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Penalties sink Mustangs as an historic season comes to an end

Milwaukie boys bow out with a 41-20 loss to Churchill


by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Senior wide receiver Kendrick Bourne beats the defensive coverage for a reception in Fridays state play-in game with Churchill. Bourne had eight receptions for 199 yards and three touchdowns in the game, but it wasnt enough, as the Lancers defeated the Mustangs 41-20.MILWAUKIE — Penalties proved costly, as Milwaukie’s best season of football since 1991 came to an end last Friday.

Ranked 14th in the OSAA power rankings and 10th in the state by the state’s Class 5A coaches, the Mustangs on Friday fell to 20th-ranked Churchill 41-20 in a Class 5A play-in game — with 135 yards in penalties playing a big-part in the outcome.

With the loss, Milwaukie, which was third in the eight-team Northwest Oregon Conference, finished the season with a 7-3 record. It’s the best win-loss record by a Milwaukie football team since 1991, when Milwaukie went 7-4, losing to Barlow 38-28 in the round of 16 of the big-school state playoffs.

With last Friday’s win, Churchill (7-3, 4-3), which placed fourth in the eight-team Midwestern Conference, advanced to the top 16 of the Class 5A state playoffs. The Lancers will play top-ranked Redmond (9-0) on the road in this Friday’s first round of the playoffs.

The turning point of last Friday’s game appeared to come with 4:17 left to play in the first half. The score was tied at 6-6, and Milwaukie senior Richard Ramsey returned a punt to the Churchill 33, only to have his 42-yard gain negated by penalties. There were three penalties called on the play, and after the officials had marched off all the penalties, the Mustangs were awarded the ball at their own 10-yard line.

Churchill went on to score before the intermission, taking a 14-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Lancers scored on their first possession of the second half to up their lead to 20-6, and the Mustangs were fighting an uphill battle the rest of the way.

Still, Milwaukie closed to within 27-20 in the third quarter, with Ramsey hooking up with senior wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for touchdown passes of 80- and 29 yards in the third period.

But the Lancers scored two unanswered touchdowns in the final period to put the game out of reach.

The Mustangs earned a 366- to 351-yard edge in offense on the night, as Ramsey completed 16-of-31 passes for 311 yards. Bourne was near unstoppable on the receiving end, hauling in eight passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns.

But between Milwaukie penalties and the Lancer defense, the Mustangs struggled to move the ball on the ground all night. Chris Besaw (12 carries/34 yards) was the Mustangs’ top ground-gainer.

Churchill 6-3, 200-pound quarterback Mitch Reese completed 9-of-12 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns, and he led a Lancer balanced ground attack with 12 carries for 62 yards.

It’s the sixth time in the last seven seasons that the Lancers have advanced to the OSAA playoffs in football.



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