
It was Lake Oswego vs. Lakeridge.
And it was LO senior running back Casey Filkins vs. Pacer senior running back Jalen John.
In the end, it was Filkins and the Lakers who got their way, breaking open a three-point game by outscoring Lakeridge by three touchdowns over the game's final 2+ quarters to win 41-17 in the annual Battle of the Lake at Lakeridge High School on Friday, Nov. 1.
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 the playoffs.
There are going to be challenges.
And the Lake Oswego football team definitely got that on Friday, Nov. 15.
The Lakers, hosting West Salem in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs, fell behind the Titans by two touchdowns early in the third quarter, but outscored them by 18 points the rest of the way to win 42-31 at Lake Oswego High School.
It just doesn't get any better than this.
If you love high school football, then you've got to be excited about the Lakeridge vs. Lake Oswego matchup coming up in the Class 6A state quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 22.
The game — set for 7 p.m. Friday at Lake Oswego High School — has pretty much everything going for it.
• It's a battle between two longtime, crosstown rivals.
• It's a game that features two of the state's best running backs — Stanford-bound Lake Oswego senior Casey Filkins and Arizona-bound Lakeridge senior Jalen John.
• It's a David vs. Goliath matchup that features No. 22 Lakeridge — a team that lost its former head coach just three weeks before the start of the season and went 3-6 before the playoffs — vs. third-ranked defending state champion Lake Oswego, one of the state's premier programs.
• And finally, it's a contest that rewards the winner with a coveted state semifinal berth and the chance to keep their state-title hopes alive.
Lake Oswego senior Casey Filkins has been an all-leaguer.
The Lakers' star running back has also been an all-stater and the Oregon Player of the Year.
But Filkins laid claim to another title on Monday, Nov. 18 — All-American.
Filkins, the reigning Oregon Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year, is the only Oregon athlete selected to play in the 2020 All-American Bowl, an annual East vs. West matchup of the nation's top 100 high school football players. The game will be held Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and will be nationally televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. ET.
Neither team was going to quit.
Neither team was going to stop making big plays.
In the end, the Lake Oswego football team used a stellar second-half defensive performance and another big day from senior running back Casey Filkins to outlast Lakeridge 24-21 in the Class 6A state quarterfinals at Lake Oswego High School on Friday, Nov. 22.
The dream is alive for the Lake Oswego football team.
But keeping that dream alive for another week may be tougher than ever before.
The Lakers, the reigning Class 6A state champions, won their third straight berth to the Class 6A state semifinals by beating crosstown rival Lakeridge 24-21 on Friday, Nov. 22, at Lake Oswego High School.
Their reward? Another matchup against talented Special District 2 champion Jesuit in the semis, that game set for 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at Hillsboro Stadium.
Unlikely? Oh yeah.
Unbelievable? Well, most of the people who saw it first-hand still don't believe it.
"It," in this case was the Lake Oswego football team's come-from-behind 28-21 win over Jesuit in the Class 6A state semifinals at Hillsboro Stadium on Friday, Nov. 29.
The challenge has never been greater.
The opponent has never been tougher.
And the prize has never been bigger as the Lake Oswego football team prepares to face Central Catholic in the Class 6A state football championship.
The third-ranked Lakers (11-2 overall and winners of five straight games after finishing tied for second place in Special District 5) will face the No. 4 Rams (11-2 overall and winners of eight straight after winning Special District 4) at noon, Saturday, Dec. 7, at Hillsboro Stadium.
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