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Daunting Defense

The Imbler defense bottles up Triangle Lake quarterback Colton Wilcut during a 62-6 win in the Class 1A semifinals Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium. (NANCY CAMPBELL photo)
The Imbler defense bottles up Triangle Lake quarterback Colton Wilcut during a 62-6 win in the Class 1A semifinals Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium. (NANCY CAMPBELL photo)

Imbler dominates Triangle Lake in Class 1A semifinals 62-6 

HILLSBORO — As Kenny Rogers sang, “You need to know when to hold them, know when to fold them and know when to run.” 

He may not have intended to define the Triangle Lake football team, but the Lakers proved to be the gambler during a 62-6 loss to Imbler in the Class 1A semifinals Saturday.

“We knew they weren’t going to punt,” senior defensive lineman Cole Campbell said. “That made third and fourth down huge. We could get the offense the ball in a good position if we did our job.”

The Panthers did throughout the game, and set the tone on the opening possession. Triangle Lake ran four plays for minus 10 yards on the opening drive of the game.  

That put the Imbler offense within striking distance from the Lakers 34 yard line. 

Senior quarterback Kyle Johnson did the rest on his team’s first play from scrimmage with a little help from fullback Luke Silbernagle. 

“We knew we needed to get up on them early,” Johnson said. “So everyone was looking to capitalize and take advantage of the field position. I saw that there was only one guy on Luke in coverage playing him tight so I just tucked the ball and ran and Luke made a good block.”

That one block turned into a 34-yard touchdown run.

Four of the first six drives of the game for the Panthers started in Lakers’ territory, helping Imbler jump out to a 40-0 lead with 9:28 left to play before halftime.

“I knew that we were prepared for the game,” Imbler head coach Lee Lowe said. “Hurrying Colton (Wilcut) would be a big factor. You can’t predict what kind of field position you’re going to get though. We knew we could get ourselves into a decent position if we stopped them.”

The Lakers quarterback had a tough time dealing with the constant pressure, and the cross wind throughout the game, completing 9-of-28 passing for 120 yards.

The Panthers kept their foot on the gas pedal throughout the first half, taking a 52-0 lead, meaning for the third straight game in the playoffs the opposing team would have two things to deal with after the half. The Lakers knew they had a large hole to dig out of. But, to make matters worse, there would be a clock that only stopped for timeouts. 

Each team had three possessions in the second half, not enough for Triangle Lake to climb back into the game.  

Not with Imbler’s second unit holding the ball for 13 minutes, 57 seconds in the second half.

The Lakers did get on the board with a four play, 40 yard drive with 10:22 left in the fourth quarter.

Johnson did a good job distributing the ball around on his 10 passes attempts, completing eight passes to four different receivers. He finished with 124 yards passing with four touchdowns.

Silbernagle, Joe Griffin, Clint Porter and Rustin McDonald all caught touchdown passes.

Griffin led the Panthers’ ground game with 120 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown.

Johnson finished with seven carries for 76 yards and two touchdowns. 

Porter also broke his one carry for 30 yards and a score.

The Panthers will face Lowell in the championship game.

The Devils knocked of Camas Valley 66-44 in the other semifinal game at Cottage Grove High School. 

Kickoff for the championship game is 2:15 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium Saturday.

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