Tag Archives: Austin Giesige

6 Riders named All-Ohio

COLUMBUS, OH – Following a successful season that included a trip to the playoffs and an unbeaten Western Buckeye League championship run, 6 St. Marys Roughriders were named to the Division 4 All-Ohio teams on Monday afternoon by the OPSWA.

First team selections went to offensive lineman Garrett Lauth and defensive lineman Reed Aller.

Lauth, a 6’2, 310 pound senior offensive lineman and multi-year starter on the front line for coach Doug Frye helped lead a Roughrider rushing attack that finished as the best in the WBL with a 323.9 per game average. In addition to his All-Ohio honors, Lauth was voted this season as the conference lineman of the year and a first team Northwest District pick.

Defensive lineman Reed Aller, a 6’1/245 pound senior and returning letter winner for the Riders ended the season with 55 tackles and was named as the WBL and Northwest District’s lineman of the year before being named 1st team All-Ohio this afternoon and was a key member of a defense that surrendered just 14 points to opponents during the last month of the regular season on their way to posting a trio of shutouts.

3rd team mentions went to runningback Sean Perry and linebacker Jackson Harris, a pair of dynamic players that helped the Riders to back to back playoff appearances.

Perry, a 5’10/170 pound junior was a 1st team Western Buckeye League pick and led the St. Marys rushing attack this season as he finished with 1,210 yards and 9 touchdowns. Catching the ball the elusive Perry finished second on the team in receiving with 87 yards and a touchdown. Nearly never leaving the field, Perry finished with 114 tackles and 3 interceptions in addition to nearly 500 return yards on special teams and an 87 yard return for touchdown as well.

Jackson Harris finished his career at St. Marys with back to back 100+ tackling seasons, including a team high 137 this season. The 6’3/195 pound senior was an integral part of a Riders defensive unit that ended the season surrendering 18.6 per contest in their 12 games this season and was also a 1st team selection at linebacker in the WBL.

Honorable Mention All-Ohio honors were given out to a pair of Riders as kicker Gabe Vandever and defensive lineman Austin Giesige picked up the nods.

Vandever, the 5’10/155 pound junior record setting kicker finished the year as one of the top scorers in the Western Buckeye League and broke a handful of school records on the way. During the course of the season Vandever connected on a school record 50 straight extra point attempts and 71 consecutive overall dating back to his sophomore season before his streak was snapped. Not only did he eclipse the schools career total for extra points but Vandever is also the St. Marys leader in all-time field goal makes heading into his senior season next August when the Riders return to the field.

Austin Giesige, a 6’1/215 pound senior finished his final high school season with 77 tackles. Giesige who started and earned all-league accolades at linebacker as a junior was moved to the defensive line this season where he utilized his speed on the front line to help keep opponents at bay and flourished at the new role as he helped keep opponents to just 3.9 yards per rushing attempt on the year.

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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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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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Riders return to postseason

ST. MARYS, OH – Despite their loss last weekend to OG that cost them the outright Western Buckeye League title, the St. Marys Roughriders three-way champions in their league will return to play in a Week 11 game for the first time since they last shared the WBL and reached the postseason in 2008. 

Coach Doug Frye and crew will not only return to the postseason for the first time in eight years, they will also play host to the contest inside Skip Baughman Stadium for just the third time in school history when Belmont (7-2) comes to town Saturday night.

Leading the St. Marys offensive attack are a pair of rushers who finished in the top ten in the conference in rushing in the form of the WBL’s leading rusher Eric Spicer (154 carries, 1168 yards, 11 touchdowns), and Julius Fisher (166 carries, 966 yards, 11 touchdowns). Spicer, a senior who was first team All-WBL last season moved from 12th to 8th on the school all-time rushing list with a 155 yard performance against the Titans in the regular season finale last week and sits just outside of 100 yards on the ground from reaching the top 5.

Defensively the Roughriders are led by a senior dominated group that have been starters for a couple of seasons now and have been playing well this season, giving up a league low 9.8 points per game.

Austin Giesige leads a talented defensive unit with 98 tackles while both Grant Keith and Jackson Harris are not too far behind with 88 tackles each. On the year the Riders have forced 10 interceptions and are led by Eric Spicer who has pilfered 3 passes by opposing quarterbacks.

Belmont is coming off of a 1-0 forfeit win over CMAC conference mate Dunbar and an interesting scenario to end up as the opponent for St. Marys as the Bison were not slated to play the Riders until Dunbar was forced to vacate a pair of wins due to an ineligible player taking part in both their Week 9 and 10 contests.

The Belmont offensive attack is responsible for tallying 345 yards per game on the ground and is led by the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference’s leading rusher Elijah Malcolm, junior tailback who rushed for 1290 yards and reached the endzone 20 times this season. Joining Malcolm in the CMAC’s top 10 rushers is fellow runningback Dawson Martin who finished with 793 yards and 9 touchdowns.

While the Bison offense has racked up 37.3 points per game, they have given up just 18.8 per contest and will come into the game as winners of 6 straight.

Sophomore Rayjee Warden leads the Belmont defense with 41 tackles and 3 sacks on the season while the trio of Martin, Jadon Furlow, and Chris Hunt lead the defense with two interceptions each.

