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Jake Reichle rushes for 207 yards and three touchdowns, and the Pacers hold on late for the win.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Lakeridge's Jake Reichle picks his way through Tigard defenders during the Pacers' game against the Tigers Thursday night, Oct. 21, at Tigard High School. Games are won and lost in a variety of ways, but for Tigard it was a series of mistakes that cost the Tigers in a 21-19 Three Rivers League defeat to Lakeridge Thursday night, Oct. 21, at Tigard High School.

Tigard (3-5, 1-3) turned the ball over three times, muffed an extra point attempt, and committed a costly holding penalty on their final drive in the waning minutes of what could've been a season-defining win for a team that needed just that.

But despite the defeat, Tigard head coach John Kemper – while acknowledging their mistakes – was proud of his team and hopeful for what could still be as the ensuing postseason approaches.

"I think if we were able to limit some of our self-inflicted wounds, we could be sitting a little differently right now," the coach said regarding the game and season as a whole. "When you're playing some of the top teams in the state, mistakes and turnovers are going to cost you, but our guys are battling, trusting in our culture and not letting circumstances divide us, and I think you saw that tonight. In the early weeks those things can pull you apart, but tonight we stuck together and battled, and I'm proud of the guys for that."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard's Konner Grant carries the ball versus Lakeridge Thursday night, Oct. 21, at Tigard High School. Grant rushed for 152 yards and two scores in defeat.Tigers running back Konner Grant was too proud of his team, and even in defeat saw their improvement despite falling a bit short in the end.

"We fought to the last second of the game and that's something we've been working on," Grant said. "We've had some really good first-halfs, but we've just been trying to get to the point where we can close out a game. We didn't tonight because of a few mental and physical mistakes, but we're going in the right direction."

Trailing 21-19, the Tigers got the ball at their own 20-yardline with 2:39 to play and immediately moved the ball to midfield on a Grant 28-yard run. But a holding call on first down put Tigard behind the chains and in what was a steady rain, the home team failed to connect on two straight pass attempts and turned the ball over on downs when quarterback Cameron Masters-Doble's fourth down scramble ended short of the line to gain.

Lakeridge running back and safety Jake Reichle breathed a bit of a sigh of relief in the wake of the victory, but thought his team played well in what were undoubtedly difficult conditions.

"We haven't played in rain all season so it was definitely an adjustment," Reichle said, "But I think by the second half we got our act together and played pretty good."

Reichle finished with 207 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries and was a problem all night for the Tigers defense. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior scored on runs of two, 27 and 66 yards, but additionally was there when the Pacers (6-2, 2-2) needed him most – on both sides of the ball.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard quarterback Cameron Masters-Doble hurls a pass during the Tigers' game against Lakeridge Thursday night, Oct. 21, at Tigard High School. "We knew it was going to be a physical game and whoever was more physical because of the rain was going to win," the standout said. "We won the turnover battle, played together as a team and it worked out. It's about making plays when you need them, and I thought we did that."

Lakeridge drew first blood when Reichle scored from two yards out to put his team ahead 7-0 with 3:59 left in the first quarter. After a series of punts, Tigard took advantage of a Pacers mistake when the Tigers' punt hit an unsuspecting Lakeridge player and the home team recovered at the visitors' 23-yardline.

Tigard tied the game five plays later when Masters-Doble found Henry Masters open in the left corner of the endzone with 5:36 left in the half.

As if on a mission, Lakeridge took-back the lead in the half's final minute when Reichle ran 27 yards on a fourth down play, and after a successfully extra point attempt took a 14-7 lead to the half.

Reichle stretched the lead to 21-7 in the third quarter when he ran 66 yards around the left end for a score, but Tigard responded with a nine-play 87 yard drive capped by a 12-yard Grant TD run to get within 21-13, where it would stay due to a botched snap on the ensuing Tigers extra point attempt.

Tigard had an opportunity to tie it after recovering a Pacers fumble at their own 27-yardline, but after Grant battered his way into the endzone from six yards out with 4:40 remaining in the game, the Tigers' 2-point attempt was thwarted and Lakeridge bowed-up in the end to secure the victory.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Lakeridge quarterback Danny Johnson hands the ball to running back Jake Reichle during the Pacers' game against the Tigers Thursday night, Oct. 21, at Tigard High School. The win came at a good time for a Pacers team that had lost two straight to state-powers West Linn and Tualatin after starting the season 5-0, and with just their regular season finale with Lake Oswego left before the playoffs, Reichle feels good about his team and their prospects going forward.

"It was good to bounce-back, but we know we've got a tough game next week against LO (Lake Oswego," Reichle said. "We've got eight days to prepare for that and whatever comes after that, and I think we'll be in good shape if we prepare right and execute."

And Tigard? They're too likely headed for the playoffs, and with a rivalry game versus No. 2-ranked Tualatin next week, Grant said he's excited for the game and what he believes this team can accomplish.

"We're fired-up and looking forward to that game (Tualatin)," he said. "I think we're kind of hitting our peak and these guys are giving their blood, sweat and tears every day in practice and every game, and we're looking to do something big."

Grant finished with 152 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.


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