Riders clinch share of WBL in rivalry win

CELINA, OH – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens wrote these words in his 1859 classic “A Tale of Two Cities”, but it very well could have described Friday night’s at times back and forth match-up between rivals St. Marys and Celina.

In a contest to decide if the Bulldogs would be able to reach for an outside share of their first Western Buckeye League title since 1995 or if their cross lake foes would put themselves even further ahead in the race each team took their best shots at one another and seemed to have the game in their favor.

Right out of the gate to open the game the Roughriders offense found themselves clicking as they used just four plays to travel 67 yards and on top 7-0 when Sean Perry rushed though a pack of white jerseys and into the endzone from 19 yards away.

Following the Bulldogs first possession ending with a three and out the Roughriders put together a classic Doug Frye style drive as they utilized 15 plays and 6:59 to push ahead 14-0 on a 1 yard dive by Quarterback Colin Clements.

Another three and out for Celina would give their visitors their best field position, this time at the Bulldogs 47 late in the opening period before Clements pushed in from 2 yards out for his second tally of the evening to put his squad on top 21-0 with 8:03 remaining in the second quarter.

A pair of punts would pin each team deep on their next possession before a big return gave Celina life at their own 40 with :26 to go in the first half. What was quickly a promising drive that moved the home team down to the Riders 20 came to and end when the stadium clock reached 0:00 however and sent the two teams into the locker room with a 21-0 St. Marys lead.

In the third quarter a Celina offense that had been out-gained by a plethora of yards in the first two periods sprang to life and were able to cut into the St. Marys lead with their first touchdown when QB Brett Schwieterman connected with Kole Murlin for a 6 yard touchdown late in the games penultimate quarter to make it 21-7 St. Marys.

Celina continued to stymie the St. Marys offense in the early part of the fourth quarter and pulled themselves to within 21-14 with just 9:57 remaining when tailback Kyle Zizleman raced in from 20 yards out for his 8th score of the season.

Despite Celina having the momentum in their favor the Rider offense was able to push the lead back out to a pair of scores and begin to deflate the Bulldog enthusiasm when Sean Perry, who finished with a career high 211 yards on the evening raced 59 yards down the sideline to put his team first and goal from the Celina 8.

Ty Schlosser’s 7th touchdown run of the season, an 8 yard jaunt gave the Riders a 28-14 lead with 8:55 remaining in the contest and all but assured his team would stay as the leagues lone unbeaten.

Two straight incomplete passes on third and fourth down for Celina and Schwieterman would force the Bulldogs to relinquish the football on their ensuing possession before St. Marys again put together another long drive to put the final touches on their second straight win in the series.

Starting from the Celina 48 the Roughriders utilized 9 plays and a key offside penalty on the Bulldogs inside the 10 to get Colin Clements his third rushing touchdown of the evening, a 1 yard plunge that provided the games final score and margin of 35-14.

Celina saw their final chance with the football come to an end as an errant pass found its way into the waiting hands of St. Marys defensive back Sean Perry and allowed his offense to take a pair of kneel downs to run out the remaining time in the contest.

With the loss the Bulldogs see their season record fall to 5-3 overall and 5-2 in Western Buckeye League play. Celina will be on the road next week as they will travel to take on Van Wert.

For the first time since the 2003 and 2004 seasons the Roughriders will lay claim to being at worst Co-WBL Champions. A win next week at home inside the friendly confines of Skip Baughman Stadium against Defiance would mean St. Marys (7-1, 7-0) would be the outright Western Buckeye League Champions for the first time since capturing the 2003 crown when they finished 9-2.

On the evening the Roughriders #1 ranked rushing offense picked up 366 yards on 59 rushes and held Celina to a total of 282 yards on 63 total plays. Leading the St. Marys attack was Sean Perry’s 211 yards on 24 carries. Ty Schlosser added 17 totes for a total of 90 yards, his second such rushing yardage contest of the season.

All-time St. Marys is now 64-29-6 against their lake counterparts, including 13-2 under current head coach Doug Frye who moves to a personal mark of 6-1 at Celina Stadium.

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Riders shutout Cats

ST. MARYS, OH – A dominating effort on both sides of the football Friday night not only gave the St. Marys Roughriders their 6th win of the season it also kept them unbeaten and atop the Western Buckeye League as the lone unblemished squad.

Despite not scoring on their opening drive of their 49-0 win when a fourth down screen pass resulted in a loss and a turnover on downs, the Roughriders would score on each of the rest of their three offensive drives in the first half and lead into the break 35-0.

Sean Perry got the scoring started for St. Marys following a turnover on downs by visiting Bath as he rushed in 34 yards and into the endzone for his lone score of the ballgame to make it 7-0 in his teams favor with 2:55 in the first period remaining.

