Titans win 4th game of season

WAUSEON, OH – Ottawa Glandorf Tuesday night rolled to a 27 point victory at Wauseon to improve their record to 4-0 on the young season.

The reigning Western Buckeye League Player of the Year Kadie Hempfling got the scoring started early and often for the Titans as behind a bevy of steals and blocks by her team she accounted for 13 of her game high 19 markers in the first quarter. Kylie White snagged a handful of rebounds in the stanza as well and connected on 4/4 from the free throw line to go along with her made basket for 6 of her teams 22 points in the opening eight minutes of play.

Leading 22-6 when the second quarter began the Titans wasted no time adding to their lead as the duo of Erin Kaufman and Lexi Schroeder pumped in a three pointer and a fast break bucket while holding the Indians to 11 points in the period and just 17 in the opening half.

Ottawa Glandorf led 36-17 in the early moments of the third quarter and again used Kaufman to stretch their lead even larger as the Titan Sophomore found the bottom of the bucket on a trio of occasions to put her squad on top 46-22 heading into the final period.

Stifling defense helped the Titans force 26 turnovers on the night and immediately turn those directly into fast break points as the WBL Champions outscored their opponents 15-12 in the last quarter to secure the 61-34 victory.

Wauseon (0-4) was led in scoring by Karli Penrod who finished with 8 points, including a pair of three point goals in the third quarter.

OG finished with three players in double figures and was led by Hempfling’s 19 points. The Titans (4-0) will travel to St. Marys on Thursday night as they begin WBL play against the Roughriders with a 6pm tipoff for the JV.

Scoring:

Wauseon (34):
Mya Suarez 4
Ally Tefft 4
Kendra Gorczyca 3
Rylee Campbell 4
Karli Penrod 8
Brianna Castellano 5
Alexis Suarez 5
Aliza Dauterman 2

FT: 6/8
TO: 26

OG (61):
Carri Johnson 1
Paige Sutter 2
Erin Kaufman 13
Mackenzie Meyer 4
Lexi Schroeder 8
Kylie White 11
Courtney Bockrath 3
Kadie Hempfling

FT: 7/10
TO: 13

JV: 44-21 OG

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Bearcats claw past St Henry

SPENCERVILLE, OH – Three pointers were the name of the game at the Walk-In Closet on Friday night as St. Henry and Spencerville combined to throw up 43 triple attempts on the evening. Spencerville finished the contest at 4/8 and in the end with a 56-49 victory in front of their home fans to open the season.

St. Henry held Spencerville scoreless for the first half of the opening quarter and held on to a 3-0 behind a Ryan Luttmer three pointer until the Bearcats got on the board with 4:05 left in the stanza when Senior Gary Schrolucke connected on 2/3 charity tosses. The Redskins tossed in a pair of three pointers from Ryan Bruening and Mitch Schwieterman to lead 15-11 after the first eight minutes of play.

The old adage is “live by the three, die by the three” and St. Henry put that to the test in the second quarter as their only points would come from the duo of Curtis Ulenhake and Luttmer who each hit from behind the arc.

Despite being held scoreless in the first quarter by the Redskins defense Dakota Prichard exploded in the second period with 9 points, including a three pointer of his own to help give his team their first lead at 16-15 with 4:24 left in the half. Junior Ben Dues two points in the quarter, his only marker of the game helped the Cats lead by four at the half 25-21.

Prichard struck the visiting defense again in the third quarter as he would pick up seven more points and a second made three pointer to bump his total to 16 and coupled with baskets from Bailey and Griffen Croft, and a three from Schrolucke handed the home squad a 40-36 lead going into the final quarter.

Spencerville finished from the free throw line 22/36 on the evening but did connect on 12/20 of their attempts in the fourth quarter that saw the Bearcats survive multiple miscues with the basketball and emerge victorious by seven. For their part the Redskins did put up 14 markers of their own but fall in the end 56-49.

St. Henry sees their season start at 0-1 but will be in action Saturday night at Russia. The Redskins were led in scoring by Ryan Luttmer who finished with 12 points, all coming on made three pointers.

The Bearcats were led in scoring by Dakota Prichard who finished with 22 points. Saturday night will see Spencerville on the road at Bluffton University for a 6pm tilt with Colonel Crawford.

Box Score:

St. Henry (49):
Curtis Ulenhake 3
Nathan Lefeld 1
Ryan Luttmer 12
Mitch Schwieterman 11
Ryan Bruening 7
Tyler Schlarman 7
Blake Hoyng 6
Cody Bruggeman 2

FG: 17/46
3PT: 9/35
FT: 6/10
REB: 24

Spencerville (56):
Dakota Prichard 22
Gary Schrolucke 11
Griffen Croft 9
Bailey Croft 7
Daniel Corso 5
Ben Dues 2

FG: 15/32
3PT: 4/8
FT: 22/36
REB: 28

JV: St. Henry 40-33

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Flyers hoist 9th state title

COLUMBUS, OH – It might not have been the prettiest win in Marion Local history but it certainly was just as meaningful as the past 8 state title victories Friday afternoon as the Flyers staved off previously unbeaten Cuyahoga Heights with a 21-17 victory.

