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Pacers hurt themselves in loss to OC


More than 200 yards of penalties doom Lakeridge in its league opener

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge's Tyler Miller fights for a pass against an Oregon City receiver in last week's league opener for both teams at Pioneer Stadium.The Lakeridge football team showed it could hang with quality competition on Friday but the bigger issue might be whether or not the Pacers can avoid beating themselves.

Lakeridge spotted the Oregon City Pioneers a 14-0 lead, then clawed back into contention, only to be done in by an obscene number of penalties in a frustrating 31-21 loss.

In the game, Lakeridge was flagged for 18 penalties totaling 209 yards, the majority of which were of the dead ball variety for personal fouls.

The Pacers were slow getting off the bus, turning the ball over on their first possession and giving up a touchdown on a penalty-aided drive.

Then, after another stalled drive, Oregon City connected on a 63-yard touchdown strike to make it 14-0 still in the first quarter.

Lakeridge got a 34-yard completion from Eric Dungey to JR McLaughlin early in its next drive but a personal foul led to a long fourth down conversion attempt that came up short.

However, on the first play of Oregon City's next drive, a fumble gave the ball back to the Pacers in Pioneers' territory.

Lakeridge's defense had a knack for forcing opportune turnovers in the game, which gave the Pacers a shot until the final moments.

Lakeridge converted on its opportunity. After another big catch by McLaughlin, Dungey scored on a keeper on fourth down.

Lakeridge then forced a three-and-out as it started to turn the momentum in its favor.

Two big scrambles from Dungey moved the Pacers into scoring range and, on third-and-goal from the 1-yard-line, Tonga Taokelau punched it in. The extra point was blocked, leaving Oregon City with a 14-13 lead.

The Pioneers attacked Lakeridge with a steady dose of the run on their next drive, eating up nearly all of the remainder of the half and settling for a 32-yard field goal to up their advantage.

Oregon City opened the second half with the ball and Lakeridge appeared to have a stop, forcing a fourth-and-3 from its own 37-yard line.

But the Pioneers lined up quickly and executed a fake punt, resulting in a long reception and a personal foul on the Pacers.

One play later, the Pioneers scored on an 18-yard reception.

After getting stopped on its next drive, Lakeridge was flagged for a pair of personal foul penalties, and Oregon City took advantage of the short field, scoring to make it 31-13 late in the third quarter.

Lakeridge responded quickly, getting a 55-yard catch from McLaughlin and a 20-yard keeper by Dungey, setting up a one-yard quarterback plunge. Joe Singlinger caught the two-point conversion to make it a 10-point game.

The Pacers then forced a punt and moved into Oregon City territory but a holding penalty hindered the drive. However, Oregon City would fumble a few players later, giving Lakeridge the ball back near midfield.

On third-and-20, Sindlinger nearly made a spectacular catch in the end zone but the drive ended with an incompletion on fourth down.

On the first play of Oregon City's next drive, Lakeridge forced yet another fumble but, again, the Pacers could only move backwards and couldn't cut the lead to one score.

It was a tough loss for the Pacers who had yet to be challenged this season. McLaughlin finished with another 200-yard receiving night and Dungey ran for more than 100 yards. The Pacers only ran four running plays all night for anyone other than Dungey as their top two tailbacks were both unavailable.

Clarke Smith led the defense with nine tackles and forced two fumbles.