Two plays on their second possession were both fumbles for Bath, but it was the second one of the two that was the most costly for the Wildcats as Braeden Dunlap scooped and scored from 15 yards away to run the lead to 14-0 St. Marys just 41 seconds after the Perry score.

71 yards on on 12 plays came to an end with another St. Marys score at the 9:21 mark of the second quarter when Dunlap did the damage again, this time on the offensive end as he raced to the outside and in for a score from 15 yards away to put the Riders on top 21-0.

After forcing their second turnover on downs of the opening two quarters the Roughriders offense went back to work with a short field, this time starting at the Bath 40 and picked up a pair of first downs before Bo Kuenning thundered in for a 7 yard touchdown that put the hosts on top 28-0 with 3:01 remaining in the opening half.

Another quick ending to a Bath offensive possession gave the Roughriders a short field to work with and ended with a quick score, this time a 9 yard touchdown run by Shannon Fowler to give the WBL leaders a 35-0 lead heading into the halftime break.

On the second play of the second half Bath backup QB Devon Kinyon who was thrust into action late in the second period when starter Kobe Burchett was knocked out of the game had his pass batted into the air and pilfered by St. Marys linebacker Christian Triplett who promptly returned it for a 25 yard score to continue the Rider onslaught and run the score to 42-0.

With the game quickly rounding down due to the running clock rule in a 30 plus point differential the two teams would trade a quartet of punts and a turnover on downs by Bath when Kinyon was sacked by the Riders on fourth down before the young players for St. Marys added the games final marker.

Starting from the Bath 40 the new look St. Marys offense led by QB Kurt Bubp pushed seven more points onto the left column of the scoreboard as 5’11, 160 pound Freshman rusher Hunter Fraley rushed in from 5 yards out and Parker Enoch added the extra point for good measure to close the scoring and the contest with a 49-0 Roughrider victory.

Offensively Bath (1-6, 0-6) accumulated just 37 total yards with 8 of those coming on the ground on 29 carries. The Wildcats will travel to take the Van Wert Cougars next Friday night seeking to end their 6 game losing streak since beating Allen East 19-9 to open the season.

St. Marys (6-1, 6-0) was led in rushing by Sean Perry who finished with 61 yards on the ground and also added a touchdown on the evening. Rushing the football as a team the Roughriders rushed 36 times for 241 yards and finished with a 266-37 advantage in total offensive yardage.

Next week the Riders will travel across Grand Lake to take on their rivals the Celina Bulldogs. With a win St. Marys will lock up at least a share of their second consecutive Western Buckeye League championship and 27th overall.

As of 1 A.M. Saturday Joe Eitel has the Roughriders listed as the 3rd highest computer point total in Division 4 Region 14 that can be found here: D4R14 Computer Rankings

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Riders stay perfect in WBL, blast Bulldogs

ST. MARYS, OH – Heading into Friday night’s WBL matchup with Elida, St. Marys mentor Doug Frye had never lost to the Bulldogs in his career as the head coach of St. Marys. Following Friday night’s game Doug Frye has still not lost to Elida in his career with the Riders as he moved to a personal mark of 15-0 with his teams 63-21 victory that keeps his team as the WBL’s lone unbeaten at 5-0 in league tilts.

A blue and gold offensive bonanza began on the first drive of the contest as the home squad moved 80 yards in 5:44 and into a lead they would never relinquish when Sean Perry blazed down the sideline for a 26 yard score and the first of his two scores on the evening to make it 7-0 St. Marys.

Points weren’t just coming from the offense in the sixth game of the year for the Riders, they came just as quickly on Elida’s first possession from the St. Marys defense when Jackson Harris pilfered an Isaac McAdams pass out of the air and rumbled 45 yards to push his team on top 14-0 with 4:14 left in the opening stanza.

Elida pulled to within 14-7 on their second possession of the game when McAdams was able to dive into the endzone to cap off a 12 play 79 yard drive with 1:53 but again their joy would be short lived as the Roughriders would quickly give themselves back a two score lead just moments later.

Following a kick return to the Elida 40 the Riders raced into the endzone behind the trio of Braeden Dunlap, Shannon Fowler, and ultimately Sean Perry who ended the three minute drive with a 5 yard score to run the score to 21-7 St. Marys.

Not to be outdone by the ball control of their opponents the Bulldogs ensuing drive covered 17 plays and six minutes before the WBL’s leading passer McAdams connected with Xavier Gilkey on a two yard score to pull Elida back to within seven points at 21-14 with 5:07 to go in the opening half.

Ty Schlosser’s first of four touchdown runs on the night came on a 4th down and 1 to go play at the Elida 5 when he rushed off right tackle and into the Elida endzone to finish off a 4:30 drive and give the Riders a 28-14 halftime advantage.

