Lakeridge running back Jalen John added tremendously to diverse Pacer offense against Cougars

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Lakeridge running back Jalen John scored two rushing touchdowns against Canby on Oct. 6. Lakeridge defeated the Cougars 46-14.

While it was competitive in the first quarter, Lakeridge ultimately put Canby away with a score of 46-14 on Friday, Oct. 6. The key was in the game was Lakeridge's potent offensive unit, which scored both on the ground, and in the air.

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Pacer quarterback Curtis Maynes scored several touchdowns against the Canby defense on Friday, Oct. 6. Lakeridge defeated Canby 46-14. Canby started the game with the ball, and put together a solid opening drive, marching from their own 28 yard line to the Pacers 39, but were forced to punt it away for a touchback. The ensuing 80 yard Lakeridge drive was primarily built upon junior running back Jalen John's 71 yard run to the Canby two yard line, and would culminate with junior Lakeridge quarterback Charlie Maynes four yard pass to wide receiver Will Scadden to put the first points on the game. The Pacers would fail to convert the point after.

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Joe Henry gets a hand off in Canby's 46-14 loss to Lakeridge on Oct. 6. Canby would receive the ball and get right to work, marching the ball down the field 80 yards down the field on the backs of junior running backs Steven Dale and Elijah Donalson. Cougar quarterback Trent Wakefield would run the ball in from 12 yards out after rolling out to his right and seeing open field with 51.1 seconds left in the first quarter. Junior kicker Dalton Sherrill's point after attempt was good. HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby kicker Dalton Sherrill would leave the game against the Pacers with an ACL injury. Canby would lose to Lakeridge 46-14 on Oct. 6.

Lakeridge had the ball and was putting together a solid drive when the first quarter ended, and to start the second quarter off they scored their second touchdown of the night. Maynes connected with sophomore Matt Peterson for a 57 yard pass that put Lakeridge back in the lead. However, a failed two point conversion would keep their lead to five.

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Senior Joe Henry gets tackled by Pacer defense on Oct. 6 in Lakeridge. Canby would be forced to punt the ball away on the ensuing drive, but their time on defense would be short lived. Senior defensive back Joe Henry would intercept Maynes' pass, and give Canby possession the ball back. That too would not last long. After being stopped on third down, Dalton Sherrill bobbled a punt snap, and fumbled the ball away. Lakeridge recovered the ball on the Canby 47 yard line.

The Pacers utilized John to march down the field and score, getting a touchdown on a one yard touchdown run. This time the point after attempt would be successful at 3:42 of the second quarter, bringing the score to 19-7 for the Pacers. On that drive, Canby kicker Sherrill, who also doubled as a defensive lineman, would be helped off the field with what appeared to be an ACL injury.

"Looks like an ACL, he'll probably be done for months," Canby coach Mike Vaught said. "The trainers did their tests and it showed an ACL, but we don't know to what extent."

John wouldn't be done for the night. With just 10.5 seconds remaining in the first half, Lakeridge's running back would take the ball in from 13 yards out to get his second touchdown of the night. Sophomore kicker Ben de Vries' point after put the Pacers at a comfortable 26-7 lead going into the half.

For John, it is all a part of the program.

"We just placed Pacer football," John said.

To start the final half, Lakeridge would eat up a good portion of the clock, take nearly five minutes to work their way 77 yards down the field and score. This time, Maynes would instead run the ball in from three yards out after scrambling away from several tacklers. de Vries point after brought the score up to 33-7 in Lakeridge's favor.

Canby would show signs of life in the second half, receiving the ball on the kickoff and, utilizing predominantly Dale and Donalson, march the ball 80 yards down field to score on a three yard Steven Dale touchdown run at 2:26 of the third quarter. Replacing Sherrill on the point after was Chance Miller, who scored the point after. The score was 33-14. HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby running back Steven Dale scored one of Canby's two touchdowns in their 46-14 loss to Lakeridge on Oct. 6.

"It felt like we had so much momentum in the drive, I just wanted to finish it off," Dale said after the game.

Lakeridge put Maynes to good use in the next series, as a series of Pacer passes brought them to the Canby 13 yard line. From there, another pass from Maynes to Scadden widened the scores, bringing the Pacers to a 39-14 lead.

The final scoring play of the game a thirteen yard pass to Lakeridge sophomore Xander Houck, who scored from 13 yards out. de Vries put the extra point through the uprights, and when the horn sounded, the final score was 46-14.

After the game, Vaught summed up the Canby troubles in one person, the Lakeridge running back Jalen John.

"(The difference was) one guy. Number 25, that back that transferred from Aloha," Vaught said. "When it's third and 12 and you hand the guy the ball and we can't tackle him…I can't get on the kids at all. They were in position, they hit him, they wrapped him up, and he's just physically the most impressive back I've ever coached against, and I've been doing this 35 years."

Lakeridge shook off a bad loss to Tigard last week, and coach Elvis Akpla thinks it was last weeks performance that motivated the Pacers to their victory.

"I thought our kids came out with a lot of energy," Akpla said. "They were really motivated after their performance against Tigard last week. I just challenged them to put together a complete game because we are a very good football team. Our kids just need to realize that and hone in on everything that they've been working towards, and continue to get better and be more consistent. I think they did that tonight."

Next week, the Cougars (1-3 in league, 2-4 overall) face Tualatin (2-2 in league, 4-2 overall) at home, while the Pacers (2-2 in league, 3-2 overall) square off with Newberg (0-4 in league, 2-4 overall) on foreign turf.

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