PENDLETON - Lake Oswego advanced to the quarterfinals of the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires 4A football playoffs with a 21-2 victory over Pendleton Friday.

Pendleton's season ended the same way it began, with a loss at home to the Lakers. Both teams had improved since their first meeting, but Lake Oswego advanced by dominating the line of scrimmage.

The Buckaroos (6-5) were able to total only 89 yards of offense and scored on a fourth quarter safety on a bad punt snap.

"They've gotten better," Laker coach Steve Coury said. "Those guys did a great job of coaching. They are a better team for sure than they were nine weeks ago."

The Buck defense stood strong on the first drive and forced a punt after the Lakers (9-2) opened the game on the Pendleton 49 yard line. Safety Brian Nooy nearly picked off a third down pass from Laker QB Mike Stutes.

A pair of dropped passes stalled Pendleton's first drive of the night, but again the Buck defense forced a Laker punt on their second possession. From their own 20, Pendleton began their second drive but a penalty set them back. On third-and-18, Nooy connected with Drew Van Cleave, but he fumbled the ball on the 20, setting up a 2-yard Billy Anderson touchdown run three plays later.

A Pendleton sack and a Stutes fumble gave the ball back to Pendleton in the second quarter on the 32 but the Bucks turned the ball over on downs after just four plays.

"I think we were maybe overpowered some. Our execution wasn't there tonight, but they are a very good football team and I've got to hand it to them," Pendleton coach Brice Gundlach said.

"Our kids played their hearts out. They played their best and I'm really proud of them for that."

The Lakers took a 14-0 lead into the half after a 22-yard touchdown by Anderson, who had 152 yards on 31 carries in the game.

A pitch from Stutes to Kyle Waletich, who threw a 29-yard touchdown strike to Michael Breuer, accounted for the final Laker score.

Chase Berry, who ran wild last week in a 27-21 win over Wilson, had a season low 39 yards on 11 carries against Lake Oswego.

"Our defense played extremely well," Coury said. "We had a great plan to stop them and kind of had things pretty pegged."

Coury said that the Lakers can improve. "I think we're doing the right things. We are peaking at the right time. I think that we are a pretty darn good football team."

"I think we had some opportunities to get things done, but it didn't happen that way tonight," Gundlach said.

"I think our guys showed that we came a long ways. It was a bit of a roller coaster of a year and I'm just really proud of my coaching staff and these kids. It took us a while to gel together as a staff and to get the kids headed in the right direction.

"I really feel that we accomplished a lot this season and our kids hung in there tough and worked their tails off. I'm just really proud that they turned it into a positive season."

Sports editor Christopher Halsey can be reached at 1-800-522-0255 (ext. 1-223) or by e-mail at chalsey@eastoregonian.com.

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