Offensively Marion Local committed four turnovers to just one for Cuyahoga Heights and held the high octane Redskins offense to 254 yards on the morning/afternoon.

Cuyahoga Heights started the scoring in the contest in the first quarter with a 31 yard field goal from kicker Mark Shafer to strike first and lead 3-0.

Marion Local’s response to their opponents field goal would come just moments later on the next drive of the game as the Flyers marched 71 yards on 8 plays and pulled ahead 7-3 as Nate Moeller took a toss sweep off the right side of the line and bounced into the Ohio Stadium endzone untouched for his squads first score.

Following a Redskins punt that was downed inside the Marion Local one yard line the Flyers dominant offensive line went to work with 1:24 left in the first quarter. 19 plays and 99 yards were covered by the Marion Local offense on their third possession of the game over the span of 9:40 ending at the 3:44 mark of the second quarter when QB Duane Leugers barreled in from a yard out to make it a 14-3 ballgame.

Leugers second rushing touchdown of the contest and 24th of the season would come at the 1:52 remaining mark of the same stanza as he rushed through a host of would be tacklers and for a score untouched that put Marion ahead 21-3 heading into the halftime break.

Despite possessing the football to open the third quarter with an 18 point lead the Flyers offense was unable to capitalize on a short third down and were forced to punt back to the Redskins. Starting at their own 31 and with 9:38 in the third the Cuyahoga Heights offense that had been held in check for most of the game up to this point struck for four first downs on their way to a 1 yard touchdown run for their QB and 1st team All-Ohio selection Brett Lowther that cut the Marion Local lead to 21-10.

Before tailback Nate Moeller could reach the football across the first down line on the ensuing Flyer drive he was stripped of the ball on his teams next possession and saw it end up in the hands of Lowther at the 46 to give the Redskins new life.

Aided by a blocked punt that landed at the Marion Local one, Cuyahoga Heights quickly got within four points of the Flyers with 11:41 remaining in the contest when Lucas D’Orazio rumbled in from a yard out into his opponents endzone for a score that made it 21-17 Marion Local.

Despite both teams turning the ball over on two different possessions each the Flyers were able to march to the Cuyahoga Heights 14 but were unable to pick up a crucial fourth down play and were forced to give their opponents the ball at their own 15.

With 85 yards to go and just :53 to do so the Redskins offense who had burned their last timeout on the previous defensive drive were forced to go into hurry up mode. Calm and cool, Lowther connected on three straight passes for a total of 49 yards and across midfield into Flyer territory. It was not meant to be however for Cuyahoga Heights as Lowther was sacked for a loss of 12 and hurried into back to back incomplete passes as time ran out on their season behind on the scoreboard.

Marion Local finishes the season 14-1 and with their 9th state title in 11 championship game appearances. Cuyahoga Heights in their first title game appearance sees their season end at 14-1 and as runners up in Division 6.

Midwest Athletic Conference teams are now 31-11 all-time in state championship contests and will get two more opportunities to bring home gold trophies as Minster and Coldwater will compete on Saturday in Division 7 and Division 5 play.

Stats link: D6 State Championship Box Score

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Indians win season opener

FT RECOVERY, OH – The 2016 season kicked off Thursday night for the ladies of Fort Recovery as they defeated the visiting Knights from Crestview 57-37 at Fort Site Fieldhouse.

Fort Recovery jumped out to an early lead with St. Francis commit Whitney Will tossing in a basket and a pair of free throws and continued their hot shooting as Jocelyn Kaiser and Grace Thien connected on a pair of field goals each. Crestview Junior Paige Motycka was the lone scorer for her team in the opening period and was held to just one make from the field to go along with her 6/6 performance from the line.

Starting the second quarter trailing 21-8 the Knights did themselves no favors offensively as they were harassed into four turnovers by the Indians defense. Late in the half Crestview guard Lexi Gregory connected from the right wing on a three point goal to cut the lead down but was unable to help keep the score low on the home side as Will put up nine of her 13 first half markers and helped her team run to a 34-15 halftime break lead.

Just as she had done in the first quarter, Motycka scored all of her teams points in the third stanza as she connected on a three pointer, two from inside and a pair from the line for a total of 11 in the period. Despite getting to the line twice in the third, Motycka would see her streak of 14 consecutive made free throws come to and end as she missed on one moments before the quarter buzzer.

Grace Thien’s five points in the third quarter led the Indians but a three pointer from Kiah Wendel midway through the quarter helped put a stop to a trio of trips down the floor with a turnover by her team and push their lead to 46-24 at the buzzer.

