Tag Archives: Dennis Cisco

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 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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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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Flyers post 7th shutout of season

SIDNEY, OH – The Marion Local defense came in to their Division 6 Regional Semifinal contest Friday night having shut out 6 of their opponents this season and by the end of the night were able to hang a 7th shutout as they defeated shutout rival St. Henry for the second time this season 22-0.

Marion Local totaled 445 yards of offense on the evening while their stingy defense gave up just 140 total yards on 37 plays by their opponents offense.

Despite having their first drive come to a screeching halt via a fumble inside St. Henry territory the Flyers put themselves ahead 7-0 early in the second quarter as QB Duane Leugers punched in from a yard out to cap off a 93 yard drive.

While punts and failed fourth down conversions were a big story in the first half, they weren’t the biggest issue St. Henry would face in the opening half. On their first drive of the first half after forcing the Flyers to punt, the Redskins found themselves in need of a change under center as starting signal caller Daylon Lange completed a 30 yard pass but was knocked down and forced to miss the rest of the contest in similar fashion to the two teams Week 9 meeting.

Redskin replacement QB Nathan Lefeld finished the night 7/17 for 98 yards but was picked off twice by the Marion Local defense.

With 7:53 left in the ballgame the Flyers extended their lead to 13-0 as Leugers second touchdown run of the night, a 6 yard effort near the right front corner of the endzone pushed his squads lead. After St. Henry was called for roughing Marion Local kicker Tyler Mescher the ball was placed on the one and a half yard line where Marion Local successfully converted a two point conversion to make it a 15-0 lead in their favor.

Starting from their own 42 yard line the Flyers utilized five plays and 2:21 before 5’9, 130 pound Sophomore runningback Matt Rethman showed off his speed and sprinted 23 yards for the games final points.

Jack Homan led the Marion Local rushing attack as he rushed 19 times for 101 yards while teammates Nate Moeller (12/51) and Leugers (11/94) showed off an impressive array of cuts that helped their team gain 279 yards on 47 carries on the evening.

Leugers finished 13/24 passing for 166 yards and saw his top two targets in Matt Kahlig and Ryan Thobe combine for 6 catches and 121 yards receiving in the contest.

St. Henry finishes their season at 8-4 and with their first playoff appearance since 2012 when they fell to the Flyers in the Regional Finals.

Marion Local (11-1) will move on to the Regional Finals and rematch with a Mechanicsburg (12-0) team that throttled Delphos Jefferson to the tune of over 500 yards tonight in a 56-20 victory. The same two teams met in last years Regional Finals in Bellefontaine that saw the Flyers victorious 9-7 on their way to the state finals.

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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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St. Marys, Wapak set for WBL showdown

ST. MARYS, OH – When Friday night’s WBL Week 9 matchup kicks off it will end in one of two ways: Wapak (8-0, 7-0) will continue their record 33 game WBL winning streak, or St. Marys (8-0, 7-0) head coach Doug Frye will be the man to put an end to the streak that began for Wapak when he was the man roaming the sidelines at Harmon Field.

Wapak has won the last six matchups in the series but trails overall in the series 65-40-5 dating back to the two schools first meeting in 1921 that was won 19-0 by St. Marys.

Two communities whose football fields are separated by just 13 miles and who share a history of exciting finishes and hard hitting games will look to hand one another their first loss of the season and clinch at least a share of the league title when the contest kicks off at 7:00pm.

Last season St. Marys utilized almost the entire opening quarter on their first drive of the game and nearly the entire length of Wapak’s Harmon Field turf to go up 7-0, but would not see another point come their way. Behind a 14 carry 143 yard 2 touchdown performance from Senior tailback Cam Lauck the Redskins accounted for 46 unanswered points in winning their 24th straight league contest on their way to another playoff berth.

St. Marys is coming off of three straight shutouts (Bath/Celina/Defiance) for the first time since they opened the year with four straight shutouts to begin the 1982 season in which they finished 9-1. Defensively overall St. Marys is surrendering just 9.1 points per game and is leading the WBL where they are even stingier at 4.9 ppg.

