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Pacers snap skid with overtime victory

Lakeridge scores late to force OT and fends off Newberg


Last week's game at home against Newberg wasn't necessarily a must-win for the Lakeridge football team but, given the team and home crowd's reaction at the end of the game, it certainly took on that atmosphere.

Coming off a pair of disappointing losses to Sherwood and West Linn, two teams that are ranked in the top-10, Lakeridge was looking to get back on track and solidify its placement in the top half of the Three Rivers League.

However, the Tigers gave Lakeridge everything it could handle, taking a lead into the final minutes of regulation before some late-game heroics preserved a 42-35 overtime victory, setting off a boisterous celebration.

“It was really exciting and nice to come out on the winning end. When you put that much effort into a game and come away with a loss it can be pretty deflating. When the kids rushed the field, not many of them had voices left,” coach John Parke said.

Lakeridge had little difficulty moving the ball all night, getting big plays in both the running game and the passing game.

Holden Catlett helped get the Pacers off to a quick start, breaking an 80-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter as Lakeridge grabbed the early lead.

But, as unstoppable as the Pacers looked early on, Newberg succeeded in limiting Lakeridge's opportunities as, once again, the wing-T offense gave the Pacers some issues.

The Tigers, who may be one of the most underrated teams in the state having given trouble to multiple teams this year, also moved the ball well, particularly on the ground and were able to stay within a touchdown at the half.

In the third quarter, Lakeridge made adjustments and was able to clamp down against the run. However, Newberg routinely came up with the big play on third down to extend drives.

“They weren't really doing anything tricky, they just came up with some nice passes,” Parke said.

The Tigers put up 21 points in the third quarter and would lead 35-28.

Lakeridge continued to move the ball but the Tigers also made adjustments that limited the Pacers' big plays and held the home team to just one touchdown for the majority of the second half.

Newberg had the ball with the lead in the fourth quarter but the Lakeridge defense dug in to come up with a crucial stop with three minutes to play in the game.

“When we got the ball back, I looked up at the clock and I really wasn't concerned at all about us being able to move the ball and score,” Parke said.

Lakeridge took over and marched down the field quickly and effectively, culminating with a touchdown pass from Dungey to Tim DeVries.

Dungey, after taking multiple hits in his two previous games, stayed in the pocket more against the Tigers and, when he did find running room, slid to avoid contact more often than not.

“He definitely did a better job preserving his body. He was seeing the field better and made nice reads,” Parke said.

He still finished with 212 yards passing with just five incompletions in 31 attempts and racked up 65 yards on the ground and a pair of rushing touchdowns.

To start overtime, Newberg won the toss and opted to have the Pacers begin with the ball. Lakeridge struck quickly with Dungey punching in a touchdown run, putting the pressure squarely on the Tigers.

Newberg converted on fourth down before the Pacers dug in one final time and got a game-winning stop.

Lakeridge rushed for 301 yards as a team, getting 183 from Catlett. Massen Newton led the defense with 12 total tackles.

The victory was an important one for the Pacers as it moves them to 2-2, in a tie for fourth place with Lake Oswego. Lakeridge will travel to face winless Tualatin on Friday.

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