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Pacers put on highlight reel performance in 40-0 victory to kick off hunt for Columbia Cup.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Lakeridge senior QB Ryan Oliver threw two touchdowns and ran for a third in a 40-0 playoff win. Lakeridge lived up to its name Friday night, Nov. 4, during the first round of postseason football, with driving sideways rain that transformed the turf field into a soggy mess.

But despite the elements, Pacers football was all smiles as they uncorked their own deluge of explosive scoring plays, notching a blow-out opening win in the hunt for the Columbia Cup.

"Before the game coach told us whoever wants it more is going to win the game," senior runner Chili Stephens Jr. said. "We weren't thinking about the rain."

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Senior lineman Camden Ferguson celebrated a touchdown during a 40-0 playoff win over Sandy. Stephens led the way with a pair of jaw-dropping scoring runs as No. 22 Lakeridge beat No. 27 Sandy 40-0. The game was part of the next-best 16 teams, after organizers split the 6A football postseason. The lower bracket is vying for the Columbia Cup.

"It feels good. I am so happy right now," Stephens said with a beaming smile.

The Pacers scored early and often in the victory. The first came on their second possession of the game, when senior quarterback Ryan Oliver followed up a deep heave with a five-yard scoring scramble up the middle. Later in the first Oliver connected on a 25-yard pass to junior Tashi Crofut to make it 12-0.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Senior running back Garrett Willenberg. Early in the second quarter a scary situation on the field stopped play. On a defensive stop, senior Jared Mayo collided with a teammate and the ball carrier, sustaining an injury to his neck. As training staff stabilized him, an ambulance took him from the field to the hospital. While being placed on a stretcher Mayo was able to talk, move his feet and squeeze the hands of his loved ones, who made their way from the stands onto the field.

After the final whistle the coaching staff got confirmation that nothing was broken, and Mayo is expected to make a full recovery.

"You see a senior, a family member, go down, you are worried," Sandy Coach Josh Dill said. "But praise God he didn't break his neck and he is going to be OK."

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - It was a hard-hitting game in the hunt for the Columbia Cup. Following the prolonged injury stoppage, Lakeridge scored three times in quick succession to slam the door on any potential comeback and spark a running clock in the fourth quarter. Stephens scored twice — a 55-yard-run and a 79-yard scamper. Then after recovering a squib kick, senior Baylor Corbin hauled in a 30-yard touchdown catch.

"I put my foot in the ground and went," Stephens said. "Didn't cut too much, just got vertical."

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Lakeridge will move on in the playoffs after blowing out visiting Sandy. 
The final score of the game was a 63-yard end-around by freshman Ansu Sanoe halfway through the third.

On defense the Pacers were bend-don't-break, turning back a pair of threatening Pioneers drives in the first half and corralling a bruising running game.

Next the Pacers will travel to face No. 19 Oregon City on Friday, Nov. 11.

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