Olympia goes ‘O’ in opener

Prep football: Bears beaten, 34-0, by defending Oregon 6A champ Lake Oswego

Contributing writerSeptember 1, 2012 

OLYMPIA – Friday’s high school football game had already reached the midway point of the third quarter, and the Olympia Bears had few highlights to celebrate.

One, however, was Gabe Padukiewicz’s 47-yard punt, which came to a stop at the Lake Oswego 2-yard line.

In keeping with the theme of the night, the Lakers took possession and marched 98 yards in eight plays for a touchdown.

Although time remained, the game was all but over. Mass substitutions soon followed.

The only drama that remained was if Olympia could avoid the shutout. The Bears could not.

Lake Oswego, the defending Oregon 6A state champion, forced three turnovers, rolled up 415 yards and blanked Olympia, 34-0, in a non-league game at Ingersoll Stadium.

“That’s a great program we played tonight,” said Olympia coach Bill Beattie, whose Bears played one of the Northwest’s powerhouse programs without a handful of starters because injuries and ineligibility.

“We wanted to get the best possible opponent to gauge where we want to be as a program, and I’m not sure we could have found a better team to play.”

The Bears had won four straight and 14 out of their last 15 season openers. Their last season-opening loss came in 2007 against Tumwater, 21-14.

This one started badly. The Bears dug an early hole by fumbling the opening kickoff and throwing an interception as Lake Oswego built a 14-0 first-quarter lead.

Two plays after recovering the fumble on the opening kickoff on Olympia’s 20, Lakers quarterback Justen Ruppe scored on a 13-yard run.

The Lakers’ Jack Anderson, who finished last season with nine interceptions, displayed his knack for ball-hawking on Olympia’s next possession, picking off a Padukiewicz pass and returning it 40 yards for Lake Oswego’s second score.

“Obviously its not the start you want to see,” Beattie said. “You do that against any team, you’re going to be in trouble.”

Padukiewicz, making his first career start, completed 10 of 18 passes for 96 yards but was intercepted twice.

The Bears’ ground attack found the going equally difficult against the stingy Lakers defense, gaining just 33 yards through the first three quarters.

“This is what we wanted,” Beattie said. “This will make us a better team. We played like it was week one, but I was very pleased with how we battled out there.”

Lake Oswego pushed the lead to 20-0 at halftime, and would have had more if not by two defensive stands by the Bears.

Olympia stopped Lake Oswego on 4th-and-goal from the 10 and blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt in the closing moments of the half.

Then came the third quarter. The Lakers scored on a 2-yard run by Spencer Anderson and a capped the scoring with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Harrison Ramey to Connor Griffin.

The Lakers’ offense displayed balance, rushing for 201 yards and passing for 214.

It was the 15th straight win for Lake Oswego, which has gone 23-1 over its last 24 games. The Lakers last lost on Dec. 3, 2010 to Aloha, 21-13, in the Oregon state semifinals.

Lake Oswego captured the program’s first state title last season, capping a 14-0 season by winning the state crown in Oregon’s largest classification (6A) en route to being ranked No. 23 national by ESPN.

Olympia continues its non-league schedule with its annual Spaghetti Bowl matchup against crosstown rival Capital on Friday. The Bears edged the Cougars, 10-7, in last year’s meeting.