Injured Zito leads West Linn to victory over Pacers
The quarterback may have cracked his fibula in first half, doctors said
LAKE OSWEGO - Mychal Zito passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns, and did much of it with a severely injured leg, as West Linn rallied for a 21-14 victory over Lakeridge on Friday.
West Linn's team doctors believe Zito injured the leg during the first half, which ended with Lakeridge holding a 14-7 lead. In that half, Zito was 6 of 12 for 112 yards, which included a 70-yard scoring toss to Justin Monahan on the second play of the second quarter.
That put West Linn (4-0) ahead 7-0. Lakeridge tied the game on its next possession, thanks to the running of tailback Zach Young and quarterback Robbie Kool. Kool finished the drive with a 27-yard scoring run on an option keeper.
A minute before halftime, Lakeridge struck again when Kool found Taylor Young cutting across the end zone for a 5-yard scoring toss, which gave the Pacers (3-1) a 14-7 lead.
After a rousing halftime talk by coach Ron Chappell, West Linn came alive in the second half. The turnaround started with the Lions' first possession of the third quarter when Zito hit running back Josh Oltman for a 63-yard touchdown pass. But Lakeridge held onto a 14-13 lead when the Lions' Robert Truax had his extra-point attempt deflected. The Lions then took the lead for good three minutes into the final period when Kyle Quinn scored on a two-yard run.
After being limited to just 26 yards in the first half, Quinn ran for 90 in the second half, including 30 on the go-ahead scoring drive.
Lakeridge seemed destined to tie the game on its next possession, but that attempt was thwarted when West Linn's Josh Thurston intercepted a long pass at the Lions' 2.
The Lions's defense then had to make one more stand in the final minute. Without the help of a timeout, the Pacers moved the ball 50 yards (to the West Linn 6) in five plays. After an incomplete pass into the end zone, only 1.6 seconds remained in the game.
Everyone was expecting Lakeridge to pass on the final play, but the Pacers opted instead for a pitch-out to Zach Young. He never managed to get around the corner, though, and was gang tackled as time expired. After the game, Zito was taken to a nearby hospital for X-rays. Chappell said team doctors believe Zito either cracked or broke the fibula, the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg. Despite the injury, which left him noticeably hobbled, Zito still completed 12 of 20 passes.