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Sheldon pulls away from Pacers in second half

Lakeridge falls to 0-1 but passes its first test on the field

The Lakeridge football team came up short on the field last Friday, falling to powerhouse Sheldon 38-17. However, with all eyes on the Pacers to see how they would respond in their first game since the highly-publicized, penalty-filled quarterfinal loss to Jesuit, Lakeridge cleared a major hurdle last week.

The Pacers hung with the Irish for much of the contest, wearing down slightly in the second half, but were only flagged for three penalties in the contest.

“I thought the was we handled ourselves was just about perfect. I couldn't have been more pleased and we got a report from the officials afterwards that said the sportsmanship on both sides was above average,” coach John Parke said.

Still, Lakeridge has lofty expectations this year both for how it conducts itself and how it competes against some of the state's top competition.

“Definitely the kids were disappointed in the final score. Early on it really felt like we matched up well but a lot of this team is juniors without a lot of time on varsity,” Parke said.

The Pacers got off to a rocky start, moving the ball well on its first two possessions but failing to crack the scoreboard. A blocked field goal and a fumble in Sheldon territory helped the Irish grab the early momentum.

Sheldon jumped out to a quick 14-0 advantage and the Pacers were in danger of getting left behind by halftime.

However, Lakeridge didn't panic and rallied impressively. After recovering a Sheldon fumble, quarterback Eric Dungey found tailback Lopeti Aisea for a touchdown.

Sheldon then helped the Pacers out again, fumbling the following kick-off. That set up a quick 12-yard touchdown run from Holden Catlett to tie the game at 14-14.

The Irish had an answer late in the first half. Sheldon drove into scoring range and connected on an 18-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds, ultimately going up 22-14.

“I think if a few fumbles or bounces fall differently it could have been a different outcome,” Parke said.

Sheldon pulled away early in the third quarter. Lakeridge's offense, which had had little trouble moving the ball against the Irish in the first two quarters, failed to pick up a first down on consecutive drives.

Sheldon was able to convert those into two more scores and quickly went up 35-14.

Lakeridge had one more answer, mounting another drive that culminated with a 17-yard touchdown run from Dungey.

However, two turnovers in the fourth quarter stopped Lakeridge drives and Sheldon was able to clinch the victory.

For the game, Dungey ran for nearly 100 yards and threw for 115 more, accounting for two of his team's three scores.

Lakeridge was able to mix up its offense although the big Sheldon front played well against the Pacer run game.

The Pacer defense also performed admirably, stopping the Irish ground game up the middle but proved susceptible to a handful of big plays.

“They definitely didn't overpower us. They did a lot with misdirection and we needed to adjust to that,” Parke said.

Lakeridge will look to take another step forward Friday when it travels to Oregon City. The Pioneers were highly ranked heading into the season but were upset by West Linn last week.


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