Unbeaten Wilsonville starts fast vs. St. Helens
WILSONVILLE — With a dominant 48-0 win over former Class 6A program Cleveland, the St. Helens Lions came into their Oct. 11 showdown with the No. 2—ranked team in 5A with a fair amount of momentum. At Randall Stadium though, Wilsonville squashed the resurgent Lions, 67-14.
The loss dropped St. Helens to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in Special District 1. Wilsonville stayed sterling at 5-0 in league, 7-0 overall.
"We struggled handling Wilsonville's speed," St. Helens coach Cory Young said. "Their quarterback was able to expand throwing zones like we have not seen this year."
Wilsonville's passing gave the St. Helens linebackers and secondary trouble, racking up 228 yards through the air.
Wilsonville managed to seal the game before the Lions could get on the board. All before halftime, the Wildcats put up 57 points before St. Helens could answer back.
St. Helens senior running back Connor Koelzer carried the ball into the end zone from 24 yards late in the second quarter, and a PAT made the score 57-7.
In the fourth quarter, after Wilsonville had tacked on another touchdown and a field goal, St. Helens got its second TD. Junior running back Jacobi Allen ran 55 yards for the score.
"We need improve on our angles, both offensively and defensively," Young said. "When you play a team with good speed, one false step right or left gets exposed very quickly."
St. Helens will play its next game at 7 p.m. Friday at Forest Grove, with league playoff position on the line and the goal of a spot in the state playoffs still a possibility.
"Our goal as a team was to be in a position to earn a playoff spot at the end of the regular season. We have one more game and the opportunity to reach that goal," Young said. "We have worked hard and gotten better every week, which is crucial for a young team. Our team has grown very close as the season has progressed thanks to our parents, who have done team dinners every week."
The players, Young said, "have done a great job of putting the team first above all else. They are a close group that shows up every week ready to get better, which is all a coach can ask for."