Alyssa Gent popped in the third Crestview make from beyond the arc in the game early on in the fourth but the Knights again were unable to capitalize on their good fortune as two players in Lyvia Black and Gregory combined to shoot 3/4 from the charity stripe. Motycka finished off her performance of a game high 28 points with seven points but it wasn’t enough as the Knights dropped their second game in a row, 57-37.

Aided by seven points of her own in the final quarter before fouling out, Will finished with a team high 20 markers and 13 rebounds for Fort Recovery on 7/9 shooting from the floor and 2/4 from the free throw line.

Crestview (0-2) will find themselves off until Thursday, December 8th when they begin Northwest Conference play by traveling to Bluffton to take on the Pirates. Fort Recovery (1-0) will have just one day off before they welcome the Wapak Redskins to town for a Saturday afternoon non-conference battle.

Box Score:
Crestview:
Lyvia Black 2
Lexi Gregory 4
Alyssa Gent 3
Paige Motycka 28

FG: 9/45
FT: 15/19
3PT: 3/16
TO: 13

Fort Recovery:
Kiah Wendel 6
Grace Thien 10
Carley Stone 7
Brooke Kahlig 4
Val Muhlenkamp 2
Whitney Will 20
Jocelyn Kaiser 8

FG: 24/49
FT: 6/10
3PT: 3/10

JV: 33-26 Fort Recovery

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Titans hit 10 3’s, blitz by Tinora

OTTAWA, OH – Two OG Titans connected on nine of the teams ten three pointers and combined for 31 of their squads points and helped the hosts down visiting Tinora 76-44 in non-league action Tuesday night.

Ottawa Glandorf Head Coach Troy Yant was celebrating his birthday and his team wasted no time giving the Titan mentor his 92nd career win as they jumped out to an early 10-0 lead before Tinora dented the Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium scoredboard on a Kacey Wilkerson free throw at the 4:17 mark of the quarter.

Senior Kylie White, a 1st team WBL selection last season grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds and tossed in eight points in the opening period before teammates Kadie Hempfling and Erin Kaufman combined for 13 points to push the OG lead out to 21 when the quarter buzzer sounded.

The second period came with a plethora of substitutions for the home team and saw the team continue their hot shooting as Sophomore Ashley Schroeder connected on a pair of triples while teammate Carri Johnson tossed in her second from behind the arc to give the Titans a 46-23 advantage at the halftime break.

Despite scoring a team high 9 points in the first half on a trio of shots from deep, Tinora Freshman Shaelyn Pedroza who Rams coach Robin Eberle refers to as “one of the best pure basketball players we’ve ever had come through here,” was held to just two second half points by a Titans defense that forced 9 second half turnovers.

Schroeder and Johnson each buried a pair of three’s in the third quarter to help give OG a 65-31 lead heading into the final stanza.

Carri Johnson’s final three and an inside bucket with just minutes to play helped preserve the Titan win but was aided by buckets from Masie Utrup and Kylie White in the final stanza as well as a pair of free throws by McKenzie Meyer to make up the 76-44 final score.

Tinora (1-1) was led in points by Wilkerson’s 12 as they would see their 6’3 Senior post connect on 6/11 free throws. Pedroza was next on the scoring list for the Rams as she tossed in 11 points while McKenzie Helberg scored 9.

Ottawa Glandorf (2-0) finished with Johnson’s career high 17 as their top score and with three others: Kylie White (15 points, 6 rebounds), Schroeder (Career high 14 points, 4 three pointers), and Kaufman (12 points, 4 steals) in double figures. The Titans will next travel to take on Kalida Saturday afternoon with a 1pm tipoff in a varsity contest that can be heard on WZOQ Radio

Box Score:

Tinora (44)
Amber Schliesser 3
Shaelyn Pedroza 11
McKenzie Helberg 9
Gina Norden 5
Sydney Grieser 4
Kacey Wilkerson 12

FG: 14/41
3PT: 5/19 (Pedroza 3, Helberg, Norden)
FT: 11/18
REB: 25 (Wilkerson 8)
AST: (Schliesser/Pedroza 3)
STL: 4 (Grieser 2)
TO: 21

OG (76):
Ashley Schroeder 14
Carri Johnson 17
Erin Kaufman 12
McKenzie Meyer 2
Lexi Schroeder 4
Masie Utrup 2
Kylie White 15
Courtney Bockrath 4
Kadie Hempfling 6

FG: 30/53
3PT: 10/26 (Johnson 5, A. Schroeder 4, Kaufman)
FT: 6/7
REB: 25 (L. Schroeder 7, White 6)
AST: 17 (Hempfling 5)
STL: 13 (Kaufman 4)
TO: 10

JV SCORE: OG 61-28

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Riders football runs to record year

ST. MARYS, OH – Despite their season coming to an end last weekend in the Regional Finals, the 2016 version of St. Marys football rushed themselves into the schools record books in a multitude of ways.

