Lakeridge football steps up to upset No. 12 Beaverton 48-27
In a season filled with disparate highs and lows, the Lakeridge football team picked a great time to throw in another big "up."
The 22nd-ranked Pacers, playing at No. 12 Beaverton in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Friday, Nov. 8, stepped up to shock the Beavers on their home field, winning 48-27 at Beaverton High School.
"It was a really big win, not only because it was a playoff game but because everyone was doubting we could do it," said Lakeridge senior running back/defensive back Caiden Biege-Wetherbee, who finished with 39 yards in total offense and two touchdowns, along with six tackles (five solo).
With the win, the Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak, improved their season record to 4-6 after finishing fifth in Special District 5 and won a berth in the second round of the state playoffs. Next up, Lakeridge will play No. 6 Aloha (9-1 overall after placing second in Special District 2) at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Aloha High School.
The Pacers built their win around senior running back Jalen John and their punishing ground game, and their defense's ability to slow Beaverton's potent passing attack. And Lakeridge — which forced three Beaverton turnovers — showed its ability right from the get-go, racing out to a 21-7 lead in the game's first quarter.
John got things started with a 4-yard touchdown run, and after Beaverton answered with a 39-yard scoring strike from Carson Budke to Parker McKenna, the Pacers took over for good.
First, Biege-Wetherbee hauled in a 15-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Cooper Justice that — along with the first of senior Ben Devries' six extra point kicks — gave Lakeridge a 14-7 lead.
Next, it was the Pacers' defense that stepped up, with senior linebacker Ty Glumbik picking off a Budke pass and taking it back 55 yards for a 21-7 lead.
The two teams traded TDs in the second quarter, with the Beavers connecting on a 3-yard Budke throw to Cody Davidson (but missing the extra point) and Justice scoring on an 8-yard run to extend the Lakeridge lead to 28-13 at halftime.
Then, in the third quarter, the Pacers really took over, scoring three unanswered touchdowns to extend their lead to 48-13 and effectively seal their playoff victory.
Biege-Wetherbee notched the first of those on an 11-yard run, John broke free for a 46-yard TD burst and Lakeridge capped its day when Justice hit senior running back Matt Petersen for a 17-yard score.
Beaverton added two short touchdowns (a 4-yard Budke throw to Davidson and a 6-yard Logan McRae run) in the fourth quarter, but by then, the Pacers' win had already been secured.
For the Pacers, the result validated all the hard work that had preceded it.
"All week, there were articles and predictions on the outcome — even peers at school seemed to doubt us," Biege-Wetherbee said. "It's been a tough year and a lot of games, we haven't really played to our potential so it was good to show everyone what Lakeridge football can do."
For the game, John rushed 16 times for 204 yards and two TDs, Justice went 12 of 15 through the air for 143 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, with senior Bryson Corbin catching four passes for 56 yards.
In addition to Biege-Wetherbee's six tackles, senior linebacker Ronin Murphy added seven stops for the Pacers, Peterson made two interceptions, and both senior cornerback William Vaughn and junior defensive end Joey Migchelbrink both recovered fumbles.
For Beaverton, Budke went 18 of 31 for 280 yards with three TDs and two interceptions, with Davidson catching eight passes for 131 yards and two scores, but the Beavers managed just 79 yards on the ground.
"We had so many guys make big plays and have great games," Biege-Wethernbee said. "We played together and that all started in practice and in film this last week."
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