Pacers get back to winning ways
The Lakeridge football team got back in the win column last Friday and started the process of righting the ship after getting hit hard by injuries late in the season.
The Pacers needed to snap their four-game losing streak to keep their season alive in a play-in game against Glencoe.
Lakeridge ran all over the Crimson Tide, racking up 429 yards on the ground and built a 31-0 lead before the half en route to 45-27 victory.
"The attitude and atmosphere of the team was good. We certainly needed a win and needed to play well for our own psyche," Lakeridge coach Tom Smythe said.
The Pacers got the ball to their playmakers and took the pressure off freshman quarterback Eric Dungey who had a solid game completing five passes for 61 yards and running for 70 yards and a pair of scores.
Lakeridge struck quickly, getting good field position and scoring on a 14-yard run by J.R. McLaughlin less than 40 seconds into the game.
The Pacers then recovered a fumble by Glencoe in their own territory and converted into a score on a keeper by Dungey with 8:22 left.
The Crimson Tide ran the ball effectively on the evening, picking up 232 yards of their own but, in the first half, the Pacers did a nice job containing them.
After forcing a Glencoe punt, Lakeridge drove to the goal line again but would settle for a short field goal by Nick Sotta to go up 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Pacers kept up their attack, getting a big run from Dylan Erwin to start the second quarter. Dungey would then score on another short keeper to up the score.
Glencoe appeared to get on the board on its next possession on a long pass play but the touchdown was called back because of an ineligible man downfield.
Lakeridge would then come up with another stop, getting a long run from Dungey to set up a 23-yard touchdown by Dylan Gaar, making it 31-0 just six minutes into the second period.
Glencoe would finally respond getting a 13-yard touchdown run from Ryan England who ran for 200 yards on the night.
The Crimson Tide began the second half with the ball and converted on fourth down and then third and long to make it 31-14.
Penalties hurt Lakeridge in the third quarter as the team sputtered a bit on offense but Glencoe failed to cut into the lead further.
Early in the fourth quarter Gaar broke multiple tackles for his second touchdown run of the game to all but seal the victory for Lakeridge.
Glencoe answered just a minute later with a long pass play and would score again with 3:13 to play in the game, making it 38-27 and giving the visitors a sliver of life.
"We got a little careless in the second half after we took the big lead but we're not overly concerned," Smythe said.
The Crimson Tide would then knock their onside kick attempt out of bounds and, on the first play from scrimmage, Blake Dutton broke a 49-yard touchdown run.
Dutton ran for 147 yard on the night and had four catches for 45 yards while Gaar ran for 126 yards.
With the victory Lakeridge advanced to the state tournament for the second year in a row and will travel to play Roseburg this Friday.
The Indians have a powerful running attack that the Pacers hope to slow down if they hope to advance to the round of 16.
"Their fullback is just a horse. No one expects us to win so that takes the pressure off. We'll game plan and try and do things to get us an early lead and maybe get some breaks," Smythe said.