Offensively the Roughriders are leading the league at 41.3 points per game and with their highest season point total in the past decade. Senior runningback Eric Spicer, the WBL’s leading rusher enters the game with a 9.0 yard per carry average, 968 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. Fellow senior Julius Fisher is tied with Spicer with 11 scoring runs and is second in the league at 839 yards on 130 totes of the football.

Wapak is led by first year dual threat starting QB Manny Vorhees and a pair of terrific runners in Landon Hall and Maddux Liles, and is averaging 31.8 a game while giving up just 11.6 per game on the defensive end.

Outscoring their opponents by the truckload has been a commonplace for both squads as Wapak has done so by a 20.1 per contest margin while St. Marys is #1 in the league with a 32.1 difference in their eight times out this year.

Doug Frye’s career record in 30 years sits at 205-111 overall, 108-44 in his second tenure at St. Marys. Wapak coach Travis Moyer has complied a 150-30 mark in 16 years, 32-2 at Wapak in his third year, and has won 86 games in a row dating back to his 13 years behind the Bucyrus Wynford bench.

If you cannot make it to the game on Friday night to see a titanic matchup between two Northwest Ohio heavyweights you can listen live to WKKI K94.3 FM with myself and Dennis Cisco on the call and see who comes out the top dog in the WBL: Wapak vs St Marys Broadcast Link

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Riders shut out Grand Lake rivals

ST. MARYS, OH – For the second straight week the St. Marys Roughriders defense held a WBL opponent to no points and under 200 total yards. In their 30-0 win over rival Celina the Riders accomplished a feat last done a decade ago by shutting out their second straight opponent.

Offensively the Roughriders got things going a few minutes later than they have been used to in the past month but still put up a touchdown in the first quarter when Eric Spicer streaked down the sideline on a 30 yard run from a pitch out of the hands of Braedan Dunlap for the games first marker.

Defensively St. Marys forced a pair of fumbles and turnover on downs in the opening quarter and a half but were unable to run their advantage any higher until the beginning of the second stanza when Spicer added to his WBL lead in touchdown runs with a 36 yard effort to make it 14-0 Roughriders.

A 13 play drive for Celina would stall at the Rider goal line when the visiting Bulldogs were stood up on four consecutive plays by the dominant defensive line of their opponents.

With just 9.9 seconds left in the first half the Roughriders turned to their Sophomore Kicker Gabe Vandever who connected on a 28 yard field goal, his third in two games to give his squad a 17-0 lead at the half for the second straight week.

Celina Sophomore QB Bret Schwieterman’s pass on the Bulldogs second drive of the third quarter floated past an intended target and into the hands of Spicer on the sideline to give the Roughriders the ball at their 39 yard line.

On the seventh play of their ensuing drive the Riders once again turned to their Senior tailback and watched as he ripped off a 25 yard run into the endzone for his third trip of the night and give his team a 24-0 lead with 11:31 left in the final period.

Austin Giesige’s second fumble recovery of the game put his squad in great field position once again at their own 45 yard line with 5:05 remaining in the contest. As they had done on three previous trips the Riders utilized a short amount of time before adding to the scoreboard on Julius Fisher’s ninth touchdown run of the season to mark the games final score of 30-0 and keep St. Marys unbeaten.

Before the game started the St. Marys Homecoming Queen for 2016 was named with Senior Attendant Taryn Swander receiving the honor.

Celina (3-4, 3-3) totaled 172 yards on 48 plays from scrimmage on the evening and was led by Ryan Harter who rushed for 88 yards on 17 carries, including a 41 yard scamper through the Rider defense. The Bulldogs will be home next weekend as they play host to the 0-7 Van Wert Cougars.

St. Marys (7-0, 6-0) has now outscored WBL opponents by a 246-34 margin and will travel next Friday night to take on the 1-6 Defiance Bulldogs in a game broadcast live on K94, WKKI.

Eric Spicer led the way on the ground for his blue and gold attack as he turned 19 carries into 182 yards and 3 scores. Julius Fisher was held under 100 yards rushing in a game for the first time this season but still accumulated 58 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries as the Roughriders rushed 51 times for 279 yards and totaled 366 yards on 60 plays.

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