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Swain leads the way in a 48-46 win over St. Helens

by: JON HOUSE - Putnam quarterback Josey Swain sets up to pass, as he gets good protection from Juan Hernandez (75) and another lineman in last Fridays game with St. Helens.Putnam won a nailbiter in Northwest Oregon Conference football last Friday, delighting home fans with a 48-46 come-from-behind win over St. Helens.

The Kingsmen trailed most of the game, after falling behind 15-7 in the opening period.

Putnam earned its first lead of the night with just six minutes to play. Senior wide receiver Corey Wells teamed up with junior quarterback Josey Swain for a 53-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown, and an on-target PAT kick by Bella Geist, put Putnam on top for the first time, at 41-40.

But the game wasn’t over. St. Helens answered on its next possession, scoring on a 38-yard run by Lion senior quarterback Gage Bumgardner. An attempt to run for the PAT came up short, and the Lions’ lead was 46-40.

Things looked grim when the Lions stopped the Kingsmen on downs at the St. Helens 45 on Putnam’s next possession. But then Wells picked off a Bumgardner pass, and the Kingsmen were back in business.

It looked like the Lion defense might hold again. But two penalties — defensive pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct — on St. Helens advanced the ball to the Lion 6-yard line. A couple of plays later, Swain scored from the 4. Geist split the uprights, making it 48-46 Putnam.

Just 32 seconds remained on the clock when Swain scored his game-winner, but that was enough time for the Lions to give the Kingsmen one last scare.

Bumgardner found receiver Justin Helgerson open on the right sideline and Helgerson scampered 53 yards, to the Putnam 34, before he was brought down.

Bumgartner then launched a Hail Mary as time ran out. But Kane Stephens intercepted the desperation pass, and the Kingsmen celebrated the victory.

Swain had a big night, completing 14-of-24 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns, and scoring the winning touchdown on the quarterback keeper.

Putnam wide receiver Tyler Strauss also had a big game, rushing for a touchdown and scoring two touchdown on passes from Swain.

Strauss’ 26-yard touchdown run in the first quarter knotted the score at 7-7. And his 18-yard touchdown pass from Swain in the second quarter made it St. Helens 27, Putnam 13 at halftime.

Putnam sophomore running back Richie Mock-Seratt found the end zone for the first time on a 22-yard run early in the third quarter to trim St. Helens’ lead to 27-20; and Mock-Seratt scored again in the third period, cutting St. Helens’ lead to 33-27.

Mock-Serrat was Putnam’s leading ground-gainer, rushing 21 times for 145 yards. Wells had three catches for 74 yards; Strauss made four catches for 60 yards, and he picked up 35 yards on just two rushing plays.

The hard fought win kept the Kingsmen’s playoff hopes alive, as they improved to 2-3 in the Northwest Oregon Conference with the victory.

The Kingsmen travel to Milwaukie this Friday for a showdown with their cross-town rivals, who are winless on the 2013 season.

Putnam finishes up the league season, playing top-ranked Sherwood (7-0, 5-0) at Sherwood on Oct. 25.

Milwaukie had another tough night last Friday, losing 61-3 at sixth-ranked Parkrose.

The Mustangs had a tough time stopping Bronco quarterback Jonathan Boland. The 5-11, 180-pound junior played a part in six touchdowns, completing 8-of-17 passes for 207 yards and five touchdowns, and leading the Bronco ground game, with 13 carries for 153 yards and a touchdown.

The Mustangs were also hurt by five turnovers — three intercepted passes and two lost fumbles.

The Broncos amassed 447 yards in offense on the night, while yielding a net offense of just 155 yards to the Mustangs.

Edgar Pantoja scored Milwaukie’s only points on a 25-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Junior Dre Edwards led the Mustang ground game, rushing eight times for 32 yards.

Despite the loss, the Mustangs’ spirits were buoyed by the return of junior quarterback Aaron Walston, who saw his first action of the season, after undergoing surgery for thyroid cancer.

Walston, who just returned to practice last week, completed 3-of-12 passes for 50 yards, while playing just half the game.

With the win, Parkrose improved to 3-2 in NWOC play (5-2 overall).

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