With Elida forced to punt away their opening possession of the second half the Roughriders ripped off another quick three minute drive and topped it up with Schlosser’s second touchdown, this time an 8 yard jaunt to push the score out to 35-14 St. Marys with 7:21 left in the games penultimate quarter.

Two straight turnover on downs on failed fourth down attempts gave St. Marys 14 more points on their next two drives as Schlosser rushed in for his third and fourth scores on the ground of the evening to give his team a 49-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. In scoring his fourth rushing touchdown of the night Schlosser equaled teammate Bo Kuenning as the only players this season to hit that mark for St. Marys.

Down to the final 9:39 of the contest the Riders began their fourth drive of the second half at the Elida 27 and utilized just a single rush from Shannon Fowler before his backfield mate Ty Howell ran for his first score of the season, a 25 yard journey that pushed his squad ahead 56-14.

Eddie Fowler’s first career touchdown run with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter gave the home team a reason to celebrate Homecoming weekend early as it topped off a 63-14 advantage for the blue and gold.

Despite being down big on the scoreboard it was the Bulldogs youngsters who picked up the games final score when freshman QB Carter Harsh scored from a yard out to provide the final points of a 63-21 win for St. Marys.

Elida sees their season record fall to 4-2 overall, and 3-2 in WBL play. The Bulldogs will next play host to Van Wert next Friday night.

St. Marys (5-1, 5-0) will entertain the Bath Wildcats next Friday night and look to keep their position at the top of the league in tact and unblemished.

Despite kicking eight extra points on the night following St. Marys touchdowns, Junior kicker Gabe Vandever came up just one XP short of tying the school record of 9 in a game set by Tom Waller against Shawnee in 1983.

In the first half the Roughriders were outgained by Elida 212-200 in total yards, but the second half saw a reversal of that stat as St. Marys finished the final two quarters by outgaining the visitors 271-59.

Offensively St. Marys was led on the ground by Sean Perry who rushed 21 times for 161 yards. Shannon Fowler finished with 96 yards on 9 totes of the football.

As of late Friday night according to Joe Eitel the Roughriders have moved up a spot from 4th to 3rd in Division 4’s Region 14 top 8 playoff chase: D4R14

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Roughriders roll to 4-0 in league play

KENTON, OH – Not only did their 30-13 win Friday night at Kenton move the St. Marys Roughriders to 4-1 on the season and keep them as the leagues only unbeaten at 4-0, it was also a monumental win as it pushed the schools all-time win total to 600 victories.

After choosing to take the ball first when they won the coin toss the Riders would waste no time putting up the games first score as they used four different ball carriers to move 60 yards in 3:06 and on top 7-0 when Ty Schlosser rushed in from 23 yards out for his teams first points on the evening.

Never to be out done by another team moving quickly and into the endzone, the Wildcats who entered the night as the WBL’s top passing attack utilized their five wide attack to break even at 7-7 just two minutes later when Jaron Sharp tossed his 10th touchdown of the season, a 3 yard score to Landon Rush.

Starting deep in their own territory following a booming Kenton punt the Roughriders moved 87 yards on 13 plays and back on top of the scoreboard at 14-7 when Braeden Dunlap tossed his second touchdown pass in as many weeks to Ty Howell, this time around a 23 yard hookup with 6:22 left in the opening half.

Another Kenton punt led to another long St. Marys scoring drive with 1:10 remaining in the second quarter when Shannon Fowler punched in from two yards out to push the advantage out to 21-7 and end a big 75 yard drive that featured five players carrying the football into the Wildcat defense.

Kenton was able to move quickly from their own 24 to the St. Marys 4 with time running down in the period thanks to the arm of Sharp, but were unable to finish the drive off with points before the break as Dunlap snagged a pass in the endzone to bring the threat to a close and send the Riders into the locker room with a 21-7 lead.

In the second half St. Marys utilized a school record three field goals in a single game by Junior kicker and all-time leading field goal kicker Gabe Vandever to run help secure and later push out their leads in the third and fourth stanza. Vandever’s field goals came from 19, 28, and finally 30 yards for the Riders only second half markers.

The lone Kenton score of the final two quarters came with 11:24 to go in the game when Sharp hooked up with Hunter Moore on a 9 yard scoring strike but saw their extra point attempt miss wide right to keep it a 14 point visitors lead at 27-13.

On the evening the Wildcats (1-4, 1-3) were held to 236 yards on 47 plays and finished with a pair of turnovers. Next week Kenton will travel to Van Wert to battle with the Cougars.

St. Marys finished the night by rushing 74 times for 388 yards and connected on four pass plays for a total of 43 yards. The Roughriders, who recovered all three of their fumbles will return home to Skip Baughman Stadium next week and look to remain the league’s lone unblemished squad as they host the Elida Bulldogs.

