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Lions find trouble scoring at Parkrose

St. Helens finally tallies their first score as time expires in rainy game


by: JEREMY DUECK - St. Helens' Tanner Long score this touchdown on the last play of Friday's game at Parkrose. The Lions lost the contest, 12-6.The St. Helens Lions ran the ball all over the field on Friday night, but couldn’t find the end zone until it was too late to matter in a 12-6 loss to Parkrose.

The game started on a miserable note with a steady rain during pre-game warm-ups and throughout most of the first half. It dried up for the second half.

“The first half was pretty sloppy for both sides,” St. Helens Coach John England said. The Lions would fumble five times in the game, but lose only one.

One fumble almost proved costly. St. Helens was about ready to score, lost the ball and a Parkrose player picked it up and showed it to the referee. The whistle hadn’t blown and he scampered 70 yards before Tanner Long ran him down at the 20, England said.

by: JEREMY DUECK - St. Helens' Ryan Jensen (25 above) flies around right end for some good yardage during Friday's game at Parkrose. It was just one of those games. Long would carry 29 times for 215 yards, including one 66-yard run, but didn’t score until the last play of the game. The Lions would be inside the 20 of Parkrose three times and inside the 10 one time before fumbling. The St. Helens defense would limit Parkrose to 160 yards on the ground, and no completed passes, but would still lose.

St. Helens contained Parkrose most of the first half. With three seconds to play, Parkrose’s Josh Reyes broke free on a 44-yard touchdown run.

“We contained them the whole game, but got out of position on that one play,” England said.

The 6-0 lead lasted until around four minutes remained in the game. No whistle was blown on a Parkrose punter whose knee touched the ground, and the Lions were left with the ball at the three-yard line. One pass went awry, but on the second play, quarterback Gage Bumgardner lost the ball in the end zone and Parkrose recovered to clinch the win.

“Gage didn’t do a bad job,” England said. “The line was not giving him any time at all to throw. On that play he was pressured, tried to make something happen, fumbled and they recovered for the touchdown.”

St. Helens would move the ball down the field after the kickoff, and Long took over the touchdown from 15 yards out as time expired. No attempt was made on the extra point.

England said Andrew Gray was the player of the game on defense. He had nine tackles, seven assists and three tackles for loss, plus two fumble recoveries.

“On one series, he stuffed two runs, ran down a sweep, and forced an incomplete pass,” England said. Others that did well included Andrew Sandstrom with six tackles and four assists, Joey Beggio with five tackle and four assists, and Long with three tackles and 10 assists.

England said the defense played decent, but that overall his offense needs to “come together as a unit. We’re not playing well as a unit. When we play well we can move the ball against anyone. We’re going to have a good week of practice.”

St. Helens takes on an improved Milwaukie team this week. The Mustangs are 6-2 on the season, losing only to top-ranked Sherwood and fifth-ranked Wilsonville. They are coming off a 46-26 win over Rex Putnam last week.

“They’re much improved from last year,” England said. “Their new coach has done a good job. They got 4-5 transfers from Portland and one is a 100-meter champion with a lot of speed. They also have a Division 1-calibre kid, who's fast and quick. Our job is to contain their speed and try to corral the quarterback.”

Scoring

Putnam 0 0 0 6—6

St. Helens 0 6 0 6—12

P—Josh Reyes 44-yard run (kick failed)

P—Nick McCleary recovered fumble in the end zone (kick failed)

SH—Tanner Long 15-yard run (no conversion attempted, time expired)