Spartans force two fourth-quarter turnovers, score 20 points late in 47-20 win

PAMPLIN MEDIA PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Lions senior quarterback Chase Parkhurst looks for a receiver under pressure.PAMPLIN MEDIA PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Lions senior wide receiver Dylan Kessinger runs through three tacklers.PAMPLIN MEDIA PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Lions senior defensive lineman Caleb Carter (76) pursues Hillsboro senior quarterback Curran Mitzel (6).PAMPLIN MEDIA PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Lions senior lineman Robert Landreth (53) blocks Hillsboro defenders on a point-after attempt from senior lineman Caleb Carter (76).SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JOHN BREWINGTON - Lions junior running back Connor Koelzer (6) and senior lineman Caleb Carter (76) break into the open field.

It took about two minutes for Hillsboro to turn a hard-fought game with St. Helens into a 47-20 runaway on Friday, Sept. 29, at Hare Field.

The Lions (0-5 overall, 0-3 Northwest Oregon Conference) and Spartans (1-4, 1-2) came in looking for their first win of the season and, midway through the third quarter, the chain gang wondered if the Kansas Plan [an overtime period in which both teams begin a possession at the opponent's 10-yard line] was still used to break ties.

The game was a back-and-forth affair: Hillsboro hit paydirt first with an 18-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Curran Mitzel to senior wide receiver Daekwon Mitchell with 8:43 left in the first quarter, but St. Helens answered, 7-6, with Isaiah Bettencourt's two-yard run and Caleb Carter's missed extra point at :47.

"I thought we showed some good improvement," said Lions coach Cory Young, as his side nearly doubled its previous high point total (12) and scored almost triple its average (eight). "In the second half a few plays got a little out-of-hand, but for the most part we scored some great improvement offensively with our 'o'-line and our ability to run the ball."

Hillsboro senior running back Jesse Brohmer's three-yard score opened a 14-6 lead, but Chase Parkhurst's quarterback dive and Bettencourt's two-point run tied it 14-14 at the half.

St. Helens played hard and, for most of the night, didn't look like a winless team: Bettencourt dashed 31 yards to the end zone, though Carter's point-after missed, for a 20-20 tie after Mitzel and Mitchell connected through the air from 31 yards and Spartans senior kicker Brandon Chavez's extra point try failed.

Mitchell sprinted 57 yards for six and a 27-20 lead through three quarters, but the game was still within the Lions' reach.

The disastrous two minutes came three minutes into the fourth: Hillsboro sophomore running back Trevor Schubmehl punched the ball in from a yard out, St. Helens fumbled away the kick return and Spartans senior running back Robert Aguilera scored from a yard away two plays later (though Chavez's extra point missed) for a 40-20 lead and 8:19 left.

"We had the game and started falling apart when things weren't going so good," Lions senior running back and linebacker Cody Leanna said.

Three plays later, Hillsboro senior defensive back Kane Kiaunis jumped a Parkhurst pass and weaved 29 yards the other way for a score and the final margin.

"I thought that the end of the game was my fault," said Parkhurst, a senior. "If I had hit [junior running back] Shawn Lee on time when we were down six points in the fourth quarter, then we tie it or go ahead, and if I hadn't thrown that pick-six at the end, then we might've had a chance. Other than that, I thought we ran the ball really well."

St. Helens is scheduled to give Parkrose (0-5, 0-3) its best at 7 p.m. Friday in Portland.


SH 6 8 6 0 — 20

H 7 7 13 20 — 47

First quarter

H Daekwon Mitchell 18-yard pass from Curran Mitzel (Brandon Chavez PAT), 8:43

SH Isaiah Bettencourt 2-yard run (Caleb Carter PAT missed), :47

Second quarter

H Jesse Brohmer 3-yard run (Chavez PAT), 5:59

SH Chase Parkhurst 1-yard run (Bettencourt 2-point run), :07

Third quarter

H Mitchell 31-yard pass from Mitzel, (Chavez PAT missed), 9:35

SH Bettencourt 31-yard run (Carter PAT missed), 6:52

H Mitchell 57-yard run (Chavez PAT)

Fourth quarter

H Trevor Schubmehl 1-yard run (Chavez PAT), 9:00

H Robert Aguilera 1-yard run (Chavez PAT failed), 8:19

H Kane Kaiunis 29-yard interception return (Chavez PAT), 7:16

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