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Pioneers break TRL losing streak with win over Lakeridge

Pacers out-gain Oregon City, but turnovers end up spelling the difference in Pioneers' 13-6 victory

LAKE OSWEGO - The Oregon City football team registered its first victory in the Three Rivers League in more than a year with a 13-6 win over Lakeridge on Friday.

The Pioneers (1-0 TRL, 2-2 overall) had to overcome a weak first half in which they amassed just 63 yard in total offense. But the second half was a different story as Oregon City's running game came to life and wound up taking control of the game.

After a scoreless first half, Oregon City got the game's first touchdown when Justin Gates broke a run off right tackle and sprinted 63 yards for a touchdown. A failed extra-point attempt left the Pioneers with a 6-0 lead midway through the third quarter.

Lakeridge (0-1, 1-2) answered quickly, though. On the Pacers' next play, running back Tyrell Fortune bolted through the middle of the line for a 39-yard gain. On the next play, Lakeridge quarter-back Robbie Kool hit Erik Hillier for a 34-yard touchdown pass. But the Pacers also missed their extra-point attempt, leaving the score tied at 6-6.

Oregon City then put together a 77-yard drive that chewed almost six minutes on the clock. Gates started the drive with a 17-yard run and running mate Mitch Wagner followed on the next play with a 13-yard scamper. Ten plays later, Wagner scored on a one-yard plunge into the end zone. This time, Tyler Ferguson connected on his extra-point try and Oregon City had the lead for at 13-6.

The Pacers seemed to be their own worst enemy in the game. They turned the ball over four times, including their first three possessions of the second half. Plus, on their first drive of the contest, the Pacers moved the ball to the Oregon City 1-yard line, but they couldn't get into the end zone and wound up turning the ball over on downs.

The Pacers also had a number of dropped passes in the first half as backup quarterback Spencer Trefzger completed just 3 of 10 attempts for 14 yards during the first two periods. For the second half, Lakeridge turned to Kool, who was nursing a pulled hamstring muscle and was expected to sit out of Friday's game. Despite the injury, Kool was able to complete 6 of 13 passes for 129 yards.

The final outcome was sealed when Kool threw an ill-advised shovel pass that was intercepted by Oregon City's Derek Haak with approximately one minute left in the game.

The Pacers had a 297 to 229 ad-vantage in total yards, but it hardly mattered as the Pioneers picked up the crucial yards on the ground when they needed them. Gates finished the game with 111 yards on 12 carries. Wagner added 94 yards on 25 rushes.

Fortune was Lakeridge's leading ball carrier with 77 yards on 13 attempts.