Ramsey rushes for 164 yards and four touchdowns as the Milwaukie Mustangs make believers of the Liberty Falcons

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Milwaukie senior running back Richard Ramsey dances through Liberty defenders and heads for the end zone on a 63-yard run early in the second quarter of last Fridays game with Liberty. Ramsey had this touchdown and another fourth quarter touchdown called back by penalties, but he still rushed for 164 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-10 Mustang victory.The Milwaukie Mustangs opened their 2012 Northwest Oregon Conference football campaign Friday with a newfound swagger and a “bring ‘em on” attitude, upending Liberty 55-10, to the delight of a large supportive home crowd.

“We’re a 6A team playing a 5A schedule,” said Milwaukie first-year head coach Don Johnson. “And that’s the way we handle 5A teams.”

“I think that if we play well — if we clean up the penalties and play with a little more discipline, we can finish up the season with wins,” said Milwaukie team co-captain Jake Leary.

It was the third win in four games this season for the Mustangs, who appear well on their way towards their first winning season since 1991.

This season’s earlier wins included a game in which the Mustangs scored a school-record 66 points in a 66-12 preseason rout of Franklin; and a 33-31 upset of Pendleton, the defending champion in the Intermountain Conference.

A year ago the Mustangs had lost to Liberty 40-14 in a season in which they won only one game.

Leary explained the turnaround: “Coaching. Last year we had the talent, but couldn’t get the wins. The coaching is 10 times better this year....”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Milwaukie coach Don Johnson had a lot to smile about Friday night, as his Mustangs humbled the visiting Liberty Falcons 55-10.A couple of transfers who can bust the big play — running back/safety Richard Ramsey (Jefferson) and wide receiver/safety Kendrick Bourne (Benson) — have also played a big part in the turnaround.

Ramsey, a state track and field finalist in the sprints last spring, had a breakout game in last Friday’s rout of the Falcons, rushing for 164 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries. He also had two touchdowns called back because of penalties, a 63-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 90-yard kickoff return in the third quarter.

“It feels good being a part of making history and turning a program around,” Ramsey said. “Everyone on this team loves to compete and everyone plays hard. I love being here.”

“And we love having Richard here,” Leary said.

Because of a plethora of penalties, it took the Mustangs awhile to take control of the Liberty game. They had 10 penalties for 80 yards in the first half.

But the Mustangs played superb defense throughout, so there was no worry of the Falcons building early momentum. Liberty finished the game with only 117 yards in offense. Falcon quarterbacks completed only 3-of-14 passes for six yards net, and Liberty turned the ball over no fewer than six times.

Milwaukie’s first touchdown came just four minutes into the game. The Falcons gained good field position at the Mustang 34 through an intercepted pass. But Milwaukie junior linebacker Brenton Oten got the ball back with a fumble recovery at the Milwaukie 26. Six plays later, Ramsey skipped one yard to the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

Because of the penalties, the Mustangs didn’t strike again until late in the first half.

Following another Milwaukie turnover deep in Mustang territory, Liberty senior Kevin Lave split the uprights for a 32-yard field goal to cut the Mustang lead to 7-3 with 6:41 remaining in the first half.

Then the Mustangs went to work. Ramsey capped off a seven-play drive with a seven-yard touchdown sprint to up Milwaukie’s lead to 13-3.

Bourne intercepted a wayward aerial and returned it 40 yards to the Liberty 25. A penalty was tacked on and the ball was advanced to the 12. Ramsey then dashed up the middle for his third touchdown.

On the Falcons’ next possession, Milwaukie senior Nicko Goodwin intercepted a pass and returned it 21 yards to the end zone, putting the Mustangs up 28-3 at the half.

On the third play of the second half, Ramsey turned on the afterburners for a 70-yard touchdown sprint, and the game belonged to Milwaukie.

Bourne added a 54-yard third-quarter touchdown reception to make it 41-3.

Senior Javonte Hughes recovered a fumble at the Liberty 17 on the ensuing kickoff. Three plays later senior Eddy Thomas scored from the two, making it 48-3 Milwaukie with 3:36 still left to play in the third stanza.

