St. Helens leads Hood River Valley twice in the early going but quick scores prove undoing

by: JEREMY DUECK - St. Helens' quarterback Gage Bumgardner stiff arms a Hood River Defender and picks up a first down during Friday's game. The Lions made it close for awhile in the first half, but eventually fell behind.
The St. Helens Lions got off to a pretty good start against Hood River Valley on Friday, even twice taking the lead in the contest, but in the long run they couldn’t keep pace.

The short-handed Lions also have also been beset by injuries, leaving them little depth to deal with the often-explosive Eagles.

“It was a tough night for us,” St. Helens Coach John England said. “They scored five touchdowns on runs of 50 yards or more and also had some 30- and 40-yard big plays. We’d do the right thing for nine or 10 plays, but those big explosion plays just killed us.”

The Lions would end up losing 58-10, but the game started well for St. Helens. A big 67-yard run by Brennan Norton would get the Lions into scoring position. When they couldn’t push the ball into the end zone, Nathan Reed came in and kicked a field gold.

HRV came back to score on a 54-yard run and take the lead, but St. Helens put together a drive and Tanner Long snagged a touchdown pass from Gage Bumgardner to give the Lions the lead once more. It would be the last time.

HRV drove and scored on a one-yard plunge for the lead, added a 34-yard run for another score and an 81-yard pass the last touchdown of the half.

The Eagles would score 30 points in the second half, four touchdowns and a safety. Runs of 78, 62, 80, and 50, plus the safety left the Lions gasping in the second half.

“We have to tackle better,” England said. “We’d have a play stopped but they’d bounce to the outside and we’d lose containment. We need to do a better job of containing speed in space.”

England felt some of his players had decent nights. He noted that Norton had 77 yards on 12 carries, and Bumgardner completed 11 of 21 passes for 166 yards and rushed for 43 more yards. Corey West had three catches for 98 yards.

Defensively, Andrew Gray had four tackles and four assists; Joey Beggio had four tackles and three assists; and Tanner long had two tackles and five assists.

While the game was a non-league one, England noted that it still hurt the Lions because of the OSAA power ranking system. St. Helens dropped to 23rd in the rankings. The top 24 make the play-in round to get into the state playoffs.

The Lions host Sandy for Homecoming this week. England said the Pioneers like to pass and have a big quarterback with a strong arm. They also have a new coach.

Sandy is 1-4 on the season having only beaten Parkrose, 14-6. One of their losses was just by one point to Rex Putnam. Their first loss was just by a touchdown to HRV, 35-28. They lost to Milwaukie on Friday, 42-23.

“We have to put an emphasis on open field tackling and getting to the ball and preventing bad plays,” England added. “We’re going to brainstorm on ways to do that. We’re doing some things right, but have to solve the problems. Sandy is a little different team in that they throw the ball down the field more.”


St. Helens 3 7 0 0—10

Hood River 7 21 14 16—58

SH—Nathan Reed 25 FG

HRV—Forrest Broddie 54 run (Cesar Romero kick)

SH—Tanner Long 8 pass from Gage Bumgardner (Reed kick)

HRV—Broddie 34 run (Romero kick)

HRV—Luke Kopecky 1 run (Romero kick)

HRV—Chase Young 81 pass from Kopecky (Romero kick)

HRV—Jeremy Fischer 78 run (Romero kick)

HRV—Broddie 62 run (Romero kick)

HRV—Broddie 80 run (Romero kick)


HRV—Alex Jimenez 50 run (Romero kick)

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