Shannon Fowler led the rushing attack for St. Marys as he finished with 22 carries for 135 yards while Schlosser ended the night with 97 yards on the ground.

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2017 NEO Showcase Recap

CANTON, OH – On Sunday, September 10th some of the best female ballers in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia descended upon the history Canton Memorial Fieldhouse to be a part of the annual NEO Showcase which is presented by Hall of Fame Huddle founder Rich Harland.

Designed to help girls basketball players in the 2018 through the 2021 classes showcase their talents to a bevy of college scouts in attendance the Showcase not only pitted the players against one another in a series of games, but also gave them an opportunity to get valuable coaching and skills help from the likes of Tyler Bates (Former Smithville All-Ohioan, Loudonville Head Coach) and (David ‘Cousy’ Border (Current Hiland Hawk assistant, multiple time state champion).

For a full list of players in attendance click here: NEO Showcase HOF Huddle

For their team games each of the color specific named teams were given a coach who has excelled on the court and is currently or on her way to college to continue playing such as Jackson star and future Maryland Terrapin Taylor Mikesell to gain a bit of guidance as they progress their game on the day.

When asked to sum up the event, Harland replied “It just brings so much joy to my heart to see all of these kids enjoying themselves while getting better and playing in front of so many coaches. It’s the biggest day of the year for me and it makes me feel so great to have so much support from the players, coaches, families and everyone involved. It’s truly so gratifying.”

For more information on the Showcase and future events be sure to check out the website at HOF Huddle or follow Rich on twitter @HOFHuddle_Rich

Showcase Photo Album: NEO Showcase Photos 2017

A handful of photos from the event:

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Roughriders comeback ends in OT win

ST. MARYS – The Roughriders didn’t lead once in regulation but found themselves in the lead when it mattered most as they moved to 3-0 in Western Buckeye League play with a 35-34 overtime victory Friday night over visiting Shawnee.

After being forced to punt on their opening drive the Indians got their offensive machine rolling early on their second trip with the ball as they marched 56 yards in just over four minutes and on top of the scoreboard 7-0 when Quarterback Johnny Caprella connected on a 9 yard touchdown pass to runningback Javion Daniels.

As they would be forced to do for most of the contest the Roughriders would push one of their own scores across in response to an Indian marker. Led by big runs from the trio of Shannon Fowler, Sean Perry, and Braeden Dunlap the Riders found themselves quickly knocking at the door to achieve their first touchdown. Colin Clements second rushing touchdown of the season, this time from a yard out with 1:28 remaining in the opening period pulled St. Marys back to even at 7-7.

Shawnee tossed an interception that was secured by Drew Jacobs on an overthrown ball on their next possession, but would again find themselves in the scoring column as they capped off an 89 yard five minute plus drive following a 56 yard Trey Fisher punt that pinned the Indians at their own 11.

Having already scored on a pass reception, Daniels would add a rushing score to his resume on the evening as he jaunted four yards down the right sideline with 5:06 left in the half to make the game 14-7 Shawnee where it would stay throughout the halftime break.

If the first half was a defensive struggle then the second half could be best described as an offensive explosion between the two longtime WBL rivals.

St. Marys began the scoring explosion on the opening drive of the third as they moved themselves 63 yards in just under four minutes and to even at 14-14 when Dunlap connected with Ty Howell for a 25 yard pass and catch touchdown.

On the first play of the fourth quarter and on fourth and three to go the Indians pushed back ahead by seven points at 21-14 when Caprella sprinted down the right side and in to the endzone from 39 yards yard with just ten seconds gone in the period.

Similar to what they had done to open the half the Roughriders put together a quick strike drive that yielded the game tying touchdown with just 5:38 to go when Shannon Fowler scored on a six yard rush.

Not to be outdone by their hosts the Indians again scored quickly to retake the advantage just 2:20 later when Daniels scored for a third time in the game and for the second time on the ground on the evening with a 46 yard score to push Shawnee’s lead to 28-21 with 3:18 to go.

Eight plays and 68 yards is all it took for St. Marys to pull the ballgame back to even once again when the WBL’s second leading rusher Sean Perry scored for the first time on the night from 31 yards away to make it a 28-28 contest.

Despite being able to move the ball effectively thanks to quick feet from Caprella and screen passes to wideout Grant Wheeler the Indians were able to move to midfield with time winding down but were unable to score before the final buzzer of regulation and force the game to a first overtime period.

On their first and ultimately only possession in overtime St. Marys relied again on the duo of Fowler and Dunlap for their first lead of the game. With his second carry of the quick three play drive it was Ty Schlosser who pushed his team ahead 35-28 with a 1 yard touchdown run that utilized Gabe Vandever’s fifth extra point of the game to give the Riders a seven point lead.

