LEBANON — West Albany put together a near-complete game as Lebanon continued to struggle with mistakes.
Some game-changing offensive plays put the Bulldogs in control, and turnovers collected by the defense and special teams kept the momentum going.
Second-ranked West scored the game’s first 20 points and the defense kept ninth-ranked Lebanon out of reach as the Bulldogs came away with a 48-13 Mid-Willamette Conference football win on homecoming night at Heath Stadium.
Porter Phillips ran for 145 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and quarterback Carson Van Dyke had three receivers with 40 or more yards, including Connor Wolfe’s two touchdown catches on three receptions.
Bulldogs coach Brian Mehl said his team played another game of “complementary football” after shutting out South Albany a week earlier.
“Tonight was very good on the defensive side, special teams was solid, and on offensive we have some big, explosion plays, which was good,” Mehl said.
Passes of 36 and later 18 yards from Van Dyke to Caeden Zamora on West’s first drive set up a 35-yard touchdown catch for Wolfe. The defense got a quick stop and two plays later Phillips busted through the right side of the line and cut back to get to the end zone, finishing a 45-yard run.
Blake Bowers intercepted Lebanon’s Cole Weber at the Warrior 40 and returned it 16 yards. After a Zack Cehrs 6-yard run, Van Dyke found Cole Schaffner streaking across the middle for an 18-yard score.
Lebanon (2-3, 2-3) got back in it after a long drive, as Waylon Wolfe hauled in a 3-yard touchdown pass from Weber.
But the Warriors couldn’t keep it going.
After punts by both sides and a 17-yard Blake Bowers punt return, West (5-0, 5-0) scored again on a 12-yard from Van Dyke to Zamora, who used his height advantage to go over the top of Austin Roles and secure the ball.
Cehrs then recovered a deep, high kickoff near the Lebanon sideline as the ball bounced away from a would-be returner.
Van Dyke found the end zone four plays later on a 17-yard run to make it 34-6 at halftime.
Lebanon coach Ty Tomlin said the mistakes and turnovers were similar to what his team experience the previous two weeks in losses to Silverton and McKay.
“Those others, we were in them but made too many mistakes and let the other two teams get wins,” he said. “Tonight, you can’t let a team like that … they’re just so disciplined, so well-coached. If you give them any kind of advantage they’re going to steamroll you. That’s what they did.”
When Phillips wasn’t chewing up yards on the ground, Van Dyke and the receivers were doing it through the air.
The senior quarterback, in his second year leading the varsity, was 10-of-14 passing for 192 yards and four touchdowns. Zamora had four receptions for 92 yards, Schaffner two for 54, Connor Wolfe three for 42 and Bowers one for four.
“We’re growing and getting better. Carson Van Dyke is the man and he’s going to get the ball to me and all the other receivers,” Connor Wolfe said. That’s the great thing about West Albany, is we have a lot of backup players that can play just as well as the starters.”
Mehl said the success in the passing game started with the offensive line protecting well. The Bulldogs believed that if they could keep Van Dyke upright that there would be plays to be made.
“We wanted to get the ball down field and allow our receivers to make plays, and Carson was awesome at getting them catchable balls and our guys caught them,” Mehl said. “We have a lot of depth on this team. We knew before the season started we could play a lot of guys.”
The West defensive line kept Weber scrambling often on pass plays.
Weber was 14 of 26 for 152 with one touchdown and one interception.
Brayden Currey had four catches for 69 yards and Keith Brown seven for 46.
Lebanon found yards hard to come by on the ground. Brock Barrett had a team-high 26 yards on seven carries and Brown 19 yards on nine attempts.
Connor Wolfe caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Van Dyke to cap the Bulldogs’ first drive of the second half. Cehrs added a 2-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter, set up by a Schaffner 36-yard grab.
Lebanon had the final score of the game on a Landon Kisling 4-yard run with 2:29 left.
Next week, West Albany hosts North Salem on Thursday and Lebanon travels to Central on Friday.
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