Unbeaten Cavs roll with big second half performance

by: JON HOUSE - West Linn receiver Cam Schmitz tries to shake a tackle in West Linn's loss to Clackamas last week. Schmitz had the Lions' only touchdown in the game. The West Linn football team was dealt a hard dose of reality on Friday. Coming off one of the biggest and more emotional wins in the program's recent history, the Lions ran into an undefeated Clackamas team that appears to be on a mission this season and one that is playing some of the best football in the state.

West Linn held its own in the first half against the Cavaliers but were worn down later on, resulting in a 40-7 defeat.

Heading into the game, the Lions knew they had to try and shut down Clackamas tailback Dan Sherrell, one of the top backs in the state, and pack the line of scrimmage.

To some extent, West Linn succeeded, holding Sherrell to 153 yards on 26 carries, no small feat considering the numbers he has put up this season.

However, what the Lions didn't anticipate was the efficiency of Clackamas' passing game, which made the hosts pay for its commitment to stopping the run.

Clackamas combined to complete 26 of 34 passes for 342 yards and three scores.

The Cavaliers scored on their first drive, going 68 yards culminating with a 6-yard run from Sherrell. The extra point was blocked, making it 6-0.

After a stop, Clackamas then made it 14-0 early in the second quarter and the Lions were in danger of being run out of the game early.

However, a big play on defense boosted West Linn's hopes. Kevin Edwards recovered a fumble in Clackamas territory and the Lions quickly converted, getting a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hayden Coppedge to Cam Schmitz.

Clackamas responded with a bit of trickery that proved to be a momentum killer for the Lions.

After moving into scoring range, the Cavaliers resorted to a halfback pass that went for a 27-yard touchdown with just 22 seconds left in the second quarter and a two-point conversion made it 21-7.

West Linn had its opportunities to climb back in the game early in the third quarter, getting a defensive stop. But the offense struggled to find a rhythm.

The Cavaliers then broke a 66-yard touchdown pass and the Lions fumbled on the next kickoff, leading to another quick touchdown, and suddenly the lead swelled to 35-7.

Coppedge also was forced out of the game with an injury and freshman Connor Neville was brought in.

Neville completed five of seven passes in the game but the Cavaliers were adept at shutting down the big play.

Clackamas also did a nice job shoring up West Linn's running game, which has been a staple in the team's victories this year.

Louie Germain had 58 yards on 20 carries.

The Lions will now play in an important rivalry game against Oregon City on a short week. The game takes place tonight, Thursday, at 7 p.m. at Pioneer Stadium.

Both teams are 1-1 and needing a victory to stay in contention for the league title.

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