Before this season it had been eight full years since the Roughriders found themselves with a share of the Western Buckeye League as they did this season with an 8-1 record. In the 2008 season St. Marys finished with a 7-2 result of their conference slate and shared the championship four ways with Shawnee, Kenton, and Defiance. Overall the Roughriders were able to pick up their WBL leading 23rd conference championship, no other team outside of Van Wert (18) has reached double digits in that category.

By ending their regular season at 9-1 the Riders also found themselves back in the playoffs and with the opportunity to host a first round playoff game for just the third time in school history, and for the first time since 2003 when they fell to Cincinnati Wyoming 18-16. This years Riders found their opponents to be the Dayton Belmont Bison when the seedings were finalized and had little issue with their opponents as they defeated the Bison 42-8 for the first home playoff win in program history.

Offensively St. Marys finished as the second highest scoring unit in a single season as they racked up 474 points for an average of 36.5 points per game that also ranks in the top 10 for a single season at 6th.

Against Sidney in the 2016 season opener the Riders survived a strong Jackets attack for a 43-39 win and also set a pair of records in the process as they rushed 77 times (previous record was 75 times in a game vs Sidney in 2000), and totaled 84 total offensive plays to break the previous mark of 81 vs Sidney in the same 2000 contest mentioned above.

Individually the Riders saw a handful of individual records fall or would see players rise quickly up the ranks. Quarterback Dustin Howell leaves his football eligibility behind as the schools all-time leading yardage passer as the first QB in school history to throw for over 2,000 yards as he finished with 2,052. Howell also leaves as the leader in passing touchdowns with 20 scoring tosses. On the ground Howell also finished with 25 rushing scores in his time under center. There have been eight instances of a QB throwing for three touchdowns in a single game, three times that feat has been accomplished by Howell, including most recently this season as he tossed a trio of scores at Shawnee.

Rushing the football St. Marys accounted for 4500 plus yards behind the Senior dominated lineup of 1st Team WBL Offensive Tackle Garrett Lauth, 1st Team WBL Center Jonathan Peterson, 2nd Team WBL Guard Aaron McGraw, Tyler Miller, and the conference Lineman of the Year Joey Morlino.

With many holes to run through Eric Spicer finished his career as the Riders 3rd all-time leading rusher by running for 1,620 yards during his Senior year (4th best single season mark), and 3,647 yards on the ground in his career. Spicer, who finished as the WBL Back of the Year and was a 1st Team All-NW District selection reached the endzone 31 times via rush and 38 times overall (6 receiving/1 kick return).

Alongside the damage Spicer did on the ground this season he was joined by Julius Fisher who opened the season with six straight 100+ yard games and finished with 1,220 yards rushing. With their combined total of 2,840 yards the Riders Senior duo finished just 6 yards from being the highest gaining twosome in a single season in school history (Shawn Lamb/Adam Kerns & Bo Frye/Justin Nagel each finished with a 2,845 combined total).

Defensively the Riders not only found themselves giving up just 11.0 ppg, St. Marys surrendered 166 points in 13 games and also posted their first shutout almost a decade to the date of their last shutout with both coming against Bath. In all the Riders would finish the season by blanking three straight opponents (Bath/Celina/Defiance) and accomplishing that streak for the first time since 1982 when they opened the season by shutting out their first four opponents of the year.

Five Roughrider defenders finished the season with over 100 tackles, led by Junior and 1st Team WBL LB Austin Giesige who tallied 136 tackles. Grant Keith’s 133 stops put him as the second highest tackler for St. Marys while first year starting linebacker Jackson Harris nabbed the bronze with 120 tackles. Rounding out the 100+ stops club for the #1 ranked defensive unit in the WBL were 1st Team DB Dustin Howell with 111 stops, and the conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Year Matt Patten with 100 tackles.

During their last WBL Championship season in 2008 the Roughrider offense picked up 242 first downs. This seasons Riders finished with 22 first downs in the Regional Finals against Trotwood-Madison and eclipsed the 2008 team in that statistic as they finished by earning 257 first downs on the year.

Sophomore kicker Gabe Vandever not only broke the school single season record for Field Goals made by finishing with 9, he also broke the career record previously held by Tom Walter during the 82 and 83 seasons in which he made 4 and 6 respectively.

Perhaps the biggest number of all to fall for St. Marys came this season for their long time head coach Doug Frye. With the Riders 43-7 victory at Shawnee in Week 3 of the season the Roughriders mentor collected his 200th career win and became just the second coach in school history to do so following in the footsteps of the legendary Skip Baughman who racked up 272 victories in his storied career.

Though the 2016 season might have come to an end, this years crop of players will live long into what is a vast and storied history of St. Marys football as they had a record year that saw the team finish with more then 10 wins for the 12th time in school history.

