Countryman busts a 35-yard run to paydirt for the winning touchdown with just 2:11 left to play

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen won a wild one from cross-town rival La Salle Prep on Friday, scoring the winning touchdown in a 23-19 victory with just 2:11 remaining.

La Salle had scored what appeared to be the winning touchdown less than a minute earlier.JOHN LARIVIERE - La Salle defenders Cayden Martinez (2) and Jhevon Lancaster (5) and a teammate were in hot pursuit of Putnam running back Jesse Countryman (2) on this late fourth-quarter play. But Putnam running back Jesse Countryman (2) eluded them and raced 35 yards to the end zone to score the game-winning touchdown in last Fridays hard fought battle between the local teams.

Neither team had scored in the second half until La Salle senior wide receiver Jalontae Walker took the ball in from two yards out with just 2:47 left to play. An attempt to pass for the PAT came up short, but the Falcons still felt pretty good, holding the lead for the first time since early in the second quarter, at 19-16.

But there was no quit in the Kingsmen. Following the ensuing kickoff, on Putnam’s first play from scrimmage, Putnam quarterback Jake Hamilton hooked up with wide receiver Kane Stephens for a 40-yard pass play. And on the very next play, Jesse Countryman busted a 35-yard run to the end zone, for a Kingsmen lead and the 23-19 victory.

The game was tight all the way. Junior Beau Winters put Putnam up early in the game with a 2-yard dash to paydirt. Tommy Ciobanasiu split the uprights to make it 7-0.

The Falcons were quick to answer, as Jacob Lyver returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to the end zone. Parker Cardwell’s on-target point-after tied it up at 7-7 with barely three minutes elapsed on the scoreboard clock.

As the first quarter was winding down, Ciobanasiu split the uprights for a 28-yard field goal, making it 10-7 Putnam.

But La Salle went up 13-10 early in the second period when La Salle quarterback Nick McCoy teamed up with Cardwell for a 60-yard touchdown pass play.

Putnam quarterback Justice Ashpole passed nine yards to Hamilton near the midpoint of the second period, and it was 16-13 Putnam at the half.

Countryman had a big night for Putnam. Besides scoring the winning touchdown, the Kingsmen senior leader rushed for 195 yards on 22 carries, made eight solo tackles and three assists on defense, and averaged 48 yards on two booming punts.

Hamilton completed 4-of-5 passes for 84 yards, with the pivotal late-game completion to Stephens.

For La Salle, McCoy completed 6-of-12 passes for 140 yards; Cardwell had four catches for 105 yards; and sophomore running back J.J. Menor rushed 16 times for 64 yards.

Putnam finished up with a 349- to 283-yard edge in total offense.

The win ended a Putnam losing skid at five games and it put the Kingsmen at 3-4 on the 2015 Northwest Oregon Conference league season (3-5 overall) with one league game remaining.

La Salle slipped slipped to 2-5 in league (3-5 overall) with the loss.

The Kingsmen meet Parkrose (3-5, 3-4) on the road in their Oct. 30 league final, while the Falcons play host to league-leader Liberty (8-0, 7-0) in their final.

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