Saints stunned again in slow start

MILWAUKIE, Ore. — A slow start in the season’s second game has put the West Sound Saints in a major league hole.

The offense finally clicked late in the game, ending a string of seven scoreless quarters, but it was too little too late as the team fell to 0-2 with a 36-21 loss to the Oregon Thunderbolts Saturday in Milwaukie, Ore.

The Saints fell behind 33-0 in the first half, getting beat on big plays, and beating themselves with mistakes. Some of the mistakes were as basic as missed snaps, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The big plays came mostly over the top, as long passes went for Thunderbolt scores.

“Our best DB’s got burnt,” said coach John Corey.

Still, the Saints did some things well, particularly in the second half, and especially on the ground, as Anthony Galloway ran for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Marvin Bronson also hooked up with Justin “Swoop” Kelley for an 8-yard touchdown pass. One of Galloway’s runs and the conversion came against a stacked defense.

“They were running a 5-3,” Corey said, “and they just stacked the box. But our line was able to get the job done and move them out.”

Linebacker, Eddie Llamas came in as the blocking back on those plays to help out.

Shaun Donnelly also ran well in the game, giving Galloway some needed spot rest.

“Shaun’s a real up and comer,” said team owner and left tackle, Michael Murray. “He and Galloway were pounding the ball up the middle. They were moving the ball the best I’ve seen.”

That movement mostly came in the fourth quarter when Bronson moved in from wide receiver to play quarterback.

“Marvin came in and took charge and brought us back,” Corey said. “He was not going to be embarassed like that.”

The Saints next host the Willamette Raiders at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Silverdale Stadium. The Raiders are at 1-1 in the Northwest Football League, after beating the Washington Cavaliers 12-7 last week. The Cavs beat the Saints in the first week of the season, 3-0.

“We’ve just put ourselves in a position where our integrity and willpower will be tested through the remainder of the season,” said tight end and defensive end Rollis Talalemotu. “Everybody just needs to dig deep. This league has really gotten better top to bottom, and we can’t afford to get another loss.”

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