Liberty scored its only touchdown in the final seconds of the third period on a 5-yard run by 6-1, 200-pound senior running back Brynden Delle.

Milwaukie junior lineman Sam Twigger set up the game’s final score, recovering a fumbled snap at the Liberty 30. Five plays later, Milwaukie junior running back Chris Besaw leaped two yards into the end zone to gain the Mustangs their 55-10 winning tally.

Even with all the penalties and four Milwaukie turnovers, the Mustangs amassed 437 yards in total offense. Thomas carried 11 times for 98 yards.

Milwaukie senior quarterback DaJuan Gant completed 4-of-12 passes for 102 yards, with three interceptions. Bourne had three catches for 83 yards, and he rushed three times for 33 yards.

Byron Greenlee, a 6-2, 190-pound sophomore, and A.J. Antillon, a 5-6, 165-pound senior, led Liberty’s ground attack. Greenlee rushed three times for 35; Antillon rushed four times for 33 yards.

“I played hard,” Antillon said. “I gave 100 percent on every play. I only wish my teammates had played hard with me.”

Antillon commended the Mustangs: “They got after it. They played hard and they played us tough. They’re a good football team.”

Antillon was a first-team all-conference running back last fall.

Milwaukie (3-1, 1-1) travels to Sandy (1-3, 1-1) this Friday, before returning home next Friday for a showdown with NWOC power Wilsonville (3-1, 3-0).

Cats trample

the Kingsmen

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen met their match at eleventh-ranked Wilsonville Friday, bowing 51-14.

The Kingsmen were unable to stop the Wildcat ground attack, which amassed 547 yards rushing on the night. Heading up the offensive onslaught were 6-2, 185-pound senior Tanner Shipley, who rushed 17 times for 250 yards and two touchdowns; and 6-1, 180-pound junior Ryan Walsh, who picked up 124 yards and scored three touchdowns in just five trips with the pigskin.

Wilsonville senior quarterback Nick Highberger completed 5-of-8 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown, and he rushed eight times for 48 yards and a touchdown.

The Cats had the game in hand at the intermission, leading 38-7.

Eli Skiles and Deshawn Stephens scored Putnam’s only touchdowns, Skiles on a 10-yard run in the first quarter, and Stephens on a 63-yard pass from Max Bailey in the fourth.

Bailey completed 13-of-28 passes for 205 yards. Stephens made four catches for 101 yards.

Taylor Lewis (10 carries/55 yards) headed the Kingsmen ground attack.

Putnam (1-3, 1-1) meets Parkrose (2-2, 0-2) on the road this Friday.

Another career night

for Mitchell Thompson

In Class 6A, the Oregon City Pioneers were impressive in their Three Rivers League opener, a 59-23 trouncing of the Lakeridge Pacers at Lakeridge.

After spotting the Pacers a pair of early touchdowns, the Pioneers took charge, outscoring their hosts 52-10 the rest of the way.

The Pioneers trailed until the midpoint of the second period, when Connor Mitchell’s 27-yard sprint to paydirt made it 17-13.

Oregon City junior Jordan Villarreal-Ferguson recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. And two plays later Mitchell Thompson waltzed in from the Pacer 4 to up the Pioneer advantage to 24-13.

The Pioneers staged a goal line stand at their own 2 on Lakeridge’s next possession.

And seven plays later, Thompson scored from 32 yards out. Daniel Slack’s on-target PAT kick made it 31-13 Oregon City, and the Pioneers were in charge.

Thompson, who just a week earlier had rushed for a career-high 275 yards and three touchdowns, had another career night. The 5-8, 170-pound senior picked up 329 yards and scored four touchdowns in 29 trips with the pigskin.

Thompson has rushed for 967 yards and 11 touchdowns in four games this fall, while averaging 8.1 yards a carry.

The Pioneers outgained the Pacers 519- to 210 yards in total offense. Lakeridge 6-4, 180-pound sophomore quarterback Eric Dungey completed 13-of-28 passes for 153 yards, with two interceptions. Dungey (23 carries/57 yards) was also the Pacers’ top ground-gainer.

