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Lions roll over Milwaukie, wrap up game by halftime
by: Jeremy Dueck SCORING–St. Helens’ Dumitri Malnasi had a kickoff runback and average 17-yards per carry against Milwaukie on Friday night.

The St. Helens Lions had a little bit of fun Friday night, rolling over Milwaukie 50-14 in a game that wasn't even that close.

'We played pretty well,' a smiling St. Helens coach John England said. 'We were up 43-0 at the half. We had some adjustments to make at halftime, but they were the fun kind of adjustments.'

The Lions scored six times in the first half, three times in each quarter, to build their lead. The Lions' Dumitri Malnasi started the second half with an 88-yard kickoff return. That put St. Helens ahead 50-0 and kept the clock running until late in the third when Milwaukie finally got on the scoreboard. (Under OSAA rules, the clock keeps running when a team is ahead by 45 points. It stops only for touchdowns and timeouts.)

England said the Lions jumped on Milwaukie early, but it was a goal line stand in the second quarter that sealed the deal. The Lions controlled the game the rest of the way.

St. Helens took the first lead early in the game, stopping Milwaukie, and getting good field position on the Mustang's 35 after a shanked punt. Shortly after, Jerek Pense took it in from 13 yards out. St. Helens again stopped Milwaukie, around the 50, and after a short drive Pense took it in again, this time from six yards out. Jesse Wright had a key 24-yard pass reception on the drive. Tyler Stewart caught a pass from quarterback Dallas Thompson on the conversion and it was a 15-0 game.

St. Helens finished their first-quarter scoring with Michael Kirby blocking a Milwaukie punt and Andrew Gray recovering for a touchdown. Eldon Ralls connected on the PAT for the second time. He would hit four others on the night.

Ralls, who is also a varsity soccer player, kicked off eight times with six of them going into the end zone, England noted.

Milwaukie had a decent drive on their next possession, but the Lions stiffened at their own five and held Milwaukie for four downs. St. Helens drove right back down the field, ending the drive with a 17-yard pass to Stewart for the score. Malnasi and Thompson would each run in short touchdowns to finish the scoring in the half. After Malnasi's return of the opening second-half kickoff, the Lions just worked on running out the clock.

'We had good field position most of the night and their defense had trouble stopping our running game,' England said. He pointed out that Thompson carried the ball five times for 47 yards, and Malnasi had eight carries for 138 yards, a 17-yard-per-carry average.

The win gives St. Helens a 3-2 record on the season and a 2-1 record in league play. They are currently ranked 11th overall in the OSAA power rankings. Only Sherwood is ranked higher in the Northwest Oregon Conference.

'Milwaukie certainly wasn't as good as Sherwood,' England added. 'They probably had more first downs than us, but we had the short field much of the time. They also probably had an edge in time of possession. We executed much better and it was just a good all-around game for us.'

This week St. Helens hosts Parkrose. The Broncos are currently 1-4 overall and 0-3 in league.

'This is definitely a winnable game for us,' England said. 'But we need to execute really well. Their quarterback (Zach Abney) is big, physical, and athletic. They have a couple of wide receivers that are pretty quick and they try to get them in (open) space. I feel like if we execute we can create some problems for them.'

Last year St. Helens came out a little flat and ended up losing at Parkrose, 43-22.

'We didn't play well and kind of got beat,' England said. We were just flat, it was surreal. They were a little more physical. We have to keep our focus this year.'

Parkrose opened their season with a 21-18 win over Dallas, but followed with a 21-14 loss to Liberty, a 64-34 loss to Rex Putnam, a 52-7 loss to Wilson, and last week a 49-0 loss to Wilsonville.

SCORING

St. and #8200;Helens 22 21 7 0-50

Milwaukie 0 0 8 6-14

SH-Jerek Pense 13 yard run (Eldon Ralls kick)

SH-Pense 6 yard run (Tyler Stewart from Dallas Thompson)

SH-Andrew Gray recovered blocked kick in end zone (Ralls kick)

SH-Stewart 17 yard pass reception from Thompson (Ralls kick)

SH-Dumitri Malnasi 3 yard run (Ralls kick)

SH-Thompson 3 yard run (Ralls kick)

SH-Malnasi 88 yard kickoff return (Ralls kick)

M-Brenton Oten 2 yard run (Davey Snyder run)

M-Eddy Barrientos-Thomas 3 yard run (kick blocked by Corey West)

Next Up

Opponent: Parkrose Broncos

Record: 1-4

Last game: Lost to Wilsonville, 49-0

Ranking: 33rd

Offense: Pro-I, some shotgun, prefer to run but have had to pass

Defense: 4-3, man coverage

Quote:

'We're a better club this year. Dallas Thompson gives us some confidence (at QB). He's a pretty heady player. Dumitri (Malnasi) is an exciting runner anytime he's in open space. Jesse Wright has been a good weapon. We have to take it one game at a time, but I feel if we play well against Parkrose and Putnam we can win. We'll have to step it up for Wilsonville and Liberty.'

-John England