Tag Archives: Battle of Grand Lake

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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Roughriders blank Bath

LIMA, OH – For the first time since in a decade the St. Marys Roughriders find themselves with a perfect record after the first six weeks of the season as they traveled to Lima on Friday night and downed the Bath Wildcats 34-0 to get to 6-0 on the season.

On the third play from scrimmage for the Roughriders it was Senior RB Julius Fisher who took a handoff and rumbled 66 yards up the middle and didn’t stop until he crossed the Bath goal line to give St. Marys their first of four rushing touchdowns in the contest.

Leading 7-0 and having just pinned the Wildcats deep in their own territory courtesy of a 45 yard punt from the WBL’s leading punter Matt Patten the Riders quickly found their offense headed back to the field as Eric Spicer picked off a pass from Bath’s Kaden Sullivan and fell at his opponents 25 yard line.

Seconds after surviving a fumble that was recovered by their offensive unit the Roughriders were able to run their advantage to 14-0 when Dustin Howell barged into the Bath endzone for his seventh score this season with 4:52 to go in the opening stanza.

On a night where field position was hard to come by, the two teams traded the football up and down the field until St. Marys was able to put together a scoring drive to increase the lead to 17-0 with 5:26 left in the half when Gabe Vandever connected on a field goal attempt from 29 yards away.

Having won the toss to open the game the Wildcats were rewarded with the opportunity to choose which half they wanted to open with the football and chose the second half, but were unable to advance the ball 10 yards before seeing their possession in the third come to an end with a 27 yard punt to the visitors.

Shannon Fowler’s six carries accumulated a bulk of his teams 55 yards on their next scoring drive as he burst through the Wildcat defense on a 34 yard run to set up an eventual one yard score by the WBL’s leading scorer Eric Spicer with 7:04 in the third period to make it 24-0 St. Marys. Fowler on the evening finished with 14 carries for 79 yards.

Another short Bath possession and another punt gave St. Marys more great field position on their ensuing drive and once again the Riders cashed in quickly as they utilized just over two and a half minutes and settled for a 32 yard field goal from Vandever to put his team on top on the scoreboard 27-0.

With a rainy day and slick football field the Wildcats handed their foes the football at their 13 when on the following kickoff the return man for Bath was unable to hold onto the ball. Julius Fisher’s second touchdown run of the day, this time from a single yard out gave St. Marys a 34-0 lead and cued the running clock with 1:22 remaining in the third.

Unlike their previous punts which had struggled to make it past midfield, the Wildcats next punt traveled 31 yards and was downed at the St. Marys 19 yard line.

Similar to a drive they used last weekend in putting away the Elida Bulldogs, St. Marys traveled deep into Bath territory once again behind a handful of backs and ran off the final 9:30 in the game to secure their 34-0 win and put a stop to a four game losing streak in the series against the Wildcats.

Gabe Vandever’s two field goals in the game were not only the first and second of his career, but were also the first field goals the Roughriders had made in almost two full seasons since Clayton Trogdlon connected on a 31 yard attempt during the 2014 season.

Defensively the Roughriders were once against dominant as they held the Wildcats to negative rushing yards and just 81 total yards on 33 plays.

Offensively St. Marys picked up 360 yards on 72 plays from scrimmage including 327 yards on 67 carries and were led in rushing by Julius Fisher’s 114 yards on 16 carries to go along with his two touchdown runs. Eric Spicer, the Western Buckeye Leagues leading rusher entering play this week was held to just 39 yards on 13 totes of the ball but did score a touchdown on the ground and snag an interception on the defensive end.

Bath falls to 1-5 overall, and 0-5 in the WBL and will next take on the Van Wert next Friday night looking for their first conference win against the winless Cougars.

St. Marys sees their record improve to 6-0 for the first time since they last won the league in 2008, and picks up their first shutout since beating Bath 6-0 in OT during the 2006 season. Next week the Roughriders return home for Week 7 to host their Grand Lake rival Celina in a contest that can be heard live on K94.3 FM with myself and Dennis Cisco beginning at 6:30pm with the pregame show: Live Football

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Bulldogs deal Riders 2nd straight loss

CELINA, OHIO – Not only did the Celina Bulldogs improve their WBL record to 5-1 on the season, they got to do so by beating their Grand Lake rivals the St. Marys Roughriders.

With just 1:21 remaining in the contest Bulldog Senior QB Caleb Hoyng capped off a 5:41 drive with a 2 yard touchdown run to put his squad on top 28-21.

One of the best ways to combat a ground attack like that of St. Marys is to flip the script and to sustain long time consuming drives of your own, something the Bulldogs excelled at from beginning to end of the game. After winning the coin toss and making the decision to take the football to open the game, Celina picked up a trio of first downs and used 10 plays in covering 85 yards for their first score. On the drives 10th play Hoyng connected on a 15 yard pass to the front of the endzone to Jacob Stolly to give the home squad a 7-0 lead.

St. Marys would see their first three drives come to an end after just three plays and a punt. After returning the football to the Riders 43 a pair of drives later the Bulldogs Zach Marks (19 carries, 142 yards) cashed in on the first of his two touchdown runs on the night, from a yard out to push the advantage to 14-0 with 11:56 to go in the opening half.

Celina’s fourth possession ended just as their third did, with a Marks touchdown run and upped their lead to 21-0 with 8:01 to go in the second stanza.

In order to keep the game from slipping away, the Roughriders needed a big play. As has been the case all season long, that play came from the WBL’s third leading rusher Eric Spicer whose 13 yard jaunt helped his team cross midfield for the first time in the game. Julius Fisher’s 4th touchdown run of the season would cap off a 12 play drive and get St. Marys on the board at 21-7 with 4:16 to go.

Despite being pinned back at their own 3 yardline after a long punt by Hoyng the Roughriders used just 2:05 on the Celina Stadium scoreboard clock to get within 7 points at the half when Dustin Howell connected with Spicer on a 33 yard scoring toss to make it 21-14 Celina.

Both squads would trade the football and field position to open the games penultimate quarter, and St. Marys would be the first to capitalize on it as they marched 73 yards to tie the contest at 21-21 with a 32 yard Eric Spicer touchdown run. Spicer’s touchdown run was his 9th of the season, he would finish his night with 19 carries for 145 yards and a pair of scores.

After the Hoyng touchdown gave Celina the lead at 28-21 the Roughriders began their final drive of the game at their own 24 with a pair of timeouts and quickly found themselves deep inside their opponents territory looking to tie the game and sent it to OT, but fell short as Howell was pressured into throwing an incomplete pass on 4th down.

Celina improves their record to 5-2 overall, and 5-1 in the Western Buckeye League. The Bulldogs will take on Van Wert (3-4) and look to keep pace in their run towards the playoffs.

St. Marys drops to 5-2 overall, and 4-2 in the WBL. The Roughriders will next play host to Defiance (1-6) on Friday night in their regular season home finale in a game that will be broadcast live on K94.3 FM beginning at 6:30.

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