Perhaps to the surprise of their opponents the Indians utilized four running plays and pulled within a point of tying the game when Caprella scored from five yards out.

Shawnee coach Frank Crea rolled the dice for his team and chose to attempt a game winning two-point conversion instead of possibly sending the game to a second overtime, but fell short when Caprella was stuffed near the goal line by the Riders who secured their sixth all-time overtime victory in ten chances.

Offensively Shawnee saw their QB Caprella rush for 143 yards on the evening in addition to throwing for 122 on 16/21 passing. Joining the Indian attack on the ground was Wheeler who carried 14 times for 120 yards.

Next week the Indians (2-2, 1-2) will be home as they take on the Van Wert Cougars.

St. Marys was led on the ground by Sean Perry who toted the football 15 times for 120 yards on the night. The Roughriders (3-1, 3-0) will travel to Kenton to take on the Wildcats in Week 5 next Friday night.

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Kuenning, rushing attack pushes Riders past Van Wert

ST. MARYS, OH – St. Marys both started and finished with an offensive flurry as they raced paced visiting Van Wert and into the drivers seat in the Western Buckeye League with a 50-34 Week 3 victory Friday night.

Just as the schools all-time leading rusher Koby Frye had done nearly a decade ago on the night he broke the top rushing mark, Bo Kuenning stamped his name in Roughrider lore against the Cougars as he rushed for four touchdowns in helping his team to victory.

Kuenning’s first touchdown of the night put his squad on top for good where they would remain for the evening as he bullied his way in from three yards out on the opening drive of the contest and capped off a six play, 61 yard drive to make the game 7-0 in favor of St. Marys.

Early in the second quarter and beginning from the Cougars 49 the Riders again wasted no time as Sean Perry, Braeden Dunlap, Shannon Fowler and eventually Kuenning himself pushed their teams lead to 14-0 on his second score of the night.

Following defensive lineman Blake Kanorr’s first career interception the Riders only miscue of the night on special teams came when they attempted to add a field goal to their tally, only to see the kick from Gabe Vandever doink off the left upright with 7:06 left in the opening half.

Starting at their own 20 yard line the Riders fifth drive of the opening two periods ended just as their first and third had done, with a Kuenning score, this time from a yard out to push Doug Frye’s crew ahead by 21 late in the half.

Van Wert’s lone score of the half, on their ensuing possession and starting at the St. Marys seven was set up by a Jacoby Kelly kickoff return of 70 yards. Two plays and a penalty after it began the Cougars first scoring drive came to a quick fruitful ending when Nate Place’s pass found it’s way into the waiting arms of Drew Bagley.

For the final score of the first half the Riders utilized a pair of runs by the Western Buckeye League’s all-purpose yardage leader Braeden Dunlap totaling 61 yards before Kuenning topped thundered over a Cougar linebacker to push the home lead to 28-7 near the halftime break. In total the Roughriders carried the ball 39 times in the opening 24 minutes of play for 270 yards.

At times the second half resembled an arena league football game with its fast paced offensive outbursts more than a high school football contest and began with Van Wert getting on the board on the third period’s opening drive with Place tossing his second touchdown of the night, an 11 yard strike to Tanner Barnhart that pulled the Cougars close at 28-14.

A series of mistakes and a punt in which punter Trey Fisher was buried by a trio of Van Wert defenders put the ball first and ten at the Riders 21. Place, the WBL’s leading touchdown rusher picked up his 5th ground score of the season to pull his troops to within 8 but saw the ensuing extra point attempt knocked away by St. Marys defender Reed Aller who burst through the line and timed his dive perfectly.

Two weeks in a row the St. Marys special teams have answered a score by an opponent with a score. Last weekend Dunlap broke the hearts of Ottawa Glandorf by returning a kick 91 yards early in the fourth, this week the honor against the Cougars belonged to Perry who scampered 87 yards to push the Riders lead back to double digits at 35-20.

Not ones to back down from an opponent score, the Cougars used just two plays to respond themselves as the duo of Place and Barnhart hooked up once again, this time from 63 yards out to make the score 35-26 after kicker Jake Lautzenheiser missed the extra point.

The fourth play of the following St. Marys drive looked a lot like the first play of the game as tailback Shannon Fowler sprinted 43 yards past the defense attempting to tackle him for a score. Fowler would also rush in on the two-point conversion to give the Riders a 43-26 advantage with 4:57 to go in the games penultimate stanza.

Starting with 3:19 left in the third quarter and from their own 37 the home team found themselves on a path the program has been known for, a long game breaking drive culminating in a score. Colin Clements QB sneak from a yard out touched off a 12 play drive and finished at the 9:19 mark of the fourth period with the scoreboard flashing 50-26 St. Marys.

