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Canby roughs up Pacers, sets up play-in vs. Glencoe

by: VERN UYETAKE Lakeridge’s Brandon Loiler tries to escape a tackle in last week’s loss to Canby.

It was a trial by fire to say the least for Lakeridge and freshman quarterback Eric Dungey on Friday against Canby.

The Pacers were taking on one of the best defensive lines and rushing attacks in the league and, offensively, Dungey was helming a precision offense for the first time in the midst of extremely wet and windy conditions that lasted all four quarters.

The result was a dominating performance by the Cougars who hounded Dungey in the backfield and put up 431 yards with a relentless ground attack in a 41-0 win that relegated Lakeridge to fifth place in the Three Rivers League.

Canby scored on its first three possessions and, in that time, the Pacers could only rack up one first down.

Lakeridge struggled to put together a ground attack against Canby's big defensive line, forcing Dungey to throw early and often in less than ideal conditions.

The Cougars didn't help matters either by bringing pressure on nearly every play, racking up sacks in the first half.

For most of the opening half the Pacers looked like it just needed a spark to find a rhythm that would propel them going forward at least on offense.

But, each time Lakeridge got something going in its favor, Canby would buckle down on defense.

Trailing 20-0, Blake Dutton broke a huge return.

On a bouncing kick-off that was nearly recovered by the Cougars, Dutton picked up the ball and reversed the field before eventually being tackled at Canby's 31-yard line.

But a drop on third-and-two and another incompletion gave the ball back to Canby.

Later on, Lakeridge got a 27-yard completion to Spencer Russell on a ball that was deflected. But a sack two plays later put an ended to the drive.

Canby would close out the half by marching 98 yards, all on the ground and punched in another touchdown with 22 seconds remaining to make it 27-0.

The Cougars scored early in the third quarter as well as the Pacers continued to struggle moving the ball.

For the game, Canby had 17 players get carries and only attempted six passes.

Lakeridge finishes the regular season at 5-4 but was just 1-4 in league.

The Pacers will host a play-in game like they did last year with a berth in the 32-team state tournament on the line.

Lakeridge will play Glencoe at home on Friday. The Crimson Tide were 2-7 this year out of the Pacific Conference.