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Wilsonville runs past St. Helens in NWOC football opener

Lions find themselves down after early tie and don't have defensive answer for Wildcat wiley backs


by: JEREMY DUECK - Nice reception. St. Helens' Corey West had five receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns against Wilsonville Friday.Wilsonville ran all over the St. Helens Lions on Friday, scoring in just about every way imaginable in a 64-21 drubbing.

The Lions didn’t lie down in the contest, but they had trouble containing the Wildcats’ big backs Tanner Shipley and Johnny Ragin.

“If I told you we had 19 first downs to Wilsonville’s four, you might think we had a good game,” St. Helens Coach John England said. “We did do some good things. We moved the ball pretty well—we had 246 yards rushing and 170 passing.”

The Lions’ 21 points were also respectable. What St. Helens didn’t have were the numbers and couldn’t stop the Wildcat onslaught.

Wilsonville scored first without running a play. Shipley returned St. Helens’ punts 60 yards for the score.by: JEREMY DUECK - St. Helens may have lost to Wilsonville by a big margin, but they also had some good plays in the contest. Brennan Norton (above right) gained some nice yardage on this play.

St. Helens did mount a comeback drive, scoring on a 29-yard pass from Gage Bumgardner to Corey West. West, a 6-feet, 4-inch junior, would have five receptions on the night for 157 yards and two of St. Helens’ three touchdowns. Bumgardner, 6-3, junior, would complete seven of 17 passes for 139 yards. Running back Tanner Long also had a 55-yard completion to set up one of the Lions’ scores.

Wilsonville’s answer on their first play from scrimmage was a 48-yard pass to Ragin for a score. Before the half, runs of 61, 23 and 41 gave Wilsonville a 35-7 lead in the contest. Shipley added an early-third-quarter 52-yard run for a TD.

St. Helens scored in the third quarter when Long broke free on a 38-yard run for a score, but Wilsonville answered that with a 99-yard kickoff return.

The last score for the Lions was a five-yard pass from Bumgardner to West. Bumgardner also ran in the conversion.

The Lions are not very deep this season. When they lost tackle and defensive end Jacob Zartman on the first series, it changed things for the Lions, England said. He noted that it appeared Zartman would return for this week’s game with Liberty.

Wilsonville lost their season opener to 6A Sprague, now 2-0. Sprague is currently tied for second in the state power rankings.

England lauded the efforts of West in the contest.

“He had an outstanding game with five catches for 157 yards. He also blocked well and had a good defensive effort with four assists on tackles,” the coach said. “Gage (Bumgardner) had a pretty good offensive effort. He rushed for 32 yards and had 139 passing. Tanner long had nine carries for 72 yards.”

He said the Lions just couldn’t contain the explosiveness of Wilsonville.

“We had trouble containing their speed. It was a lot faster than the week before with Cleveland. We have to learn from it and move on,” England said.

Next up for the Lions is Liberty. They are 0-2 on the season but have faced some tough opposition in those two games. They lost to 6A Glencoe, 40-13, in their opening game. They faced Churchill this past week, losing 57-34.

“They were pretty good last year, but lost quite a few kids from their senior class,” England noted. “Like us, they are relatively inexperienced, with a lot of sophomores. We should be evenly matched.”

Liberty runs out of the pistol offense with two wideouts. They also run the option out of the shotgun, like the fly sweep. They use a 4-4 defense and blitz quite a bit, England noted.

“It should be a good contest,” he concluded. “If we execute we can get back on the winning track.”

St. Helens will be back home the following week, hosting top-ranked Sherwood, the defending 5A state champs.

Scoring

St. Helens 7 0 14 0—21

Wilsonville 21 14 26 3—64

W—Tanner Shipley 60 punt return (Jackson Chase PAT)

SH—Corey West 29 pass from Gage Bumgardner (PAT good)

W—Johnny Ragin 48 pass from Tyler Carskadon (Chase PAT)

W—Shipley 61 run (Chase PAT)

W—Ryan Walsh 23 run (Matt Lucero PAT)

W—Walsh 41 run (Lucero PAT)

W—Shipley 52 run (Chase PAT)

SH—Tanner Long 38 run (kick failed)

W—Walsh 99 kickoff return (Lucero PAT)

W—Ragin 65 run (kick failed)

SH—West 5 pass from Bumgardner (Bumgardner conversion run)

W—Collin Etcheberry 2 run (kick failed)

W—Chase 33 field goal.