Tyrell Fortune and Robbie Kool combine for 296 yards rushing; Kool passes for another 134 more
LAKE OSWEGO -- Like many schools in the state, the Lakeridge football team has never had much luck against North Medford. But Friday night was a different story as the Pacers rolled to a convincing season-opening 33-17 victory over the Black Tornado.
The Pacers' explosive offense was clicking on all cylinders through the first three quarters as they jumped to a commanding 33-3 lead. Leading the way was senior quarterback Robbie Kool, who passed for 134 yards and two touchdowns and added another 118 yards on the ground, including a long touchdown run that capped the scoring for the Pacers.
Not to be outdone was senior running back Tyrell Fortune, a transfer from Parkrose who carried the ball 19 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns. The bruising 235-pound running back set the tone for the game when he ran 62 yards for a touchdown on Lakeridge's fifth play of the game. Fortune broke at least three tackles on that play, including one at the 25-yard line where the would-be tackler spun the runner around in a 360-degree circle.
That score gave the Pacers the lead for good, at 7-3, and came less than three minutes after Alex Russell kicked a 41-yard kick goal to cap a long North Medford drive to start the game.
This year's Tornado team lacks the size of many of their previous teams, and they didn't have much of a chance to stop Fortune once he got his momentum going. He finished the first half with 125 yards and then tacked on another 50 in the third quarter.
Then there was Kool, who managed to slip out of the grasp of North Medford defenders on sev-eral occasions. Three times he managed to turn almost certain sacks into sizeable gains. Then, early in the second quarter when he was forced from the pocket, Kool found Anthony Marincovich streaking down the middle of the field for a 39-yard touchdown pass. That gave Lakeridge a 14-3 lead.
Fortune pushed the lead to 20-3 with a three-yard scoring run just before the half. Kool then made it 26-3 in third quarter when he hooked up with Erik Hillier on a 17-yard scoring pass. Kool capped the Pacers' scoring when he scram-bled for a 54-yard TD on his team's next possession.
North Medford made the score respectable with two late touch-downs, the first coming on a 24-yard run by Jacob Colmenero and the second on a 20-yard pass from Skyler Mlasko to Jordan Ellis.
Mlasko finished the game 17 of 25 for 215 yards but he also threw four interceptions.