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Skyhawks grounded by turnovers, Lincoln 24-14

Four TOs and a big performance by Lincoln QB Connor Kavanaugh send Southridge to its first defeat of the 2006 football season

BEAVERTON - The Southridge football team has big goals for 2006, and to accomplish those goals, the Skyhawks know they'll have to play some big games and beat some good teams.

Friday's non-league game against 2005 Oregon Class 4A runner-up Lincoln (2-0) was another step in that process, and while it yielded a 24-14 loss at Southridge High School, it may well have also provided some important lessons that will make the Skyhawks (2-1) better in the future.

'I thought there were two pretty good football teams on the field Friday night and I thought they both played pretty well,' said Southridge coach Brad Mastrud. 'But we made four turnovers (and) it seems like every time we did, it came at a critical part of the field.'

Lincoln took an early 7-0 lead when Kavanaugh (20-of-31 for 326 yards and two touchdowns) hit Jordan Polk from 13 yards out in the first quarter. The Cardinals then doubled their advantage when Dylan Faino picked off Skyhawk quarterback Tom Farinacci (6-of-14 for 77 yards and three interceptions) and returned it 20 yards for the score and a 14-0 halftime lead.

Lincoln then made it 21-0 on a 69-yard Kavanaugh-to-Elvis Akpla TD pass before Southridge finally made its way into the end zone. That first Skyhawk touchdown came courtesy of a 2-yard run by Kevin Coleman (21 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown), but the Cardinals added a field goal to make it 24-7 after three quarters.

The Skyhawks added another score, this on a 1-yard run by Paul Werhane, in the fourth quarter, but got no closer than 24-14.

'I thought we played great defense and I thought we ran the ball very well,' Mastrud said, referring to his team's 231 rushing yards. 'In a game like this, it's going to come down to who makes the plays and they made some big ones.'

Still, the Skyhawks could console themselves in knowing that they proved their ability against one of the state's best teams - the Cardinals are ranked second and the Skyhawks sixth - and in knowing that it was, after all, just a non-league game.

'We've scheduled some pretty good teams and we know we've got to keep it in perspective,' Mastrud said. 'We knew it after we beat Lake Oswego and it's the same now.'