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Mustangs shoot themselves in the foot

Four fumbles prove costly

MILWAUKIE - The Milwaukie Mustangs continued to shoot themselves in the foot Friday, as they slipped to 0-3 on the 2006 football season with a 35-7 loss in a nonleague game with Redmond.

The Mustangs were their own worst enemies, as they fumbled the ball away four times.

A couple of the fumbles were crucial miscues midway through the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter, when the Mustangs were still very much in the game.

Trailing 21-7, the Mustangs were knocking on the door at the Panther 1-yard line when they fumbled away the scoring opportunity.

And early in the fourth period, Redmond's Phillip Glover stripped a Mustang of the ball and rambled 70 yards to the end zone, widening the gap to 28-7, and putting the game on ice.

'We've played some pretty good teams and we're getting better,' said Milwaukie coach John Romanaggi. 'Unfortunately it's not showing up in our scoring.'

Romanaggi noted that the Mustangs' opponents have a combined 8-2 win-loss record.

The Mustangs had their best offensive showing of the season against Redmond, rushing for 269 yards on 42 plays. Junior Sean Scott had a career night, rushing for a game-high 125 yards in 18 trips with the pigskin.

'The offensive line is getting better,' Romanaggi said, as he singled out Jon Opperud, Jimmy Haman and Mike Miettinen for their success at making the holes for Milwaukie's running backs.

But the Mustang defense had problems slowing Redmond 6-0, 185-pound running back Clayton York and Panther junior quarterback Cody Johnson. York carried 26 times for 100 yards and three touchdowns; Johnson completed 11-of-19 passes for 219 yards a touchdown.

The Mustangs were once again without their most experienced running back, Mike Collazo. Collazo is still mending a sprained ankle from the Mustangs' season opener with Battle Ground.

Things don't get any easier for the Mustangs on Friday. They begin league play hosting defending Three Rivers League champion Lake Oswego.