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Lions' comeback falls short

St. Helens got an offensive lesson from Parkrose QB Jonathan Boland, but allowed only one touchdown in the second half.


by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens freshman Tyler Rea extends a hand to block the Broncos' Andre Johnson. In the last several games, Rea has taken on a sizable role in the Lions' offense, due to the loss of several key starters to injury.The St. Helens Lions got a pair of touchdowns from senior running back Tanner Long, but it wasn’t enough, as the home team struggled to stop Parkrose quarterback Jonathan Boland from start to finish. Boland threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, giving the Broncos what they needed and nothing more to squeeze past the Lions by a score of 37-32.

Once again, it was scrap that kept the Lions in the game. Quarterback Gage Bumgardner, who also starts at safety on defense, picked off a pass early in the first quarter. A few plays later, Long rumbled eight yards to put St. Helens out in front.

The problem was, Parkrose wasn’t exactly content to stay down. Two touchdowns in the first quarter gave the Broncos a 13-6 lead, and midway through the second quarter, Bumgardner’s pass was intercepted and returned to the end zone from near midfield, and the Lions trailed 21-6, their early lead gone in a flash.

Bumgardner scored on a three-yard touchdown run, but Boland responded by punching in a nine-yard score of his own to put Parkrose out 29-13. Just before halftime, Bumgardner found one of his favorite targets, junior receiver Justin Helgerson, who scored from 24 yards with less than a minute remaining in the half.

Midway through the third quarter, it seemed like the Lions might finally rise up and take control of the game. Long’s second touchdown run, this time from seven yards away, pulled St. Helens within three points with plenty of time remaining.

However, Boland proved impossible to stop once again, this time hitting Marshawn Edwards for a 10-yard touchdown to push the Broncos advantage to 37-26.

Then came time for the late-game magic the Lions have been known for. After trailing 26-12 in the second quarter St. Helens allowed just one touchdown while scoring 20 points of their own.

The magic reached its peak two minutes into the final quarter. Parkrose fumbled a pass attempt, and the ball fell into the hands of senior safety Ryan Jensen. Before the Broncos could catch him Jensen had already broken away down field, outracing everyone for 67 yards and a touchdown to draw the Lions to within 37-32.

That’s where the comeback bid would fall short. Parkrose was able to hold on to the ball and burn the clock, adding another victory to their incredible turnaround this year, which is the first time that a Parkrose team has won six games since the 1982 season.

For St. Helens, there continues to be bright spots on both sides of the ball. The Lions intercepted Boland three times, including a 45 yard return from Bumgardner. The pair of freshman running backs, which look as though they will be the face of Lion football in years to come, performed well once again. Myles Terry combined for 84 all-purpose yards with 6 rushing attempts and four receptions, while Tyler Rea had eight rushes for 62 yards. Rea also had a hand in a sack, while Terry knocked away a pair of passes.

The Lions will finish up their season at home on Friday, Oct. 25 against the winless and struggling Milwaukie Mustangs (0-8, 0-6).

For more detailed coverage of this event, see the Friday, Oct. 25 edition of the Spotlight.

Parkrose 37

St. Helens 32

PHS 13-16-8-0 -- 37

SHHS 6-14-6-6 -- 32