*Records compiled with the help of Paul Sadler, Rider Football Stats crew, St. Marys HS and their fantastic record keeping located here: Rider Football History

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Titans look to get back to State

OTTAWA, OH – For the past two years the Ottawa Glandorf Lady Titans have finished their season as runners up in the OHSAA Tournament but will look to take the next step this season as they return a talented and experienced group to the hardwood.

Head Coach Troy Yant is back behind the Titan bench and ready to continue his teams dominance in the Western Buckeye League this season and build on the success of the programs first conference crown last year since their previous title that came during the 2004-05 campaign. Yant will enter this season with a career record of 90-15 and a 30-7 WBL mark.

Last season’s Point Guard Dani Ellerbrock has graduated and is now plying her trade in the college ranks at Columbus, Ohio based Mount Vernon Nazarene University. During her four years under the tutelage of Yant the four year starter finished as a 2nd Team WBL selection last year and was honored at the State Tournament last season for having started 108 games in her high school career.

Returning for the defending Western Buckeye League champions this season will be the WBL Player of the Year Kadie Hempfling. Hempfling, a versatile Junior who averaged 15.3 ppg, 8.3 rebounds per game, and 3.4 assists per contest on her way to 2nd team All-Ohio honors in Division 2. Entering this season Hempfling has accrued 634 points in her first two seasons of varsity action and figures to be one of the best players in the league and the Northwest Ohio area once again.

Coming off of a strong season in which she led the Titans in total points scored with 370 tallies and a 12.7 points per game average, Senior Kylie White will be another key addition for OG if they are able to make a long run deep into the tournament as they have done the past two years. White snagged 8.3 rebounds and handed out 3.4 helpers a contest while also leading the team in scoring for a majority of the season en route to a 1st Team WBL and 2nd team All-Ohio selection last year.

Lexi Schroeder, a 5’9 Senior Wing for Ottawa Glandorf came off the bench two seasons ago in a limited role but emerged as a go to scorer for her squad last season as she led the team in scoring on four occasions including a career high 15 points in a win over Perrysburg early in the season. Schroeder finished her Junior campaign averaging 7.8 points per game while pulling down 4 rebounds and will be counted on for a similar output this season.

Sophomore Point Guard Erin Kaufman might not be the biggest guard leading her team in the WBL but she might be the fiercest defender the conference has to offer. Standing at 5’5 the OG second year guard is coming off of a year in which she burst onto the scene by averaging 4.8 points and an assist per contest while also being tasked with guarding some of the better offensive players in the lineup each night on the other side of the court. In last seasons State Championship game loss to Kettering Alter it was Kaufman who stepped in to lead the OG offensive attack as she finished with a team high 12 points.

Two returning letter-winners in Senior Devon Warnecke and Junior Carri Johnson will be looked at to provide not only solid offense and defense for the Titans but also leadership to the younger players as they have each been part of the two trips to the Finals the past two years as well. Joining the aforementioned duo will be Junior Mackenzie Meyer who finished last season with 1.6 points per game and will look to contribute greatly as her role grows this season with more minutes available to her.

Joining the rest of last seasons strong nucleus and looking to add significant minutes will be 5’8 Senior Courtney Bockrath who appeared in 22 games last season and tossed in 30 points, and Sophomores Paige Sutter (5’11 Post), and 5’4 guard Ashley Schroeder whose 2 points last season came early on against Tinora.

Ottawa Glandorf opens their season on Saturday against Miller City at home with a 6pm Junior Varsity tip.

Every OG Girls game this season both home and away can be heard live via: WZOQ Radio

2016-17 Ottawa-Glandorf High School Girls JV/Varsity Basketball Schedule

Sat Nov 26 Miller City H 6:00
Tues Nov 29 Tinora H 6:00
Sat Dec 3 Kalida A 1:00
Tues Dec 6 Wauseon A 6:00
Thur Dec 8 St Marys A 6:00
Thur Dec 15 Bath A 6:00
Thur Dec 22 Ottoville H 6:00
Wed Dec 28 Liberty-Benton H 6:00
Thur Dec 29 Columbus Grove A 6:00
Tues Jan 3 Perrysburg H 6:00
Thur Jan 5 Van Wert H 6:00
Thur Jan 12 Celina H 6:00
Sat Jan 14 Lima Sr H 12:00
Mon Jan 16 Massillon Tuslaw A 10:00 *Game is part of annual “Classic In The Country” Event in Berlin, OH*
Thur Jan 19 Shawnee A 6:00
Sat Jan 21 Miami Trace H 12:00
Thur Jan 26 Defiance A 6:00
Thur Feb 2 Kenton H 6:00
Tues Feb 7 Napoleon H 6:00
Thur Feb 9 Wapakoneta A 6:00
Tues Feb 14 Archbold H 6:00
Thur Feb 16 Elida H 6:00

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Rams eliminate Riders in shootout

PIQUA, OH – Two of the top ten teams in the final Associated Press rankings in Division 3 put on a contest for ages Saturday night Piqua for the right to go to the State Semifinals. Fans in attendance at Alexander Stadium were treated to a tightly contested game that in the end was won by the six time defending region champion Trotwood Madison Rams 34-27 over St. Marys.

