If you're a Lake Oswego football fan, what's the best thing you could ask for each week?
Obviously, another Laker win.
But the second-best thing is this — another bunch of great photos and another great story on the Lakers' latest exploits.
So below, see every Lake Oswego football story of the year and every photo to go with them.
Read on for a story-by-story, week-by-week walk through the 2018 season with the mighty Lakers.
Click on the blue hyperlinks to connect to each of the full stories.
To buy any of these photos or others not published this season, go to milesvance.smugmug.com.
The 2017 season was one for the memory books in Lake Oswego football history.
The Lakers won a share of the Three Rivers League title for the first time since 2012, reached the state semifinals for the first time since '12, took the state's top seed into the Class 6A state playoffs and finished with an 11-2 record.
But the 2018 team graduated all-leaguers at 14 spots, six of them first-teamers led by lineman Dawson Jaramillo (now a member of the University of Oregon football team) and quarterback Jake Dukart (now at Oregon State).
Despite those losses, the Lakers believe they have what it takes to battle the best again in 2018.
If you know Three Rivers League football, you know the games you just can't miss.
There's the rivalry games including Lake Oswego-Lakeridge, West Linn-Oregon City and Tigard-Tualatin.
There's the games between the league's giants — Lake Oswego vs. Tigard, Tigard vs. West Linn, West Linn vs. Lake Oswego and maybe those same teams against Lakeridge or Tualatin.
And this year, in the first year that TRL teams officially play under the banner of Special District 1, there's the games you won't get to see because of the new truncated district schedule.
Whatever the case, whether teams are playing for a TRL title or the Special District 1 crown, they're going to go at it hard, and coaches believe that Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard and Tualatin all have a chance for big things this season.
Things are going to look a little bit different in Three Rivers League football this year.
A little bit different, and different by being littler.
Based on decisions made by Class 6A athletic directors as they pursue the best formula for competitive balance, TRL football teams will only play five league games this year and next. In a year that already starts with Oregon City's return to the TRL and the exit of Newberg and Sherwood to the newly-reconstituted Pacific Conference, the shortened league season marks yet another change for 2018.
The Non-League Games
Now that's how you open a season.
The Lake Oswego football team, coming off a 2017 Three Rivers League co-championship and Class 6A state semifinal appearance, hit the ground running (and passing) on Friday, rolling past West Salem 48-21 in non-league action at Lake Oswego High School.
It didn't take long for Friday night's Oregon City-Lake Oswego football game to turn into "The Casey Filkins Show."
All the Lakers' 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior wide receiver needed was the football and a little running room.
After that, the only thing left to see was the back of his No. 9 jersey.
Filkins scored on touchdown passes of 65, 46 and 35 yards, and touchdown runs of 12 and 4 yards, leading the Lakers to a 63-17 Three Rivers League rout over the Pioneers at Lake Oswego's Cobb Field.
In one sense, Friday's Lake Oswego at Jesuit football game was just another game.
But in almost every other way, it was so much more.
The Lakers piled up a 20-0 lead, shut the Crusaders out for 39 minutes, 22 seconds and eventually posted a 20-14 win at Jesuit High School that marked Lake Oswego's second straight victory over Jesuit.
Clackamas' Richard Kennewell didn't just catch the football in the right corner of the end zone.
The Cavaliers' junior wide receiver was as far back at the end of the end zone as a player could get without being out of the end zone.
Actually, he might even have been a few inches beyond the back of the end zone.
But there is no video review in high school.
The ruling on the field was that Kennewell hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Caleb "C.J." Jordan for the go-ahead score with 22 seconds to play, putting the No. 2 Cavaliers in front in what turned out to be an improbable 49-39 non-conference win Friday over the top-ranked Lake Oswego Lakers in a battle of Class 6A heavyweights at Clackamas High School.
Coming off a disappointing 49-39 loss to defending Class 6A state champion Clackamas, Lake Oswego faced an intriguing home matchup Friday night versus Liberty, one of the newest members of the state's largest classification.
The Falcons, who expect to be in the hunt for a title in their first year in the new-look Pacific Conference, were eager to test themselves against one of the state's powerhouse programs. They got off to a promising start, too, driving the ball inside the 10-yard line on the game's opening drive.
In what was the theme of the night for the visitors, though, Liberty did not seize the opportunity, fumbling the ball away on first-and-goal.
