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Panthers, under new coach, display potent passing game and lead from start to finish

ST. HELENS — Under a new coach, the Redmond Panthers got off to a fresh and successful start to their football season Friday night at St. Helens High.

The Panthers led all the way and won 44-7.

Redmond's first score came on a safety with 3:35 remaining in the first quarter, after the Panthers lost a fumble two yards from the end zone.

St. Helens had to kick off, and Redmond drove 32 yards in six plays and converted a two-point conversion for a 10-0 lead.

The Panthers led 17-0 at the half and 30-0 after three quarters.

Junior quarterback Austin Carter, operating out of a mostly spread offense, threw for three touchdown passes, and three Panthers running backs (sophomore Nathan Mundy, senior Brendan Powell and junior Kole Davis) each ran for a TD.

St. Helens scored with 7:50 left on the game, when running back Kyle Parnell slashed five yards to cap a nine-play, 73-yard drive.

The teams met in their 2018 openers as well, with Redmond winning 44-21 at home.

This time, the Panthers were under Seth Womack, a hire from Eagle Point who is Redmond's fourth coach in as many years.

"It was good," Womack said of starting 1-0. "We were expecting to coming out a little faster than we did — it took us a little bit of time to get moving offensively — but our kids responded well and kept working hard and got us where we needed to be."

Redmond, before this year, ran a lot of unbalanced single-wing offense, much like St. Helens. The Panthers are obviously going to wing it — i.e., pass — more this year, at least.

"We made the change, and we really like where we're at," Womack said.

Early mistakes, including five false-start penalties in the first half, kept the Lions from establishing much momentum offensively.

"Last week, in the jamboree, we were a lot calmer and focused," St. Helens coach Cory Young said, "and did a lot better job executing.

"Defensively, I thought we made some improvements from where we were last year, but we've still got a long ways to go.

"The kids are coachable. They hate losing, but you learn from it, find out what you did wrong and come back next week and get better."

St. Helens will open league play in the Class 5A Special District 1 with a game on Friday, Sept. 13 at Hillsboro (Hare Field).

Redmond will visit Eagle Point for a nonleague game on Sept. 13.

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