Pacers overcome turnovers, injuries to beat Milwaukie
Backup quarterback Spencer Trefzger plays pivotal role in Lakeridge's 22-20 victory
Five lost fumbles and season-ending injuries to two key players were almost too much for Lakeridge to overcome Friday night. But the hard-luck Pacers still managed to squeeze out a 22-20 victory over Milwaukie.
Lakeridge appeared to be in trouble when starting quarterback Robbie Kool suffered an apparent broken left fibula on the first play of the second quarter.
The Pacers have sputtered in the past when Kool was not in the lineup. But backup quarterback Spencer Trefzger turned in an impressive performance in relief while leading Lakeridge to a pair of touchdowns.
Trefzger was at the helm when the Pacers marched 80 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter. Running back Tyrell Fortune had 60 of those yards, including the last 18 on a run around left end. Nick Berardi's extra point gave Lakeridge the lead for good at 14-7.
The Pacers padded their lead to 22-7 when Trefzger hit Erik Hillier on an 11-yard slant pattern early in the third quarter. Lakeridge then faked the extra-point kick and had Hillier, who also serves as the holder, ran the ball in for two points.
That two-point conversion would loom large by the end of the game.
The Pacers were their own worst enemies in the second half as they fumbled the ball away five times, including twice by Fortune. The first of Fortune's lost fumbles led to a Milwaukie touchdown that was scored by quarterback Garrett Schnell on a seven-yard run. That trimmed Lakeridge's lead to 22-14 late in the third period.
Milwaukie received another gift late in the fourth quarter when the Pacers' Marcel Thibodeaux fumbled the ball away at his team's 12-yard line. Three plays later, slot back Sean Scott scored on a four-yard run to cut the Mustangs' deficit to two points with 31 seconds remaining.
Milwaukie tried to tie the game with a two-point conversion, but a run by fullback Tim Garcia was stopped well short of the goal line. Milwaukie then tried an onside kick, but that was recovered by Trefzger and the Pacers (2-3 TRL, 2-6 overall) had their second win in as many weeks.
In addition to the injury to Kool, the Pacers also loss the services of running back Travis Dunn, who suffered either a lower leg or ankle injury. They were the latest in a long line of injuries for the Pacers, who have played most of the season short-handed.