Steven Long's 4 touchdowns carries LO to a 47-14 win in Class 6A final
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
The long awaited state championship Lake Oswego athletes, coaches, parents, alumni and residents have sought in football finally arrived Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.
Behind a dominating offensive line, slick-footed Steven Long ran for 322 yards and four touchdowns and the Lakers held Sheldon scoreless in the second half on the way to a 47-14 win in the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Class 6A state championship game before a raucous crowd of more than 6,000 fans.
Lake Oswego broke a 14-all tie with a 35-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in the first half and overwhelmed the Irish in the second half, 30-0, for the school's first title in its 61-year history.
No other school across the state had won as many playoff games - 40 - without winning a title. Saturday, the Lakers passed that statistic off to Canby and its 36 wins.
"I'm so proud of these kids and what we've been able to do this year," said coach Steve Coury, who's guided the program for 20 years. "I'm so happy that we're finally able to bring a title home to Lake Oswego and our great fans."
"This is an amazing feeling because of all the people who support us and we get to share this with them," Long said. "There's been so many great people who've been part of this program and now we all finally have a championship."
The Lakers, who finished 14-0, ground out 349 yards on the ground on 63 carries - 42 by Long - and amassed 490 total yards.
Sheldon, which finished 13-1, got a pair of scoring runs from Conor Strahm, but couldn't match the Lakers' energy on offense or defense. The Irish suffered only their second defeat in three seasons, both to Lake Oswego.
Saturday's game was the eighth time the teams have met in the playoffs in the past 10 seasons. Lake Oswego had won four of the previous seven but hadn't won a title, while Sheldon won the state championship three times.
The teams traded scores in the first half and were tied at 14 after Strahm scored on a 1-yard plunge with 2:26 left in the second quarter. A short kick-off gave the Lakers the ball at their 37 and they marched to the Sheldon 10 in just four plays, aided by a pair of personal foul penalties at the end of the first play, a 9-yard run by Long in which he was tackle by his face mask and then hit out of bounds. Sheldon's defense held, but the 35-yard field goal by Harrison Greenberg gave the team the lead and they received the opening kick of the second half.
Long scored on the third play of the second half with a dazzling 51-yard run and the Lakers followed that up with an interception by Jordan Horak and a 48-yard scoring drive capped by a 2-yard run from quarterback Alex Matthews to take a 31-14 lead.
"At haltime we knew were going to get the ball and that first possession was huge for us," Matthews said. "When we scored, we knew we just had to keep playing like we were and finish and we'd win."