St. Helens doesn't have answer for Mustangs' speed

by: JEREMY DUECK - St. Helens' Jacob Zartman (34 above) brings down a Milwaukie runner for a loss during Friday's game. Zartman missed a good portion of the season with an injury but returned a week earlier. The St. Helens Lions fell behind Milwaukie early on Friday night and never quite got back in the ball game in a 48-7 loss.

The game was the last of the season for the 1-8 Lions. They will not make the play-in round of state.

“We knew going in that they had four, five or six flat out burners,” St. Helens Coach John England said of the game. “They are a completely different team from last year.”

England said the Lions did a good job of shutting down the inside run and forcing Milwaukie to pass. However, Milwaukie passed pretty well, hitting their big receiver, Kendrick Bourne on three touchdown passes (47, 12, 39 yards). The Lions also had some problems containing Milwaukie quarterback Richard Ramsey.

“We had containment on him,” England said, “but just when we thought we had him corralled he’d get away. The kids played hard, but we just couldn’t match up with their speed.”

England was pleased that young back, Doug Fulcher, picked up some nice yards running—38 yards on eight carries. He noted that back Tanner Long didn’t have a lot of yards, but did have the Lions’ only touchdown run of the JEREMY DUECK - The Lions' Tanner Long (11 below) sacks Milwaukie's Richard Ramsey.

The coach noted that Jacob Hartman was back to full strength for the Lions, even switching jerseys so he could play tight end and tackle. Zartman had seven tackles, six of them for losses in the game.

The season didn’t go the way the Lions had hoped. “There were three or four games we could have won—Liberty, Sandy, Putnam and Parkrose,” England said. “We hurt ourselves. Teams with a lot of speed hurt us.”

He said the prospects for next year should be better.

“The good thing is that we have two true seniors, kids that have been playing the whole time,” England said. “I’ve never had that before. We were young. Next year we have 19-20 juniors coming back and that bodes well.”

He said the freshmen team had 25-30 kids out this year and that there was a good eighth grade team still in a playoff that will do well next season.

There will be some changes in the football schedule and classification over the next two years. Next year there will be no games before Labor Day, meaning teams will probably play an eight-game season before the play-ins start. There will also be no endowment games. In two years, there will just be five classes, and a revamping of leagues. As one of the smallest schools in the 5A class, the Lions will undoubtedly drop down to the 4A level. They could be in a league with Scappoose, once again.

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