St. Marys fired the first shot across their opponents bow in the opening stanza as they capped off a 70 yard drive when the Western Buckeye League’s Back of the Year Eric Spicer jaunted in from 27 yards out to give his team their first lead at 7-0 following a successful extra point by Gabe Vandever.

Having not trailed but just a few times during the season the Trotwood offense went back to work on their ensuing drive and marched 75 yards into the Rider endzone when Junior tailback Raveion Hargrove scored on a 16 yard run from scrimmage. Trotwood would look to throw the football on their two point conversion attempt but failed to connect as Spicer knocked away the pass in the front corner of the endzone to keep his team ahead 7-6.

Despite QB Dustin Howell hooking up with Sophomore back Sean Perry for a 40 yard gain on their next possession to put them inside Rams territory the Roughriders were unable to put points on the board once the football was returned to them as Julius Fisher was hit hard and fumbled the football at the Rams 13 and saw his opposition recover the ball to start their next drive.

One play, 87 yards, 17 seconds is what Trotwood needed on their next possession to put points on the board and pull ahead 14-7 because the All-Ohio back in Hargrove blitzed down the left sideline and into the endzone for a touchdown.

Behind superb blocking from the offensive line of four Seniors (Garrett Lauth, Jonathan Peterson, Joey Morlino, Aaron McGraw) and a Junior (Tyler Miller), the Roughriders evened the score at 14-14 as Spicer rushed for his 28th career touchdown just seconds into the second quarter.

Trotwood Madison QB Markell Stephens-Peppers sixteenth touchdown pass of the season, a 34 yard scoring strike just past the hands of the Riders secondary to Caleb Johnson gave the Rams a 20-14 advantage. Stephens-Peppers attempted to run in the two point conversion but was stopped by the St. Marys defensive line before he could do so.

Starting with 9:01 and at their own 20 yard line the Roughriders moved the football inside the Trotwood 20 but were forced to settle for a 23 yard Gabe Vandever field goal that cut the Rams lead to 20-17 a minute before the halftime break. In an attempt to ice Vandever, Trotwood head coach and former 11 year NFL veteran WR Jeff Graham took all three of his timeouts in succession whenever the Riders Sophomore kicker lined up to attempt his kicks.

Just as they had done to end the first half the Roughriders milked over seven minutes off the clock to open the second hald and utilized a 1 yard Julius Fisher touchdown burst to finish off a 15 play, 64 yard drive and go ahead of Trotwood 24-20.

On the second play of the next offensive drive for the Rams they were forced to hold their collective breath as they lost Hargrove to an apparent left leg injury when he was tackled for no gain by many members of the Rider defense. Four plays after the injury the Rams found themselves unable to connect on another two point conversion following a touchdown as backup tailback William McDaniel sliced his way 32 yards through the St. Marys defense to put his team back on top 26-24 with 2:55 to go in the third.

Another 23 yard field goal for St. Marys gave the Roughriders back the lead and came at the end of a long drive that saw the offense stopped on a third down play and made the score 27-26 in the WBL Champions favor with 10:00 remaining in the contest.

McDaniel would score once more in the game as with 6:54 to go he thundered in from two yards out to push the Rams advantage to 32-27. Stephens-Peppers connection on the two point pass conversion attempt was right on target to Caleb Johnson and made it 34-27 in their squads favor.

With 6:49 and all three timeouts the Roughriders began what would turn out to be their final drive of the game at their own 38. Behind big runs from Sean Perry, Dustin Howell, Fisher, and Spicer the Riders quickly made their way across the midfield stripe and into Trotwood territory.

Near the three minute mark the Riders were forced to make a decision on what play to run on fourth down and went with a pass to Sean Perry on the back side. Despite having a majority of the players chasing Howell on the opposite side of the field the Rams were able to make a stop on Perry before he could get a full head of steam and force a turnover on downs to end the St. Marys opportunity to put a score on the board.

Trotwood (11-2) would pick up a pair of first downs on their ensuing possession and run out the remaining 3:08 left in the contest to preserve the victory, their 7th consecutive trip to the State Semifinals. The Rams will now match up with unbeaten Toledo Central Catholic next Saturday night as TCC defeated Lexington by a 19-0 margin to set up a rematch from last season that was won by TCC 21-13.

St. Marys sees their first trip to the Regional Finals come to an end at 11-2 and as three way champions in the WBL. The Riders will say goodbye to 21 Seniors, a group that were 0-10 in their Freshman year before Coach Doug Frye returned to lead the program to 22 wins in three seasons at the helm and help bring the program back from the bottom of the league where they had been with him absent.