Despite being sacked by Kuenning and Aller early on in the drive, Cougars signal caller Nate Place rebounded late in the same drive as he tossed a 15 yard pass in the back corner to Storm Pierce for a score. James Aquaviva, the WBL’s 9th leading rusher entering play was successful on the two-point conversion to get his team within 50-34 with 6:13 remaining.

Just as they had done on their previous drive the Roughriders took time off the Skip Baughman Stadium clock in bunches as they utilized carries by Fowler, Clements and Ty Schlosser to get inside the Van Wert five and milk the time off until the game reached the final whistle.

Not only did Van Wert (2-1, 1-1) see their unblemished record suffer its first setback, but the Cougars who ended a 10 game WBL losing streak last week by beating Wapakoneta 26-20 saw their losing streak against St. Marys move to four straight.

St. Marys (2-1, 2-0) was led by a career high yardage output from Shannon Fowler who finished with 16 rushes for 135 yards and a touchdown run. Bo Kuenning finished with 80 yards and four scores on 19 carries and helped the Roughrider ground attack finish with 447 yards on 68 carries.

Colin Clements finished 3/4 throwing the football for 67 yards. All three completions by Clements resulted in first downs for St. Marys who picked up 25 on the evening.

Next week the Roughriders will be in action at home against Shawnee and will honor the 1990/92/93 State Championship winning squads before the game while Van Wert will battle 1-2 Ottawa Glandorf at home looking to get back on the winning track.

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Riders win 400th WBL game

OTTAWA, OH – It took a battle but the St. Marys Roughriders became the first team in Western Buckeye League history to accomplish 400 league victories as they traveled to Ottawa and knocked off the Titans 21-13.

Not only did the Riders accomplish a piece of history on Friday night, they also put a stop to a 7 game series losing streak to the Titans dating back to a 2009 victory on the Titan Stadium grass.

Coming out of a defensive struggle in the first half that saw the two squads trade punts and field position in a scoreless opening two periods, both teams looked to make their mark in the third quarter.

In typical St. Marys fashion the Roughriders used the clock and a grind it out attitude on their first possession of the third quarter before tailback Sean Perry bowled in from a yard out on his second touchdown run of the season to put his team on top 7-0 with 4:03 to go in the period.

An interception on the next OG drive by Drew Jacobs and a fumble recovery by the Titans set them up inside St. Marys territory at the 36 before Richie Knowlton danced in on a screen pass to tie the ballgame just eight seconds into the fourth quarter at 7-7.

Just as quickly as he took possession of the football at his own nine, St. Marys returner Braeden Dunlap sped through the Titan special teams 91 yards and into the endzone with 11:38 to go in the ballgame and give his squad a seven point advantage back at 14-7.

Titan fans were up on their feet again as their team pulled within 14-13 with 1:46 to go when Knowlton caught a Siebeneck pass and scampered in for a 10 yard score. Choosing to gamble with his team at home OG coach Ken Schriner chose to go for two points but was thwarted as the Rider defense knocked a pass out of the air and incomplete to keep the contest at a one point visitor lead.

Starting at midfield after their QB Colin Clements recovered an attempted OG onside kick, St. Marys coughed up the football in their own territory as Aaron Rieman hopped on top of the football for his own team at the 47 with 1:13 remaining.

Having been hit hard once already and seeing it lead to an interception by St. Marys, QB Jaden Siebeneck was again struck and forced to watch as Ty Schlosser returned his errant pass 50 yards for the final score of the contest to make it 21-13 Roughriders with just 1:20 left.

Only a fumble recovery and a couple of kneel downs remained in the contest before the Riders were able to secure their victory and scratch their seven year itch against the Titans.

OG (0-2, 0-1) who picked up just 48 total yards last week fared much better in this contest as they totaled 185 on the evening. The Titans will be home next Friday night and look to draw even in league play as they welcome Bath to town. Siebeneck finished 16/27 passing for 143 yards, 2 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions. Richie Knowlton, a special mention All-Ohio wideout last year led the Titans with 9 pass receptions for 126 yards and both scores through the air.

St. Marys (1-1, 1-0) nabbed 285 yards overall and were led by Sean Perry who toted the football a career high 24 times for 110 yards which also established a new career mark for the Junior. The Roughriders will open the home portion of their schedule next week for their annual Chicken Bowl event as they take on the 2-0 Van Wert Cougars.

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Jackets sting last in win

SIDNEY, OH – St. Marys and Sidney got off to an offensive explosion in their 2017 season opener on Friday night with the Yellow Jackets turning the table on the Roughriders from the previous seasons meeting and scoring last in their 39-32 non-conference victory.

