Pacer defense shines in 21-0 loss to Lions
The Lakeridge football team can probably be satisfied knowing that it put together one of its best efforts of the season last Friday in a 21-0 loss to West Linn in a game that left the Lions' coach fuming afterwards.
But the Pacers will also likely look at a few plays from that game that, had they gone the other way, could have turned the entire contest around.
In a number of aspects, Lakeridge outplayed West Linn.
They had more first downs, more total yardage, dominated the time of possession and had fewer penalties and turnovers in the contest.
Most of the time, if you win those categories, you can expect to come away with an easy victory.
But the Lions happened to take advantage of the Pacers' two biggest miscues in the game and jumped out to a very early 14-0 lead.
West Linn then held on, despite a very poor night on offense, to come away with the win.
It was an inauspicious start for the Pacers to say the least. Following a quick three-and-out, West Linn's Josh Oltman ran the ensuing punt back 57 yards for a touchdown, breaking a number of tackles along the way.
Then, with the Pacers driving to midfield on their next possession after a first down run and a 14-yard catch by Chase Wippert, Oltman picked off a short third down pass and returned it 57 yards for another score, making it 14-0 just seven minutes into the game.
To Lakeridge's credit, the team fought back admirably.
Early in the second quarter, the Pacers drove to West Linn's 30-yard line before a 47-yard field goal attempt by John Martin was blocked.
Then, after forcing and recovering the first of three West Linn fumbles in the game, the Pacers moved into the red zone on a 13-yard scramble by Swinford.
On third down, Lakeridge dropped a wide open pass in the end zone that could have changed the entire complexion of the game. West Linn then stopped Swinford's scramble on fourth and five and regained possession.
In the second half, Lakeridge continued to move the ball but couldn't mount a drive deep into West Linn territory.
Finally, aided by a personal foul penalty on fourth and long, the Pacers moved the ball again with completions from Swinford to Wippert and Zach Buehler.
But, on fourth and two, Swinford had a pass batted down that ended the drive.
West Linn then took over and marched 70 yards in six plays for a game-clinching score.
On Lakeridge's final possession, a halfback pass from Wippert to Miles Lewis went for 37 yards and Jeff Nakashima then completed a first-down pass to Myke Tavarres but the clock ran out and the Pacers were held scoreless.
The Pacers' final game of the year will be this Friday at the District Stadium against a Milwaukie team that is winless in league.