Raveion Hargrove led Trotwood in rushing as he rushed for 212 yards for the third time in the last four games. Stephens-Peppers connected on 8/11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown pass to lead the air attack for the Rams. Altogether Trotwood accumulated 441 yards on 47 offensive plays from scrimmage.

The Riders were led offensively by Julius Fisher’s 139 yards rushing and 1 touchdown on 28 carries while classmate Eric Spicer finished just behind him with 134 yards on 18 rushes and a pair of touchdowns. Through the air the Roughriders finished 4/6 for 59 yards and no touchdowns and overall picked up 416 yards on 64 plays.

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D3R12 Regional Final Preview

PIQUA, OH – Saturday night at Piqua Alexander Stadium and Purk Field the St. Marys Roughriders will take on the Trotwood Madison Rams at 7pm with a trip to the Division 3 State Semifinals on the line.

For the past six seasons the Rams have dominated the Region and have made seven overall trips to the State Semifinals but have come away with just one trophy (2011).

St. Marys is seeking their first trip to the State Semis since they 2004 when they finished as State Runner-Up to Benedictine.

On the season both teams have featured high powered offenses as Trotwood is averaging 41 points per game while the Roughriders are the third highest single season offensive attack in school history with 447 points (37.3). Defensively the Riders are surrendering just 11 points per contest while their opponents from Trotwood have given away just 103 markers on the season (8.6).

When Trotwood Madison has the football they will rely on a pair of All-GWOC selections in Junior RB Raveion Hargrove and South Division Co-Athlete of the Year in QB Markell Stephens-Peppers. Hargrove who finished with over 3,000 yards rushing as a Sophomore last season has accounted for 1186 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns while Stephens-Peppers has thrown for 1624 yards, 20 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions.

During their 12 games this season the Rams are giving up just 76.0 yards rushing per game which is second in the entire GWOC behind Wayne’s 65.8 yards allowed. Trotwood is led by Kobe Vinegar (103 tackles, 3 sacks) and James Parker (83 tackles) and have allowed more then 10 points only 5 times this season while also posting a pair of shutouts along the way.

Last week the Rams were victorious 47-10 over New Richmond in a contest they found themselves ahead 41-3 at halftime. In the win Trotwood accumulated 400 total yards and held New Richmond’s offense to 216 total yards. Hargrove scored the contests opening touchdown as he rushed for a 63 yard gain, and later added a marker from 4 yards out on his way to 117 yards on just 8 carries for the evening. Stephens-Peppers connected on 5/9 passing for 184 yards and a trio of touchdowns, including a 62 yard strike to Caleb Johnson that resulted in the Rams second score of the game.

In their 55-31 victory over Region 12’s top ranked Franklin Wildcats the Roughriders rushed for 450 yards as a team and just missed having three rushers finish with 100 plus yards on the evening (Eric Spicer 15/174, Julius Fisher 22/125, Sean Perry 11/98). St. Marys finished the contest with 650 all-purpose yards and were led by Spicer who in addition to his ground gain returned a 96 yard kickoff return for a touchdown just moments after a Franklin score.

Defensively the Roughriders gang tackling efforts saw seven players finish in double digits in tackles, led by Grant Keith’s 15 stops. On the season the Riders have three players (Austin Giesige 125, Keith 121, Jackson Harris 110) with triple digits in total tackles and two more within a pair of tackles from hitting that mark.

A big weapon for the Roughriders during their playoff run and through the course of the season has been their kicker Gabe Vandever. Last week Vandever connected on 7/7 extra point attempts and on both of his field goal attempts. On the year the St. Marys Sophomore has broken a pair of school records with 7/7 effort on field goals and is now the school single season leader and career leader for field goals made.

St. Marys Head Coach Doug Frye on the Rams offense: “They’ve been the team in the region to beat. Their QB play has been very good if not great, their QB has done a terrific job. This is the best Trotwood offense I’ve seen over the years. We just need to play great team defense and tackle a little better than we have in the past couple of weeks”.

What: Division 3 Regional Finals
Who: St. Marys (11-1), Trotwood Madison (10-2)
Where: Alexander Stadium, Purk Field (Piqua, Ohio)

Listen live: WKKI Radio 94.3 FM (6:30pm Pregame, 7:00pm Kickoff)

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Roughriders roll into Regional Finals

HUBER HEIGHTS, OH – St. Marys on paper might have come in as the underdog but they surely did not play like one Saturday night in Huber Heights as the fourth seeded Roughriders eliminated top seeded Franklin from the Division 3 playoffs 55-31.

Having won the opening kickoff the Riders decided to take their chances on offense first, and just as it had last week at home against Belmont that decision would pay off again as they put points on the board to end their first chance with the football.

Starting from their own 32 the Roughriders utilized a trio of runners in Eric Spicer, Julius Fisher, and Sean Perry as they moved quickly into Franklin territory before being forced to settle for a Gabe Vandever 31 yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Franklin and their big play offense were able to move the ball effectively on their opening possession, but saw it come to an end when a pass from Junior QB Braden White found its way into the hands of St. Marys defender Drew Jacobs.

