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.
"We had a lot to prove. They beat us last year on a questionable call and we came ready to play," said Lake Oswego senior offensive lineman Tiger Shanks, who helped the Lakers rush for 175 yards and four touchdowns. "It was a little bit of a bounce-back game for us. We had a chip on our shoulder and we came ready to win."
"We were focused for this game. It's a big game," said Lake Oswego senior running back Casey Filkins, who finished with 144 yards rushing and three TDs on 17 carries. "They're a great team. They are tough to defend and they're physical on defense, so especially after last year and how that ended — all that drama — we just focused in and did some good things. We were expecting that."
With the win, the fourth-ranked Lakers improved to 4-1 overall (they're also 1-1 in Special District 5 play), while the Cavaliers lost for the second straight time and fell to 1-3 overall.
"They're a tough team," said Clackamas senior defensive back Owen Brusco, who had two sacks in the game for -15 yards. "They're definitely going to prepare us for next week and get us better for the rest of the season."
"We've just got to go harder in practice," added Clackamas sophomore running back Miles Williams, who ran four times for 22 yards and made two catches for another 20 yards. "We've got the talent. … It all starts in practice and we just need to talk about it and get everybody back together."
While neither team scored on their initial possession, the Lakers took off after that and took off big-time, scoring touchdowns on six of their next eight possessions to rack up a dominating 42-0 lead midway through the third quarter.
"It feels great. … This is just a result of our preparation this week," said Lake Oswego senior wide receiver/defensive back Joe Hutson, who finished with four catches for 51 yards and one touchdown. "The game plan was great. They loaded the box and we threw it out when we needed to and our quarterback, (J.J. Woodin) and our line, they held their own in there."
"We had a great week of practice," said Woodin, who went 10 of 18 passing for 143 yards and two TDs. "We were mentally locked in all week and ready to go."
After stopping Clackamas on its first series, the Lakers scored in just two plays, the first a 36-yard Woodin throw to Filkins, and the second a 30-yard Filkins run to the left side for the TD and — after the first of six straight Diyar Dezay extra points — a 7-0 lead with 7 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Then, after Filkins picked off Clackamas senior quarterback Austin Atkeson near midfield, the Lakers scored again in less than three minutes, capping their drive with a 34-yard Filkins burst up the middle to make it 14-0 with 3:36 remaining in the first quarter.
"Casey does a great job," Shanks said. "He caught fire throughout the game, just as expected, because he's that caliber of player."
"When there's nine players in the box, it's hard, but Casey made a couple of phenomenal plays, as he does," Hutson said.
After the two teams traded stops, the Lakes got their second turnover of the game when Clackamas' JeanElie Fleck fumbled away Thomas Rainey's sky-high punt and Gabe Olvera recovered for the Lakers at the Clackamas 15-yard line.
The Lakers were back in the end zone just three plays later, getting two runs by Filkins for 9 yards, then a 6-yard tackle-breaking TD run from junior Tyler Miller to make it 21-0 with 10:17 to go in the half.
Lake Oswego kept the hits coming too, forcing a three-and-out on the Cavaliers' next possession, taking over near midfield following a short punt and scoring three plays later to make it 28-0. Filkins did the honors again on third-and-three, taking a snap in the wildcat formation, running right, then cutting back left to leave the Cavs behind on a 41-yard scoring run with 8:02 to go in the half.
The Lakers weren't done either. After stopping Clackamas on three downs again, Lake Oswego marched 54 yards in eight plays for their fifth touchdown of the half, getting a 22-yard Woodin-to-Olvera completion, and six plays later, a 19-yard Woodin TD strike to Olvera on the left side for a 35-0 halftime lead.
On their side of the ball, the Cavs drove into field goal range at the edn of the half, but saw Justin Wooley miss a 23-yarder on the final play before the break.
The Lakers put the final touch on their victory at the start of the second half. First, they stopped Clackamas' first possession after one first down — Filkins recovered a Williams fumble at the Cavs' 32 — then they got an 11-yard Woodin TD pass to Hutson at the right flag to make it 42-0 with 7:08 remaining in the third quarter.
While Lake Oswego wouldn't score again, the Lakers also kept the Cavaliers off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. There, however, Atkeson capped an 80-yard drive when he hit junior wide receiver Nick Kennewell for a 4-yard TD over the left side on the first play of the final period.
Seven plays later, the Cavaliers were back in the end zone again, forcing a quick LO punt, getting a 33-yard throw from Atkeson to Richard Kennewell, then seeing Atkeson connect with Nick Kennewell for a running, over-the-shoulder catch in the left corner that made it 42-14 with 7:56 to play.
Finally, on Clackamas' final series of the night, the Cavaliers took advantage of a short-field opportunity to drive 35 yards and score again, ending with a 6-yard TD run from senior A.J. Salmon with 9 seconds left for the final 42-20 margin.
"Definitely, we can come back," Brusco said. "We've got league play coming up so we've got to work harder."
"We just need to execute, really," Williams said. "The first drive we came out strong, but a couple people weren't doing their jobs right and that really affected us."
For their part, the Lakers were glad to be back in the win column and glad to have gotten over on the Cavaliers.
"We just showed them with class and did what we did and the scoreboard does the talking," Woodin said.
For the game, Atkeson went 11 of 29 for 167 yards and two TDs with one interception. Nick Kennewell finished with five catches for 82 yards and two scores.
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