Despite losing most of their record setters from an offense that finished as the second highest point scoring group in school history the Riders were able to get on the board first on the opening drive of the contest. In typical St. Marys style the Roughriders traveled 74 yards in 17 plays and took 8:45 off the opening quarter clock before Braedan Dunlap cashed in from four yards out to put his team on top 7-0.

Two plays is all it took for the Yellow Jackets to respond on their first possession as QB Andre Gordon connected on a 49 yard touchdown pass to Northwestern University commit Isaiah Bowser just :31 seconds after their first drive began. Ratez Roberts two-point conversion catch gave Sidney their first lead at 8-7 on the next play of the contest.

Showing that they too can score quickly, the Roughriders second possession lasted 2:39 before starting signal caller Colin Clements tossed the first of two deep balls for 39 yards and six points to Dunlap to give St. Marys an advantage of 15-8.

As they had done the first time they were given the football the home squad scored quickly to answer their opponents marker when Gordon marched in from 33 yards out to tie the ballgame at 15-15 with 10:48 to go in the opening half.

Four plays and a score for St. Marys culminated in a 52 yard touchdown pass from Clements to Dunlap and pushed the Riders back on top at 22-15 at the end of the next possession, and St. Marys added a field goal before the half from Gabe Vandever following a recovered onsides kick to lead 25-15 at the end of the period.

In the first half the Jackets ran 18 plays for 230 yards, while their opponents accumulated 239 yards on the back of 37 plays from scrimmage offensively.

A St. Marys penalty on the third quarter kickoff and two plays is all it took for Sidney and Bowser to get back to even at 25-25 as the GWOC’s leading rusher in 2016 thundered 39 yards for his second score of the ballgame with just :43 elapsed in the period.

Five and a half minutes flew off of the clock on St. Marys first possession of the second half and as it had done on nearly every possession in the first half, ended with a Rider touchdown. Sean Perry’s first touchdown of the season, a 10 yard jaunt pushed the visitors back out to a seven point lead at 32-25.

A turnover on downs by Sidney and a punt by St. Marys gave the Yellow Jackets the football inside the Riders territory for the second time in the half. As he had done earlier on in the game, Andre Gordon crossed the St. Marys goal line, this time from four yards out to tie the contest at 32-32 with 9:54 to go.

With their defense able to rise up and force the Roughriders to punt for the second straight possession, Sidney took over on their own 35 with 7:56 remaining in the fourth quarter and ultimately pushed ahead for good when Bowser scored from four yards away to give the home team a 39-32 advantage.

St. Marys last possession of the game began from their own 40 yard line thanks to a Dunlap kickoff return, but came to an end inside the Sidney 40 when Toledo committed defensive lineman Devan Rogers pilfered a Clements pass to help secure the win for his squad.

Sidney (1-0) and Head Coach Adam Doenges were led by the dual threat of Andre Gordon who connected on 10/14 passes for 185 yards, and rushed for a pair of scored and 67 yards on 9 carries. Isaiah Bowser added 205 yards for his sixth career 200+ yard rushing game to go along with his two touchdowns on the ground. As a team the Jackets amassed 426 total yards on 48 plays.

The Roughriders (0-1) fall for the first time in four games against the Yellow Jackets despite totaling 417 yards by their young offense on 63 plays. On the ground St. Marys rushed 55 times for 276 yards, while Clements finished 5/9 for 141 yards and a pair of scores to Dunlap on the evening.

Both teams will return to action next Friday night as Sidney travels to Bellefontaine while the Riders are off to Ottawa to take on a Titan team they have not beaten since 2009.

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2017 St Marys Football by the numbers

ST MARYS, OH – When the Roughriders kick off their 2017 season next Friday night at Sidney they will do so for the first time since 2009 as the defending Western Buckeye League champions as they finished in a 3-way tie for the title during their 2016 run to the Regional Finals and an 11-2 record.

By virtue of their WBL title last season the Riders have now placed 23 conference championships for football in the trophy case at Memorial High School, the most in the league (Van Wert is next on the list with 18 all-time trophies).

This season the Riders will look to replace not only a lot of their leadership but also some of the most productive players in school history and break in new players to the starting lineup.

Week 1 will see St. Marys travel south to Sidney to continue their opening round battle against the Yellow Jackets. Last season the Riders survived a scare from a talented Sidney squad and emerged 43-39 winners after rallying from a 19 point deficit with a Julius Fisher score to secure the victory.

All-time against Sidney the Riders sport a 34-23-4 record, including wins in their last three contests in the series by a combined 154-88 margin. Three seasons ago St. Marys hung a school record 71 on the Yellow Jackets, but will find a high paced offense led by Northwestern commit Isaiah Bowser and dual threat QB Andre Gordon hungry to hand them an opening game loss.

