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Lakeridge outlasts Grant 31-27

Pacers overcome injuries and wear down the Generals in the second half

MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's DJ Dalzell finds running room in the Pacers' 31-27 victory over Grant on Friday.Lakeridge overcame game-ending injuries to its starting quarterback and runningback and a handful of cramps to outlast Grant 31-27 at Lincoln High School on Friday.

First-year head coach Elvis Akpla picked up his first win for the Pacers on the field of his alma mater as Lakeridge's speed of play wore the Generals down in the second half.

Lakeridge, who is modeling its offense on the Oregon Ducks' fast-paced attack, scored just 90 seconds into the contest on a 16-yard pass from Keaton Wood to tight end Michael Kuhn but Grant answered quickly with a 28-yard touchdown run by Grant Ewell Jr.

The Generals forced a punt and then scored at the end of the first quarter on a short burst from Ewell Jr. plus a two-point conversion to make it 14-7.

After Lakeridge tailback Holden Catlett pulled up on a 54-yard run, Wood went down with an apparent ankle injury and DJ Dalzell was brought in to lead the offense for Lakeridge.

Nick Hoddevik would tie the game midway through the second quarter but the Pacers didn't have an answer for Grant's running game in the first half.

Ewell Jr. notched his third touchdown of the opening half, this time on a 32-yard reception, to help Grant regain the lead with three minutes left in the half.

Lakeridge would get a boost late in the second quarter when Sam Wurtz booted a 39-yard field goal, making it 21-17 at the break.

Lakeridge's defense ramped up in the second half as the teams traded turnovers early. The Pacers would grab the lead with 37 seconds left in the third quarter on a two-yard keeper from Dalzell.

Three minutes later, Cole Riedl came up with the biggest play of the game, making an interception and returning it 65 yards for a score.

Grant scored again with 2:40 remaining, getting a two-yard keeper from Demarques Singleton. Grant would get the ball back with less than a minute to play but couldn't come up with the winning score.

Lakeridge (1-0) will host Oregon City next week while Grant (0-1) will travel to Sherwood.