If the contest turns into a passing game St. Marys would be the more experienced of the two teams, as the Roughriders have connected on 51/82 passes for 595 yards and 9 touchdowns. Belmont has tossed the football just 22 times on the season and completed 7 when they have decided to put the ball in the air for 140 yards and a score.

St. Marys is making their 16th all-time playoff appearance (20-12 record) while Belmont is making their 3rd showing in the postseason (0-2). Roughrider Head Coach Doug Frye is making his 8th trek into Week 11 and has won 7 while also losing the same amount.

With the kickoff slated for 7:00pm on Saturday night the pregame coverage on WKKI K94.3FM will begin at 6:30pm with myself and Dennis Cisco on the call: K94.3 FM Celina

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Riders rally past Kenton

KENTON, OHIO – It didn’t start off as a banner night for the St. Marys Roughriders as they found themselves down 17-0 in the opening half, but it sure ended as one as they outscored Kenton 35-6 in the second half to end a losing streak dating back to 2007 against the Wildcats.

Junior signalcaller Dustin Howell tied a school record held by 5 other QB’s in Roughrider history that first dates back to a 1959 contest against Kenton as he tossed a trio of touchdowns on the night. Bob Brown (vs Kenton 1959), Greg Ulrich (vs Celina 1971), Derek Turner (vs Bath 1987), Derek Dunlap (vs Elida 2007), and Jake Taylor (vs Defiance 2008) are the only other passers to have accomplished the feat before Howell on this night.

Kenton’s offense jumped out to a 3-0 lead on their opening drive as Chris Deardorff’s 25 yard field goal and pushed their advantage to 10-0 on their second drive on a 3 yard touchdown run from QB Trent Hites with 6:52 remaining in the opening stanza. After St. Marys Logan Maze was stripped of the football at midfield, Kenton pushed the score to 17-0 as under immense pressure, Hites fired a strike from 34 yards out to Deardorff for a score just in front of the outstretched hands of the defense.

On the games ensuing kickoff the Riders got a 68 yard return from Seth Vorhees that gave them their best field position to begin a drive at the Kenton 21. Using just a trio of plays the offense got on the scoreboard for the first time as Howell tossed his first of three scores on the evening, in the back of the endzone to Randy Slife to cut the Kenton lead to 17-7 with 6:45 to go in the second quarter.

Trailing by the same margin to begin the games penultimate quarter, the Riders offense again turned the ball over as a bad exchange to Howell was recovered by the home squad near the 50 yard line.

A pair of drives later and on the heels of the sixth Kenton punt of the game the Roughriders began their run of points in the second half with Howell’s second touchdown pass, a 66 yard effort caught by Eric Spicer.

With Kenton failing on their next drive to convert on a short fourth down play, St. Marys again took over as they looked to go ahead for the first time in the game and starting from the Kenton 38. On the drives 9th play Howell tied the aforementioned touchdown passes in a game record as he hooked up with Jase Green to go ahead 21-17.

In front of a suddenly nervous home crowd, the Wildcats next drive would end in a quick 3 and out. Despite failing to pick up a first down on their own next drive, St. Marys caught a break when a Jacob James punt was muffed by the Wildcats and gave the visitors new life at their opponents 35 with 9:06 left in the contest.

Even though he had to check out of the game earlier on after taking a big hit from the defense, Rider halfback Eric Spicer scored the first of his two remaining touchdowns on the ground from 35 yards out to run his teams lead to 28-17.

Kenton quickly responded to cut the lead to 28-23 in the game when less than a minute later Hites pass was hauled in by Deardorff for the second time in the game, this time from 4 yards out for a score. Down 5 and with time running out, the Wildcats went for two but an incomplete pass fell short of its intended target to keep the contest 28-23 with 8:19 left.

An unsuccessful onside kick from the Wildcats gave the Roughriders the football at their own 39 after being picked up by Julius Fisher, a Junior who played brilliantly on both sides of the ball in the contest.

Touchdown runs of 25 yards from Spicer and 16 yards by Fisher (following an interception of Hites by Austin Tester) were the final two scoring plays of the game as they resulted in a 42-23 win for St. Marys, their first in the series since beating the Wildcats 28-14 at Robinson Field in 2007.

For his part in the win, Eric Spicer finished with 24 carries for 160 yards and a pair of touchdown runs. Fisher finished the night with 33 yards on the ground and a touchdown, his second of the season and in as many weeks. Freshman Kicker Gabe Vandever continued to stay perfect in the extra point department as he successfully converted on 6/6 post touchdown chances.

St. Marys (4-0, 3-0 WBL) stays undefeated on the season and sees their first 4-0 start since 2008 when they finished at 9-3, as WBL Champions and as a Regional Semifinalist. The Roughriders will next be in action on Friday, September 25th at 7:00pm for their Homecoming game against the Elida Bulldogs (2-2, 1-2) that can be heard live on K94.3 FM or online at www.k943.com with myself and Dennis Cisco on the call beginning with the pregame show at 6:30pm.

Kenton sees their record fall to 1-3 on the season, and 1-2 in the Western Buckeye League. The Wildcats will return to action next week as they travel to Van Wert to take on the 2-2 (1-2) Cougars.

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