When Week 2 rolls around the Riders will be looking to become the first WBL school to record 400 wins in conference play as they travel to Ottawa to tangle with the team who beat them last in league play and snatched a share of the league title in the OG Titans. QB play was a big positive for the Titans in their 13-7 win at Skip Baughman last season, but OG will be missing starter Jay Kaufman this season due to injury. St. Marys leads the all-time series 34-15-1, but have not beaten Ken Shriner’s crew since winning in Ottawa in 2009 21-13.

Weeks three and four of the season will welcome Van Wert and Shawnee to Skip Baughman. Van Wert who finished winless last season has not beaten the Riders at home since 2013 when they posted their only victory of the season there 41-32. Overall the Roughriders find themselves 53-37-6 against the Cougars.

Shawnee finished 2016 with just a single victory, 28-26 at Van Wert and will break in a new QB after the departure of last seasons starter Ray Manley and attempt to end their two game skid against St. Marys who they have beaten just 19 times overall in 55 opportunities.

Kenton’s Wildcats play host to the Riders in week five as they venture away from home for just a single game in the middle of a four game homestand. Two seasons ago St. Marys ended a 7 game Kenton series winning streak by rallying back from a 17-0 Wildcat lead and scored a 42-23 win behind a school record tying 3 touchdown passes from Dustin Howell. Overall the Riders hold a 54-25-2 advantage in the two teams meetings.

A two game home stand against two teams from Lima in Elida and Bath highlights weeks six and seven at Skip Baughman. Last season the Riders defeated both squads on the road and improved their records against them all-time to 39-8 (Elida), and 34-18 (Bath).

The Battle of Grand Lake St. Marys takes center stage in week eight as the Riders travel to take on their rivals the Celina Bulldogs. Last season the Riders were victorious at home but they will no doubt be looking to erase memories of a 28-21 loss to the green and white that kept them from a possible playoff berth. Overall the Riders have dominated the series with a 63-29-6 lead.

As the season winds down the Roughriders will return back to the confines of the blue and gold colored stadium they’ve called home for the past 80 plus years to take on a Defiance squad they dominated last season, but have struggled with historically and hold just a 29-21 series lead against.

There’s no telling how the playoff race will have shaken out for the first nine weeks when the Riders travel to Wapak to take on the Redskins in the seasons final regular season game, but recent history suggests no matter what it will be a playoff type atmosphere at Harmon Field. St. Marys picked up a 13-7 victory last season at home in Week nine and owns a 67-40-5 record against the Redskins.

Overall against this seasons regular week opponents the Roughriders sport a 442-235-25 record. On the road at the aforementioned venues St. Marys is 77-35, and 80-29 at home.

2017 Season Schedule
8/25 at Sidney
– Series record: St. Marys leads 34-23-4
– St. Marys at Sidney: St. Marys leads 12-5
– Current streak: St. Marys has won last 3 meetings

9/1 at OG
– Series record: St. Marys leads 34-15-1
– St. Marys at OG: St. Marys leads 16-6
– Current streak: OG won last season

9/8 vs Van Wert
– Series record: St. Marys leads 53-37-6
– St. Marys home vs VW: leads 19-7
– Current streak: St. Marys has won last 3 meetings

9/15 vs Shawnee
– Series record: St. Marys leads 35-19-1
– St. Marys home vs Shawnee: St. Marys leads 13-4
– Current streak: St. Marys has won last 2 meetings

9/22 at Kenton
– Series record: St. Marys leads 54-25-2
– St. Marys at Kenton: St. Marys leads 15-8
– Current streak: St. Marys has won last 2 meetings

9/29 vs Elida
– Series record: St. Marys leads 39-8
– St. Marys home vs Elida: St. Marys leads 19-3
– Current streak: St. Marys has won last 3 meetings

10/6 vs Bath
– Series record: St. Marys leads 34-18
– St. Marys home vs Bath: St. Marys leads 15-7
– Current streak: St. Marys won last season

10/13 at Celina
– Series record: St. Marys leads 63-29-6
– St. Marys at Celina: St. Marys leads 19-6
– Current streak: St. Marys won last season

10/20 vs Defiance
– Series record: St. Marys leads 29-21
– St. Marys home vs Defiance: St. Marys leads 14-8
– Current streak: St. Marys has won last 3 meetings

10/27 at Wapak
– Series record: St. Marys leads 67-40-5
– St. Marys at Wapak: St. Marys leads 15-10
– Current streak: St. Marys won last season

All games this season can be heard live starting with pregame at 6:30pm on K94.3 FM with myself and Dennis Cisco.

*Records and numbers compiled with help of Paul Sadler and Roughrider Football History Website

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