The game is the closest the Bowmen have played all season, but still a blowout for the Lions

In a game that was eerily similar to last year's debacle, the St. Helens Lions struggled to get much of anything going against Sherwood, falling 54-13 on Friday night and dropping to 1-3 on the season. The Bowmen (4-0) have now won 17 consecutive games dating back to last season, when they won the Class 5A state championship, and defeated St. Helens 42-0 in the process.

Unlike the losses to Liberty and Wilsonville, this game wasn't the result of a mistake or a stalled drive in the red zone. In the past, the Lions racked up yards but couldn't finish. Against the Bowmen, things never really got started. Gage Bumgardner, who averaged 125 yards passing through the first three games, threw for just 70 yards and one touchdown. Though the Lions were free of interceptions for the first time this season, their lack of a viable running game was their kryptonite on Friday. Just three players carried the ball for St. Helens, the most successful being Bumgardner, who ran six times for 59 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, the woes began early for the Lions. Senior receiver Ryan Pino hauled in a 12 yard touchdown strike from quarterback Kevin Larkin, and the rout was on. Pino threw a 35 yard touchdown pass of his own late in the first quarter that put Sherwood up 21-0, and the home team was equally as successful in the second, racking up another 19 points to take a 40 point lead at the halftime break.

Bumgardner finally got the Lions on the board in the third quarter with their lone rushing touchdown of the day, but Sherwood scored another two touchdowns in the third, making Bumgardner's 14 yard scoring pass to Devon Jewitt simply an adjustment to the final margin.

However dreary the defeat might seem, there are some positives for St. Helens to take away. Certainly, the rest of the schedule doesn't pack quite the same punch as Sherwood, who played their closest game of the season against the Lions. St. Helens forced the second most points of any team the Bowmen have faced, and the home team put a considerable force on the field to contain senior lineman Jacob Zartman.

“If Sherwood sends 3-4 guys a game to block you, it boosts your self esteem in a rough game,” Zartman tweeted late on Friday. “On to the next one, no rear view mirrors.”

The Lions' next will match up with Hood River Valley, who also sits at 1-3 after a 49-28 loss to West Salem. The game begins on Friday evening at 7 p.m. at “Doc” Anderson Stadium in St. Helens.

For more extensive coverage of this game, see the Sept. 27 issue of the Spotlight.

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