Oregon City pulls away in the second half with a strong ground game, dropping Lakeridge to 0-1 in league

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge quarterback Eric Dungey is upened as he tried to score during last week's game against Oregon City. He was ruled down at the one-yard line but would score on the next play. Lakeridge had a lot stacked against it as last Friday's league opener against Oregon City progressed. The Pacers were coming off an emotional game last week against Aloha that received national attention because of the offensive performances from both squads.

Lakeridge then had to turn around to prepare for an improved and physical Oregon City team that also features a strong running attack. To make matters considerably worse, Lakeridge lost one of its best all-around athletes in J.R. McLaughlin to a knee injury early in the contest.

In all, it was too much for the Pacers to overcome. Oregon City wore Lakeridge down, pounding the ball on the ground in a 59-21 victory.

Lakeridge got off to as good of a start as it possibly could have. Alex Alamida fileded the opening kick-off, found a seam and cruised down the left sideline for a touchdown.

The Pacers then recorded a stop but were stopped themselves because of a penalty and a botched snap.

Oregon City took advantage of its good field position, going 42 yards in just three plays to tie the game midway through the first quarter.

Lakeridge got a big completion from Eric Dungey to Mark Grothe but an interception stopped the team's next drive.

The Pacers' defense was solid in the first quarter, giving up rushing yardage but getting key stops when they were needed.

Late in the quarter, Dungey completed a short pass over the middle to MacLaughlin who injured his knee on the play and needed to be helped off the field.

Lakeridge kept the drive going, getting a 22-yard catch from Alamida to set up a nine-yard touchdown catch by Nick Yun to give the Pacers a 13-7 lead with 20 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

Oregon City took over and moved into scoring range on the ground, getting to the two-yard line before settling for a short field goal.

But the game started to turn midway through the second quarter. After Oregon City recorded a big sack, the Pioneers scored on a three-play drive to take their first lead of the game.

Lakeridge then fumbled the ensuing kick-off and Oregon City punched in another quick score to make it 24-13.

After another punt by the Pacers, Oregon City got more big plays on the ground and gave up a devastating 30-yard touchdown when it appeared the Pacers had the tailback wrapped up at the line of scrimmage.

However, with just 47 seconds left in the half, Lakeridge rallied for a game-saving drive.

A personal foul by Oregon City and a 27-yard catch by Rick Hiller moved Lakeridge into scoring range and Dungey scored from one-yard out and also completed a pass to Grothe for the two-point conversion to make it 31-21 at the break.

However, Oregon City made sure to regain momentum on its opening drive of the third quarter.

After nearly breaking the opening kick-off, a pair of five-yard penalties knocked the Pioneers back and into a third-and-18 situation.

Despite hardly throwing the ball all night, quarterback Jacob Tipton hit Nick Martin in the end zone for a key touchcown.

Lakeridge was then forced into a three-and-out and Oregon City took just three plays to strike again, getting a 43-yard touchdown run by Mitchell Thompson on third down to push the lead to 45-21.

Oregon City tacked on another score late in the quarter to seal the game as the Pacers simply ran out of gas.

Lakeridge will look to get back in the win column next week when it takes on Clackamas.

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