Penalties dampen homecoming for Pacers
Lakeridge is all but eliminated from playoff contention following its 24-17 loss to Clackamas on Thursday. It would take wins over its next three opponents, including top-ranked Lake Oswego, plus some help from other teams for the Pacers to qualify for the postseason now.
The Pacers have dealt with some very tough losses in recent weeks and Thursday's defeat might top them all. Not only did the team fall on its homecoming but, for the second league game in a row, Lakeridge had a potentially game-winning touchdown called back by a penalty and had multiple opportunities to put itself in position to win.
Lakeridge got on the board first on a 16-yard run by quarterback Robbie Kool.
Clackamas went three-and-out on its first two possessions but pinned Lakeridge deep in its own territory and the ensuing punt was snapped out of the end zone for a safety.
The teams then traded turnovers deep in their opponent's territory before Clackamas got its first touchdown early in the second quarter to take the lead.
After Kool threw his second interception of the game, Clackamas marched down the field again and quarterback Ryan Cook hit Craig Seiler in the end zone to give the Cavaliers a 16-7 advantage.
Late in the half, Lakeridge mounted another drive, culminating in a 27-yard field goal by Nick Berardi to make it a one possession game.
Neither team could score in the third quarter as penalties and another interception stopped the Pacers while Clackamas missed a long field goal.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Lakeridge stopped Clackamas at midfield and, on fourth and short, Cam Gerson made a stellar tackle to give possession back to the Pacers.
Lakeridge moved the ball on a long pass to Billy Mitchell. Then, on fourth and six from the seven-yard line, Kool hit Erik Hillier in the end zone for an apparent touchdown that, with an extra point, would have given Lakeridge the lead.
But the play was called back by an illegal man downfield penalty and the Pacers tacked on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to make the conversion even more difficult.
Clackamas took over and score again on a run by Trevor Liske and the two-point conversion made the score 24-10.
But the Pacers weren't done.
Kool hit Mitchell for a 47-yard touchdown with 3:23 to play but failed to come up with the onside kick.
However, Lakeridge stopped Clackamas a yard short of a first down on the next possession, forcing the Cavaliers to punt.
Clackamas got the kick off but the Pacers were flagged for running into the kicker which effectively ended the game.
Lakeridge drops to 0-3 in league.