Two plays later, the Lakers quarterback Jackson Laurent connected with Thomas Dukart on a 5-yard hitch, which the junior wide receiver turned in to an 86-yard touchdown by beating his man to the edge and racing home from there. Lake Oswego added touchdowns on its next two drives to put the Falcons deep in the hole and rolled to a 45-13 victory.
The Three Rivers League Season
The West Linn football team may have struck first on Friday, but Lake Oswego struck back — and struck back hard — the rest of the night.
The Lakers, after falling behind by a touchdown early on, ripped off four unanswered TDs and used that fast start to fuel their 41-28 win at Lake Oswego High School.
On paper, the Canby football team had its work cut out for it when it squared off with top- ranked Lake Oswego on Friday.
Canby had yet to find its way into the win column this season, while the Lakers had only stumbled once, against defending state champion Clackamas in a non-league contest.
On the field, the Cougars' fears proved well founded — the Cougars could not overcome the explosive Lake Oswego offense and dropped a 33-12 decision at Canby High School.
The Tualatin High School football team was fired up from the start.
The Timberwolves, in their game with Lake Oswego, jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and they went on to claim a 21-13 advantage at the end of the second quarter.
That put the Lakers in a position they haven't been in all season — on the losing end of the score at halftime.
They didn't like it, and they did something about it.
The motivated Lake Oswego squad came up with big plays on both sides of the ball in the second half, as it rallied to score a 28-21 win over the Timberwolves in a Three Rivers League battle played Friday at Tualatin High School.
There was a lot of scary stuff going on at Lake Oswego High School on Friday night.
First, there were a ton of high school kids in zombie costumes. Second, there was the worst weather of the fall season. And finally, there was a power outage that plunged Lake Oswego's Cobb Field into total darkness two minutes into the third quarter of the Laker-Pacer football game.
But none of those things qualified as "the scariest" item of the night. Not even close.
That honor went to Lake Oswego junior running back Casey Filkins. Filkins, running behind his talented offensive line, carried the ball 39 times for 325 yards and four touchdowns to help beat the Pacers 30-14 and secure the 2018 TRL title.
The top-ranked Lake Oswego football team was far, far from perfect in its Friday night Class 6A state playoff opener.
On the plus side of the ledger, the Lakers were also far, far, far, far from losing.
In the end, Lake Oswego shook off a slow start to blow past 32nd-ranked North Medford 42-6 at Lake Oswego High School.
Nothing can better express what the Lake Oswego football team did in its Friday win over Oregon City.
The Lakers, hosting the Pioneers in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs, dropped 49 points on Oregon City in the game's first half, then coasted home from there to win 49-14.
Week by week and game by game, the challenge gets bigger every week in the Class 6A state football playoffs.
The Lake Oswego Lakers know that as well as anyone.
The top-ranked Three Rivers League champion Lakers have already beaten 32nd-ranked North Medford 42-6 and No. 16 Oregon City 49-14, but the challenge gets bigger in this week's state quarterfinals.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Lake Oswego hosts one of the state's marquee programs — No. 8 Central Catholic — to Cobb Field with a state semifinal berth on the line.
The Central Catholic football team just kept knocking on the door Friday night at Lake Oswego.
Central Catholic had the ball with a chance to take the lead three times in the second half of their Class 6A state quarterfinal against top-ranked Lake Oswego, but the Laker "D" was not about to let this one go.
Those possessions resulted in two three-and-out possessions and a failed fake punt, results that helped lead the way to Lake Oswego's 35-24 win at Lake Oswego High School.
Everybody wants to know.
What will happen when the Lake Oswego and Jesuit football teams meet in the state semifinals on Friday?
Who will rule the day? Will it be Jackson Laurent, Casey Filkins and the 11-1 Three Rivers League-champion Lakers, or will it be Will Spitznagel, Andy Alfieri and the 11-1 Metro League-champion Crusaders?
Why not just ask who wins in the proverbial matchup between the immovable object and the irresistible force?
While those questions may not be answerable in advance, there is a lot we do know about these two talented teams. First and foremost, the Lakers and Crusaders will meet at noon Friday at Hillsboro Stadium with a berth in the Class 6A state championship on the line.
You know how it is on Black Friday.
The traffic? Terrible.
The weather? Just as bad.
And the competition for the biggest items on the wish list? Intense.
Despite all that, the Lake Oswego football team got just what it wanted, beating Jesuit 24-14 in Friday's Class 6A state semifinals at Hillsboro Stadium.
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