Oregon City senior defensive back Brandon Espy and Pioneer senior linebacker Dale Davis both came through with interceptions.

Ranked fifth in the state in the OSAA power rankings, Oregon City (3-1, 1-0) hosts Canby (1-3, 0-0) this Friday.

Cavaliers shoot themselves

in the foot with six turnovers

The Clackamas Cavaliers generated over 400 yards in offense, but had little to show for it, as penalties, turnovers and other offensive miscues proved costly last Friday in a 28-19 loss to Reynolds. The Raiders trailed until the fourth quarter.

The Raiders stopped two Clackamas drives inside their 20 before Dan Sherrell capped off an 80-yard, 11-play drive with a 12-yard dash to paydirt for the game’s first score a minute into the second quarter.

Doonie Johnson and Jacob Iverson teamed up for a 17-yard touchdown pass on the Cavaliers’ next possession, making it 14-0 Clackamas 8:53 before the half.

Reynolds fumbled the ensuring kickoff at the Raider 33. But penalties prevented the Cavaliers from getting anywhere. Reynolds then sustained a touchdown drive. The PAT kick was blocked, and Clackamas’ lead was 14-6.

The Cavaliers intercepted the ball deep in Raider territory as the half was winding down. Michael McDonald’s 23-yard field goal made it Clackamas 17, Reynolds 6 at the half.

A blocked punt gave the Cavaliers the ball at the Reynolds 12 early in the second half, but the Raider defense held.

The Cavaliers got another chance with an interception at the Reynolds 27, but a Raider intercepted the ball in the end zone for a touchback.

The Raiders then advanced the ball 80 yards in a penalty-aided drive, with Josh Schleining’s 17-yard pass to Caleb Chavez making it a 17-14 game as time was winding down in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers then mounted another drive, only to have it halted by another interception in the end zone.

Reynolds answered with another 80-yard drive, with Devante Warren hauling in a 38 pass from Schleining to put Reynolds up 21-17 with 9:19 left to play.

The Cavaliers fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Reynolds scored again with 6:53 to play on a 10-yard pass from Schleining to Quentin Bates, and the Raider lead was 28-17.

The Cavaliers went on the march again, only to fumble the ball away at the Reynolds 2.

The Raiders took a safety as time was winding down, and they held off the Cavaliers for the 28-19 victory.

The Cavaliers struggled to slow Schleining all game long, as the 6-1, 160-pound junior completed 26-of-40 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns, with three interceptions.

Sherrell had a big game for Clackamas, rushing 25 times for 207 yards. Clackamas quarterback Doonie Johnson completed 15-of-39 passes for 170 yards, with three interceptions.

Clackamas (2-2, 0-0) begins league play this Friday at Lakeridge (1-3, 0-1).

Glads continue

on a mission

Ranked No. 1 in the state in the OSAA Class 4A football power rankings, the Gladstone Gladiators continued to prove themselves worthy of the ranking on Friday, as they took care of business with Philomath, 42-22.

It was the first loss of the season for the Warriors, who had defeated La Salle 38-34 a week earlier.

The Warriors made a game of it in the first half and led 15-7 heading into the intermission. But it was all Gladstone in the second half.

The Gladiators scored four unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter, with Eric Prom scoring on a 23-yard run and a 62-yard interception return, Handsome Smith scoring on a six-yard run and Zach Smith scoring from four yards out.

Gladstone quarterback Austin Galvin scored on a 4-yard run as the game was winding down to round out the Gladiators’ scoring.

The Warriors struggled to slow Gladstone’s multi-pronged rushing attack, and the Gladiators amassed 384 yards in rushing offense. Handsome Smith (17 carries/173 yards), Galvin (10 carries/99 yards/2 touchdowns) and Zach Smith (18 carries/88 yards) headed the offensive assault.

The Warriors rallied around 6-1, 170-pound senior quarterback Derek Nash, who completed 19-of-26 passes for 226 yards.

The Gladiators (4-0, 0-0) face a stiff test this Friday when they play host to defending state and Tri-Valley Conference champion La Salle (2-2, 0-0).

The Falcons last Friday edged Banks 32-30, winning on a late-game field goal by Mark Holenstein.

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