Lions lead at halftime, but can't find end zone in the second half of the game

by: JEREMY DUECK - St. Helens' Tanner Long stiff arms a would-be Sandy tackler and picks up some yards during Friday's game.The St. Helens Lions gave the visiting Sandy Pioneers a good game for Friday’s Homecoming but couldn’t get the ball into the end zone in the second half in a 22-13 loss.

“We were in it,” St. Helens Coach John England said, “but they kicked a field goal with 3-4 minutes to go to salt it away.”

The Lions go the first score of the game, fell behind, and then came back to take the lead by halftime in the contest. St. Helens was down by just six points until Sandy put the game out of reach with the field goal.

Tanner Long put the Lions on the board early in the second quarter. Long, who rushed for 106 yards in the game and had 53 yards receiving, set up the first score with a 63-yard run. He then took the ball over from the 8. Nathan Reed kicked the PAT and the Lions led JEREMY DUECK - Sandy's Blake Robison hauls in a pass as St. Helens Ryan Jensen tries to break it up during Friday's game.

Sandy came back to score ed the extra point and the game was tied.

Later in the quarter, the Lions would stop a Sandy drive inside the Lions’ 20 and the Pioneers converted a 25-yard field goal.

With time running out in the half, the Lions picked up another score.

“We called a hook and ladder play and that got us to the 1,” England said. “We called a time out with five seconds left and knew we had time for one play. Brennan Norton ran it in from the 1 to score our second TD.”

The Lions were feeling pretty good about things and took the second-half kickoff. They picked up 10 yards on the first play and then fumbled the ball away. Sandy got the ball in good field position, and hit a 42-yard pass for the score.

It was a four-point game much of the rest of the way. Sandy would nail St. Helens with a safety, and towards the end, they kicked a 31-yard field goal to put the game out of range.

“It was frustrating,” the coach noted. “We controlled things in the first half and couldn’t put it away. Then we couldn’t get going in the second half.”

The coach thinks may improve for the last two games.

“The kids went pretty hard,” England said. “We have two tackles out, (Jacob) Zartman and (Blake) Lomax. We probably won’t have them this week, but maybe next week. We thought they were out for the season, but having them back for the last two games will be a boost for us. A lot of our young guys on the line have growing pains. It’s going to get better. There’s not any magic pill we can take, but just have to keep hanging in there and keep working on (getting better).”

St. Helens has their work cut out for it this coming week with Rex Putnam.

The Kingsmen are just 3-3 on the season and 16th in the OSAA rankings. However, they got a big boost after their first three games with the return of Deshawn Stevens. He was academically ineligible for the first three, but has made his mark since his return.

Putnam beat Liberty last Friday, 63-0. He returned the first three punts last week for touchdowns, and also had a kickoff return for a score.

“We’ll not be kicking it to him,” England said. “For sure it’s a bit of a challenge. Our kids are pretty resilient. We’ll be making a great effort to control their speed. That will be our mantra for the week.”

England said Putnam likes to run out of the spread and give Stevens the ball. He said not only is he difficult to contain, but they have 3-4 other playmakers.

Their quarterback, Jacob Thompson, has a pretty good arm, England noted. He said Tucker Fleischmann is also a pretty good running back and the team has two fairly fast receivers.

“We also have to be ready to pick up blitzes,” England said.

Putnam scored 68 points against Parkrose a week earlier, but lost to Wilsonville 51-14 two weeks ago. They beat Sandy 28-27 before Stevens returned.

The Lions travel to Parkrose on Oct. 19 and Milwaukie on Oct. 26.


Sandy 0 10 9 3—22

St. Helens 0 13 0 0—13

SH—Tanner Long 8-yard run (Nathan Reed kick)

Sa—Blake Robison 27-yard pass from Justin Adams (Wyatt Edwards kick)

Sa—FG 25-yards (Edwards)

SH—Brennan Norton 1-yard run (kick failed)

Sa—Robinson 42-yard pass from Adams (Edwards kick)


Sa—FG 31-yards (Edwards)

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