LaCoste runs for 210 yards and W. Albany wins 5A state title


Anthony LaCoste ran for 210 yards, Reese Miller passed for 151, and West Albany cruised to a 34-7 win over Glencoe in the OSAA 5A state final Saturday, capturing the first football title in school history.

The top-ranked Bulldogs finished an undefeated season and earned the championship that eluded them in a 17-14 triple-overtime loss to Corvallis in the finals last year.

West Albany, of the Mid-Willamette Conference, cruised through the regular-season and playoffs, drilling Hermiston, Crater and Mountain View en route to the championship game.

David Puckett ran for 107 yards in the first half and Glencoe led 7-3 at halftime, but Puckett, who has run for 2,854 yards this season, suffered cramping and gained just four yards in the second half.

The Bulldogs (14-0) rolled up 31 unanswered points, scoring three times in the third quarter and twice in the fourth. West Albany was outscoring opponents by an average of 38.3 points entering the game.

With its power-I formation, Glencoe gained 219 yards on the ground and chewed up clock effectively in the second half. But after West Albany retook the lead, the Crimson Tide had didn't have the offense to counter, especially with Puckett on the bench.

Miller attempted just five passes, but he completed four and they were big plays. One floater that Elliott O'Bryan ran under and caught went 70 yards for a touchdown that gave the lead back and 10-7. Miller also connected with Will Murphy for two receptions of 38 yards, and a five-yard TD pass to Scot Foss.

Kyle Hogan ran for 103 yards and AJ Burke passed for 122 yards for No. 4 Glencoe (11-3). The Crimson Tide, of the Northwest Oregon Conference, beat Churchill, Ashland and Bend in the playoffs.

Down 20-7 with 10:45 left in the game, the Crimson Tide had a chance to rally. But on third-and-10 from West Albany 29, Burke's pass went through Matt Valley's hands to a waiting Miller, in on defense, for an interception. That led to a seven-play drive capped by Foss's touchdown catch for West Albany.

Glencoe drove down to the West Albany 9 on the next possession but Burke threw another pick, this time to Neil Crook.

Earlier in the day, Marist defeated Sisters for the 4A title.

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