Richard Ramsey is like greased lightning in a 46-26 win over cross-town rival Putnam

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Milwaukie quarterback Richard Ramsey slips an attempted tackle by Putnam senior lineman Moein Rezaei (54) in last Fridays 46-26 win at Putnam, while teammate Kendrick Bourne throws a block. Ramsey had a big game, as he led the Mustangs to victory, rushing for 245 yards and two touchdowns, and passing for 166 yards and three touchdowns.It was an historic night for Milwaukie High School football Friday, as the Mustangs handled their cross-town rivals from Rex Putnam 46-26.

With the win the Mustangs improved their overall record to 6-2, assuring themselves of their first winning season since 1991. The win also put the Mustangs at 4-2 in Northwest Oregon Conference play and gained them the inside track for a top-three finish in league.

Richard Ramsey last Friday proved the difference for the Mustangs in a game that was a lot closer than it needed to be. The 5-10, 190-pound senior helmsman played a part in five of the Mustangs’ seven touchdowns, rushing for 245 yards and two touchdowns, and passing for 166 yards and three touchdowns. He also had touchdown runs of 55 yards and six yards that were called back because of penalties.

The Mustangs out-gained their hosts 610- to 287 yards in total offense. But because Milwaukie had 140 yards in penalties and four turnovers, it was still anybody’s game well into the second half.

It was a six-point game, with Milwaukie up 32-26, when Ramsey broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown run with 2:18 remaining in the third period.

Ramsey worked magic all through the game, using his athleticism, agility and lightning speed to shed Putnam defenders like raindrops off a duck’s back. There was more than one long run on which half a dozen defenders got a hand on Ramsey but couldn’t bring him down.

Ramsey scored the Mustangs’ first touchdown of the game on a play in which it appeared that he was going to get thrown for a big loss. When he picked up a fumbled shotgun snap 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage on the play, he was being chased by four or five defenders. But he got away and raced down the left sideline 70 yards to the end zone untouched.

And, faced with fourth-and-goal at the Putnam 20, Ramsey evaded a host of blitzing defenders and launched a prayer to Kendrick Bourne in the end zone for the Mustangs’ final touchdown of the game. He then ran for the two-point conversion following the touchdown to gain the Mustangs their 20-point margin of victory.

‘You can’t stop him.

You can’t stop him....’

Milwaukie fans were repeatedly chanting: “You can’t stop him. You can’t stop him....,” and “We love Richard. We love Richard....”

“He’s a good athlete,” said Putnam senior co-captain Tucker Fleischmann. “He’s quick, and he’s a slippery guy, whether or not raining.”

“He’s amazing!” Milwaukie senior co-captain Jake Leary said. “I love watching him run. When I get my block and look up and see him running down the field, I feel great!”

Friday’s win at Putnam had special meaning for Leary.

“It means a lot because it’s the first time I’ve ever beaten Putnam in my career,” he said, noting that he first did battle against a Putnam team when he was in the third grade.

No question. Ramsey did play a major role in last Friday’s Mustang victory. But he didn’t do it alone.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Milwaukie junior Robert Akil (11) follows lead blocker Chris Besaw (32) as Akil picks up big yardage in Fridays game with cross-town rival Putnam.Milwaukie 5-10, 175-pound junior running back Robert Akil had a breakout game, rushing for a career-high 139 yards and scoring two touchdowns. He broke a 57-yard run for the Mustangs’ second touchdown of the game.

Putnam athletic standout Deshawn Stephens guarded Bourne tough all night, but the Mustang senior receiver still hauled in five passes for 92 yards and three touchdowns.

And the Mustang defense battled tough in the trenches on a number of Kingsmen drives, stopping the Kingsmen on downs inside the Milwaukie 31-yard line four times. Bourne and his teammates held Stephens to just three catches for 15 yards and 52 yards rushing. And Stephens scored just one touchdown.

Junior linebackers Chris Besaw (6 solo tackles, 3 assists, 3 quarterback sacks) and Brenton Oten (6 solo tackles, 3 assists, one sack) were Milwaukie’s defensive leaders.

Battling the rain as well as the Mustangs, Putnam quarterback Max Bailey completed 14-of-34 passes for 150 yards, with scoring strikes to Stephens, Fleischmann and Taylor Lewis.

Fleischmann made six catches for 88 yards and he rushed 14 times for 32 yards; Lewis made five catches for 39 yards, and he picked up 37 yards in 11 trips with the pigskin.

Putnam senior defensive back Nick Parr intercepted passes at the Kingsmen 10-yard line in the first quarter and at the Kingsmen 41-yard line in the third stanza.

Putnam senior lineman Todd Weiderhold recovered a Mustang fumble at the Milwaukie 23 in the first quarter, and Putnam senior defensive back Devin Hager intercepted a pass at the Mustang 19 in the third quarter.

First half is

hotly contested

The game was a hotly contested battle in the first half.

The Kingsmen scored on their first possession, taking the opening kickoff and marching 63 yards in 10 plays, with Lewis scoring on a 15-yard reception. Leary blocked the PAT kick.

The Mustangs scored on their second possession, the long run by Ramsey after he had recovered his own fumble on a shotgun snap.

Barely a minute later, Fleischmann beat Milwaukie’s defensive coverage, hauled in a pass and raced 43 yards to the end zone to put Putnam up 13-6.

With the first quarter winding down, Akil busted his 72-yard run. Ramsey passed to Bourne for the two-point conversion, and the Mustangs were up 14-13.

After stopping the Kingsmen on downs, the Mustangs drove 81 yards in 10 plays, with Akil doing the honors from the 3, for a 20-13 Mustang advantage.

The Kingsmen were quick to answer, with Fleischmann leaping into the end zone from one yard out to trim Milwaukie’s lead to 20-19.

Bourne returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards to the Milwaukie 45. And just two plays later, Bourne turned a short sideline pass into a 26-yard touchdown pass play, giving Milwaukie a 26-19 lead at the half.

Milwaukie took the second-half kickoff and marched 59 yards to the end zone in just five plays. Ramsey hit a streaking Bourne at the goal line on a 17-yard pass play for the score, making it 32-19 Milwaukie.

Hager picked off a wayward aerial near the midpoint of the third period and returned it to the Milwaukie 19, setting up a nine-yard scoring strike to Stephens. Bella Geist’s PAT kick trimmed the Mustang lead to 32-26.

Ramsey answered with his 48-yard sprint to paydirt and with his 20-yard scoring strike to Bourne, and the game belonged to the Mustangs.

Trailing only Sherwood (8-0, 6-0) and Wilsonville (6-2, 5-1) in the NWOC standings, Milwaukie (6-2, 4-2) and Putnam (4-4, 4-2) conclude the regular season with home games this Friday. The Kingsmen host Sherwood, while the Mustangs entertain the struggling St. Helens Lions (1-7, 0-6).

Heading into Friday’s games, Sherwood is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 5A, and Wilsonville is ranked fifth. Milwaukie is ranked 11th and Putnam is ranked 19th.

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