LIMA, OH – St. Marys hadn’t won at Shawnee Stadium since knocking off the then undefeated Indians in a 10-0 win in 2006 but came out swinging on Friday night as they moved to 3-0 with a 43-7 victory to give head coach Doug Frye his 200th career victory.
Roughriders senior Quarterback Dustin Howell continued his personal trend of setting offensive records against the over matched Indians defense as he tossed a trio of touchdown passes and connected on 6/7 passes for 129 yards on the evening. With his second quarter touchdown to Seth Vorhees of 20 yards that made the score 36-0 St. Marys, the third year starter broke the school record for career passing yards of 1,420 previously held by Derek Turner. On the next possession for the Riders, Howell broke the career touchdown pass record of 16 previously held by Derek Dunlap when he tossed a 33 yard score to Demarcus Fountain that gave his squad a 43-0 lead with time remaining in the first half.
Eric Spicer who this week was named to the Blue/Grey All-American Bowl that will be played in January in Jacksonville, Florida had a big night as well as he led the Riders in receiving yards in addition to toting the football five times for 68 yards on the ground. Spicer caught a pair of 38 yard passes from Dustin Howell on the first drive of the ballgame with the second accounting for the first points of the evening for the visiting squad.
Seconds after their first touchdown the Roughriders started their second possession at their opponents 45 yard line due to a botched attempt at fielding a short kick by Shawnee giving them back the football. Following a 33 yard run by the WBL’s second leading rusher in Julius Fisher, Eric Spicer scored his second touchdown in :47 by jaunting in from nine yards out. Further proving how well things were going for St. Marys on the evening, the Riders fumbled the extra point snap but had it land perfectly into the hands of kicker Gabe Vandever who walked into the endzone for the two-point conversion to push the advantage to 15-0.
Following a Grant Keith interception of Shawnee starter Ray Manley, the St. Marys offense utilized a six play 65 yard drive to go up 22-0 with 4:39 left in the opening stanza when Bo Kuenning scored his first touchdown of the season on a one yard touchdown run.
On fourth down and short and inside St. Marys territory the Indians decided to attempt to pick up yardage on their next possession, but were stopped when a screen pass failed to yield enough yardage to move the markers. Seven plays and 72 yards later the Roughriders found themselves ahead by 29 as Spicer struck again, this time from 39 yards out to run the lead to 29-0 with 5.8 remaining.
Another Shawnee long drive was stymied by the Rider defensive unit on the next possession before Howell and crew picked up the aforementioned scores and rode into the halftime break with a 43-0 on the road.
In the second half the game began with a running clock and allowed the Riders to sub in a lot of their younger players on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and get them some varsity experience under the lights on Friday night.
The only score of the second half gave Shawnee just their second touchdown of the season when Grant Wheeler made tracks all over the field and 45 yards into the endzone with 5:45 remaining in the contest to provide the final margin of 43-7.
For the game the Roughriders finished with 326 yards rushing on 47 attempts while collecting 455 total yards against the Western Buckeye League worst statistical defensive unit.
Wheeler led Shawnee in rushing as he ran 16 times for 93 yards and a score while Julius Fisher accumulated 102 yards on the ground just as he did last week at Van Wert for St. Marys.
Ray Manley finished his evening 9/19 for 67 yards and a pair of interceptions against the Roughriders who forced 3 Shawnee miscues on the evening.
Shawnee (0-3, 0-2) will head to Van Wert next week to take on the winless Cougars who themselves fell to Ottawa Glandorf tonight by a 42-0 score.
St. Marys begins their second straight season at 3-0 and will play host to a Kenton squad that was defeated at home by Wapak 31-10 Friday night and has dropped their last contest against the Roughriders 42-23 a year ago.
Kenton vs St. Marys can be heard live as it happens on WKKI K94.3 FM next Friday night beginning with Pregame starting at 6:30pm and also online at K94.3 FM Celina