The Lakeridge football team did what it needed to do on Friday.
The Pacers ran the ball to devastating effect, passed efficiently and cranked up the defensive effort to rout Canby 38-14 at Canby High School.
"The offensive line had their best game of the season, which is a great sign of where our team is overall," said Lakeridge coach Elvis Akpla. "We are playing well, (we've) fixed a lot of the issues that let us slip in earlier in the year. We are now focusing on preparing to win."
With the win, the Pacers' second straight, Lakeridge improved to 2-1 and third place in the Three Rivers League (4-2 overall). Canby, meanwhile, lost its sixth straight contest and fell to 0-3 in league play and 0-6 overall.
Lakeridge opened Friday's game with a pair of scores and a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The first of those TDs came on a 1-yard run by senior back Javier John, while the second score came from junior back Jalen John on a 2-yard plunge.
The Cougars closed within 14-7 on a touchdown early in the second quarter, but the Pacers just kept rolling. They got a 2-yard scoring run by junior Caiden Biege-Wetherbee to make it 21-7, and later in the period, a 4-yard Biege-Wetherbee score for a 28-7 edge at the half.
• Friday: Lakeridge 38, Canby 14
• Notable: Jalen John rushed 17 times for 231 yards and two TDs
• Next Up: Lakeridge at Tigard, 7 p.m. Friday
Already comfortably ahead, the Pacers added a 23-yard Jalen John scoring run in the third quarter and a 31-yard Maxwell Chandler field goal in the fourth to put the game on ice.
Canby added its final score later in the fourth quarter after the Pacers had extended their edge to 38-7.
For the game, the Lakeridge defense allowed just 249 yards in total offense to the Cougars.
"Our defense played very well again, especially our linebackers," Akpla said, singling out team captain Jackson McGinley for making a one-handed interception — one of three by the team on the night — with a cast on his other wrist
Jalen John and the Pacers' line were huge again, with John amassing 231 yards and two scores on just 17 carries.
"Jalen John was exceptional again and had his best performance of his career," Akpla said (It) could have been more if we had let him play the entire game."
Biege-Wetherbee added 46 yards and his two TDs on just four rushes, while senior Will Scadden led Pacer receivers with one catch for 70 yards.
"We are in the mix for the TRL Championship and a deep run in the playoffs," Akpla added. "We must put together complete games in all three phases of the game to accomplish our goals."
Next up, the Pacers will play at unbeaten Tigard (2-0 in league, 6-0 overall) at 7 p.m. Friday.
"There is no greater test than playing the best team in the TRL — the Tigard Tigers," Akpla added.
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