Scappoose routs St. Helens en route to 48-0 rivalry win
It might not be the Civil War game, but for sports enthusiasts in south Columbia County, it might as well have been.
The St. Helens Lions (1-3) battled the neighboring Scappoose Indians Friday, April 2, at St. Helens High, and this time around it was Scappoose who got the upper hand, defeating the home Lions handily, 48-0.
Scappoose head coach Sean McNabb was happy with his team's performance — and he was just as happy, if not happier, to be on the right end of what is always an intense rivalry game.
"It's always great to win," McNabb said. "You know we're playing our cross-town rivals. It's always a big game. The kids are excited. It's nice coming out of here with a win."
In a game littered with first-quarter penalties, Scappoose (3-2) struck first, scoring with an 81-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Lukas McNabb.
The Indians' D'Angelo Macedo-Becker put his stamp on the game in the second stanza, adding to the Scappoose lead with a touchdown run of his own with 8:27 left in the half, making the score 14-0.
It was much of the same for the Indians as the second quarter progressed when senior running back Deacon Smith hit paydirt with just under three minutes to go. The Indians weren't done however, as junior receiver Colin Stoddard capped the first half scoring with Scappoose's third score of the quarter, putting the Indians up 28-0 with under a minute remaining in the half.
Smith added another touchdown in the third quarter to boost the score to 41-0, and Macedo-Becker tallied a second of his own in the fourth quarter which brought and end to what would be a lopsided 48-0 Indians win.
Despite the victory, Sean McNabb wasn't entirely pleased with his team's performance, citing penalties and at times poor sportsmanship as issues his team needs to address going forward.
"We had some issues with some penalties and didn't play real classy at times," the coach said. "There are some things we have to address and some things we need to fix, but all in all, I'm really happy about the game."
Before the game, the two coaches were asked about the rivalry and its rich history.
St. Helens coach Cory Young says the rivalry motivates his players.
"Their motors get going," Young said. "They're always excited for that game — you wish you could have the big crowds."
Young spoke to the pageantry of the annual St. Helens-Scappoose contest.
This year's event was not as big and boisterous as usual due to limitations on attendance. As a "moderate risk" county for the spread of COVID-19, Columbia County's outdoor sporting events are limited to half-capacity at most, so a game for which the stands are usually packed had a significantly sparser crowd.
"When the home games are going and there are no rules on how many people you can have in the stands, it's a pretty fun environment to coach in and for the players to play in," Young remarked.
McNabb echoed Young's enthusiasm for the rivalry atmosphere.
"This has always been a really big game," McNabb said. "You would know it if they would allow people in, because typically when we play, there's standing room only."
For a time, Scappoose and St. Helens were in different classifications and didn't face one another in conference play. The old rivalry was renewed in 2018 when Scappoose was reclassified as a 5A school and both schools were organized into the Northwest Oregon Conference.
McNabb said, "Now that we play each other every year, everybody's excited about that. It's a big game. I know their community gets up for it. Our community gets up for it — they (St. Helens) always give us a tough game. Nobody really wants to lose that game. There's a lot at stake. Both sides play really hard."
McNabb announced after the game that Scappoose would be playing at Franklin next week during the state's "culminating week." There was no immediate word on if St. Helens plans to play or who it might be facing.
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