Eleven plays and close to five minutes came off the board for St. Marys on their second drive of the game as Coach Doug Frye’s troops reeled off four first downs including a 46 yard scamper from Spicer. Julius Fisher’s first touchdown of the evening put the Roughriders ahead by a 10-0 margin heading into the second quarter.

Behind 10-0 early in the second stanza the Wildcats finally were able to dent the scoreboard in the contest as White connected on a 10 yard touchdown pass to Jared Kinzer to cut the Rider advantage down to just three.

Just one play after seeing teammate Julius Fisher pick up a 10 yard gain on first down it was again Eric Spicer’s turn for the big play as he jaunted 65 yards through the Franklin defense for his 14th rushing touchdown of the season to push the Riders lead back to double digits at 17-7.

On the ensuing kickoff the Wildcats found themselves behind the benefit of a 15 yard penalty against their opponents for hit to the head and set up shop near midfield. Despite having worked the ball inside the St. Marys red zone the home team was forced to settle for a 25 yard field goal to get within 7 as they fumbled the ball on third down and were backed up six yards.

As he had done the previous time that Franklin came away with a score, Spicer against pushed the Rider lead back to where it had been as he returned a kickoff 95 yards for his second touchdown of the game.

Julius Fisher’s second touchdown run of the first half came on the Riders last possession of the quarter that began at the Franklin 27 following a bad punt by the Wildcats and he blitzed in from two yards out to make it a 31-10 St. Marys lead heading into the halftime break.

In the first half Spicer accounted for 332 all purpose yards and helped his team accumulate 251 yards on the ground with his 9 carries for 156. Total offense for the first half of play had the Riders out gain their opponents 251-246.

Ryan Montgomery, the dynamic Junior all-purpose threat for Franklin started the second half with a 22 yard touchdown run for his squad that cut the lead down to 31-17 just two minutes into the third quarter.

A fumble on the first play of the next St. Marys drive hit the turf and found its way right back into the arms of a waiting Roughrider. Following the fumble recovery in which they actually gained three yards of field position, the Riders would be faced with a third down and be forced to throw their first pass since Week 10 against OG. On their first and only passing play of the contest, Dustin Howell connected with Julius Fisher for a 15 yard gain that gave St. Marys a first down and new life on a drive that almost came to an end on two different occasions. Just as he had done two times previous, Fisher was again the work horse and rumbled in from 12 yards out for a score that put his team on top 38-17.

With Dustin Howell stopped on a third down rushing attempt for no gain on their next drive, the Roughriders were forced to settle for a second Vandever field goal, this one from 25 yards away to extend their advantage to 41-17 with 10:46 remaining in the game.

Franklin cut the St. Marys lead to 41-25 on the next drive when White not only hooked up with Kinzer for a second time in the game, but also ran in a two point conversion just 1:23 later.

Defensively the Roughriders did to White just as they had done to Franklin QB’s in the 1989 game and that was send them repeatedly into the turf all night long. Despite Franklin starting at the St. Marys 49 and moving near the 30, the Riders forced a pair of sacks on third and fourth down to give their offense new live and good field position to begin their next drive.

Riding the momentum of what their defense had been doing all night long in keeping their opponents from scoring, the offensive unit utilized Fisher again and he responded for his fourth touchdown run of the night to make it 48-25 with 3:49 left.

Braden White who would finish 23/28 on the night passing and actually catch a pass himself from Montgomery on the night tossed his fourth touchdown pass of the contest as he connected on a 4 yard score to Noah Kremer to cut the Rider lead down to 48-31.

Starting from their opponents 45 and with 2:27 remaining after a failed onside kick attempt, St. Marys began to milk the clock with their running game. Dustin Howell scrambled up the middle on the drives fourth play and found nothing but 40 yards of Wayne HS field in front of him as he waltzed into the endzone with just :42 left and put the finishing touches on a 55-31 Rider victory.

On the evening three St. Marys rushers went over the century mark as Eric Spicer led the way with 15 carries for 174 yards. Julius Fisher finished with a four touchdown night and went over the 1,000 yard barrier for the season and was joined by Sophomore Sean Perry who in just his second start carried for exactly 100 yards on the evening.

943 yards of total offense was accumulated by the two squads during the contest with St. Marys out gaining their counterparts from Franklin 475-459. The Roughriders rushed 53 times for 460 yards and connected on 1/1 passing for 15 yards while the Wildcats gained 172 on the ground and 287 through the air.

Franklin sees their season come to an end at 11-1 while the Roughriders who scored the second highest amount of points in a playoff game in school history improved their record to 11-1 on the year.

St. Marys will now take on defending region champion Trotwood Madison (10-2) who were victorious over New Richmond 47-10 in their Regional Semifinal contest Saturday night.

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