Lakeridge running back Jalen John had 27 carries for 330 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score on a 71-yard run with 1:28 to play in the second quarter, leading the Pacers to a 41-28 non-conference road win Friday over the Clackamas Cavaliers.
Pacers quarterback Cooper Justice completed 9 of 17 passes for 153 yards with touchdown strikes of 20 yards to John and 51 yards to Xander Houck to help Lakeridge (1-1) bounce back for a 53-7 loss to Tualatin in week one.
Clackamas quarterback Austin Atkeson scored on a 2-yard run and tailback Jake Spitulski added touchdown runs of 7 yards and 1 yard to give the Cavaliers a short-lived 21-20 lead.
John, the Pacers' bruising 6-foot, 215-pound senior, then broke loose on his longest run of the night to put Lakeridge up 27-21 at halftime.
"That kid is a good runner, a hard runner, and they executed well on that play, just ran it like it was drawn up and scored," Clackamas coach Terry Drake said. "But our kids bounced right back and we had some stops in there that kept us in the game."
After a scoreless third quarter, Lakeridge added to its lead when John fumbled at the end of an 8-yard run into the end zone and Keoni Hepa jumped on the loose ball for the Pacers to make it 35-21.
Clackamas' Blaine Cyphers kept the Cavaliers' hope alive with a 1-yard touchdown run the cut the deficit to 35-28, but John answered for the Pacers with a 38-yard touchdown run to put the game away.
Drake, making his coaching debut with the Cavaliers, said a quirk in the schedule that left his team without a game in week one probably didn't do them any favors.
"We were just rusty from it being the first game of the season," Drake said. "But even when we were down, the kids kept fighting. They never gave up. That's was the good thing."
Atkeson completed 17 of 30 passes for 291 yards with one interception and also had 10 carries for minus-24 yards rushing. Miles Williams was Clackamas' leading receiver with five catches for 93 yards, and Spitulski led the ground game with 16 carries for 79 yards and two scores.
Lakeridge ran a total of 71 plays for 491 yards total offense -- an average of 6.9 yards per play -- and Clackamas ran 74 plays for 369 yards.
"We need to be more physical and make sure we hit and wrap up when we go to make tackles," Drake said. "And offensively, we need to run good routes and make good catches, and we'll work on all of that this week.
"That's going to be our goal as a staff -- to work on our mistakes and get 'em fixed and get better at what we do. The good about it is the kids are hungry and they want to bounce back, to that's a good sign."
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