The West Linn football team is hitting its stride.
The Lions, a month after losing their 2019 season opener, came back with their fourth straight win on Friday, Oct. 4, and came back in impressive fashion, routing Sherwood 52-27 in non-league play at West Linn High School.
"Our mantra was to start fast (and) we did, up 21-0 after one and 38-7 at half," said West Linn coach Chris Miller.
With the win, West Linn improved to 4-1 on the season (the Lions are also 1-0 in Three Rivers League action), while Sherwood moved to 3-2 overall with the setback.
As to that fast start Miller mentioned, the Lions used their big-play offense and Sherwood turnovers to race out to a 35-0 lead in Friday's contest, a stretch capped by junior Gavin Haines' 42-yard run with 2 minutes and 20 seconds left to play in the second quarter.
Two of West Linn's four touchdowns prior to that came on touchdown passes from senior quarterback Ethan Coleman to senior receiver Casey Tawa, the first a 59-yard strike and the second a 32-yarder. Coleman also connected with senior tight end Mitchell Duea and junior wide receiver Clay Masters for TDs in the first half, hitting Duea from 4 yards out and connecting with Masters for a 59-yard score.
"Ethan Coleman was excellent operating the offense (and) Casey Tawa had another productive night," Miller said, also crediting the efforts of tackles Luke Popma and Zach Holmes.
Sherwood got on the scoreboard when senior Brody Stevens scored on an 8-yard run with 58.4 seconds left before halftime, but West Linn, getting a 29-yard field goal by Ben Siegel on the final play of the second quarter, took a 38-7 lead to the halftime break.
Sherwood opened the scoring in the second half, with senior quarterback Gavin Evans cashing in on a 3-yard run that made the score 38-14 with 4:58 left in the third quarter.
But West Linn responded with two more Coleman-to-Tawa touchdown passes — from 3 and 31 yards — upping the Lions' advantage to 52-14 with 10:11 left to play in the contest.
Sherwood, battling to the end, got a 2-yard touchdown run by Stevens and a 2-yard scoring run by senior Lucas Voss in the last 6:45 of the contest but no closer than the final 52-27 margin.
For West Linn, Coleman completed 21 of 29 pass attempts for 412 yards and six touchdowns. Tawa had seven receptions for 186 yards and four touchdowns, and senior Chase Fletcher four catches for 86 yards. Haines rushed for 107 yards and a score on 13 carries.
On defense, the Lions forced five turnovers, saw senior inside linebacker Treyten Burke lead the team with 13 tackles, while senior noseguard Ryan Seth had two tackles for loss, Duea finished with six tackles (two for loss), senior linebacker Cole Peters had three tackles for loss and forced a fumble, and Fletcher recorded his third interception in five games.
Despite the setback, the Bowmen rushed for 330 yards on 48 carries, with junior Clay Peden leading the rushing attack with 92 yards on 11 carries. Junior Holden Gilbert had 62 yards on eight carries and senior Jamison Guerra added 63 yards on five carries. Evans completed 5 of 11 passes for 104 yards, with Peden making two receptions for 78 yards.
On defense, Sherwood junior Bryan Cuthbertson was in on 11 total tackles, including a pair of tackles for losses.
n Friday: West Linn 52, Sherwood 27
n Notable: Senior quarterback Ethan Coleman competed 21 of 29 passes for 412 yards and six touchdowns
n Next Up: Lake Oswego at West Linn, 7 p.m. Friday
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