The Pacers shut out the Cardinals in the first half and hold on for the victory

The Lakeridge football team picked up a much-needed victory last week and did it in impressive fashion, keeping Lincoln winless this year with a 56-30 home win.

The game was expected to be a high-scoring affair featuring a pair of dangerous offenses but it took until the second half for those predictions to pan out. The first half was actually ruled by Lakeridge’s defense which pitched a shutout through two quarters and allowed the Pacers to build a 21-0 lead.

Lakeridge got on the board less than two minutes into the contest when Eric Dungey connected with Mark Grothe for a 74-yard touchdown. After another stop by the Pacers, Dungey moved Lakeridge down the field again and ended the drive with a six-yard keeper for a touchdown to make it 14-0 just four minutes into the contest.

Lincoln predominantly attacked Lakeridge through the air and the Pacer defense was ready for it. The Cardinals only ran for 102 yards in the game, 55 of which came on one play in the second half.

“I think we surprised them a little bit with what we were trying to do. We’ve gotten a little better defensively. We’re still not where we need to be but we did a nice job in the first half,” coach Tom Smythe said.

Lakeridge had a chance to put the game away in the first half but failed to convert on a few scoring opportunities. The Pacers would cash in again late in the second half, getting a 33-yard pass from Dungey to Madison Pihl and Lakeridge was firmly in command heading into the locker room.

Lakeridge entered the game with a mission to feature a more balanced attack on offense. That meant making a concerted effort to run the ball more and that strategy paid off.

“We know we need to be more balanced. We need to make people defend the run game,” Smythe said.

Dungey hurt Lincoln with his legs, picking up 134 yards on a whopping 30 carries. But the breakout performance of the night belonged to Nick Yun.

Yun torched Lincoln with multiple big runs, racking up 206 yards on the ground on just 13 carries.

When Lincoln got on the board early in the third quarter it was Yun who provided a quick answer.

He fielded the ensuing kickoff at the six-yard line and took it back for a momentum-killing touchdown to make it 28-7. Yun would also lead Lakeridge in receptions for the game, catching nine balls for 97 yards.

“Nick’s a very good little player. We realized that we hadn’t been utilizing him as much as we should have been in the past few games,” Smythe said.

Lakeridge would build its biggest lead of the game on a four-yard touchdown run from Grothe midway through the third quarter.

The teams would then go on to trade touchdowns as Lincoln started to find its groove, particularly through the air.

“The second half was a bit of a track meet. Their quarterback is very good and they did a nice job figuring us out,” Smythe said.

Grothe and Yun would each score three touchdowns in the game. Grothe hauled in another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and Yun had a pair of touchdown runs, his final going for 46 yards with five minutes to play in the game.

In total, Lakeridge racked up more than 600 yards of offense and never let Lincoln put together a legitimate comeback attempt.

The Pacers will hope to build on the victory when they get back into league play on Thursday as they battle Canby on the road.

“The short week may be to our advantage. We know Canby’s a wing-T offense and that’s what they’re going to run. It’s just a matter of whether or not we can stop it and preparing for us isn’t easy,” Smythe said.

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