McNary’s Cameron Ferrando (33) breaks away from a Lake Oswego tackler after making an interception (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
It’s one thing to finish the season undefeated, but it’s a whole other thing to do it in dominating fashion.
But that’s exactly what the McNary Youth Football varsity eighth-grade team did to Lake Oswego on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 9 at Tigard High School.
The Celtics controlled the game from start to finish, beating Lake Oswego 28-6 to clinch the AFC bracket of the Tualatin Valley Football League with a 10-0 record.
“I couldn’t be more proud of all these kids. They earned it. Each player worked their butt off and they just put the pieces together all season long,” Celtics head coach Dan Burrus said.
The McNary offense was a little bit sloppy to come out the gate as they committed multiple penalties that stalled their first two drives and couldn’t take advantage of a pair of early turnovers by Lake Oswego. But the Celtics were able to tighten things up as the second quarter began.
The Celtics defense got a huge fourth down stop in Lake Oswego territory when defensive lineman Nick Henry came away with a sack to give McNary the ball back.
Facing a third-and-10, Celtics quarterback Jesse Dyer hit Gage Smedema perfectly in stride down the sideline for the touchdown to get McNary on the board.
McNary forced the Lakers third fumble of the game on the following possession, which was recovered by Cougar Bailey and taken down to the Lake Oswego 12-yard line.
Four plays later, McNary running back Pierce Walker punched it in from a yard out to give his team the 14-0 lead.
“We try to take pride in focus and attitude. We just told the the boys to calm down and get their heads back in the game,” Burrus said.
Lake Oswego responded with a 72-yard touchdown run on the following play from scrimmage to get within one score. But McNary wasn’t fazed in the slightest.
An 18-yard scramble by Dyer had 15 yards tacked on to it after a late hit from a Lake Oswego defender, which took the ball down to the Lakers 22-yard line.
Once they got the ball into the red zone, the Celtics stuck to their power run game to push the ball across the goal line. Walker wound up reaching the end zone from four yards out to put McNary on top 21-6.
“We knew that if the running backs hit the holes harder, they weren’t going to be able to stop us. It was mainly because our linemen were blocking so well.” Walker said.
Lake Oswego had a chance to score before the half, but an interception from Smedema turned the Lakers away.
Cameron Ferrando got in on the turnover action to start the third quarter, intercepting a pass for the Celtics fifth takeaway and taking it down to the Lakers 17-yard line. The next play, Ferrando got to finish the job at running back, going into the end zone untouched to put the game on ice.
McNary forced the sixth Lake Oswego turnover in the fourth quarter when Christopher Cortez got a pick with 7:39 remaining.
“They all know what their responsibilities are. When they cover and do what they’re supposed to do, that’s what our defense can look like. They were pretty dominant,” Burrus said.