Tag Archives: Gabe Vandever

St Marys dominates Defiance, claims outright WBL crown

ST. MARYS, OH – With their dominating 50-0 win on Friday night against visiting Defiance the St. Marys Roughriders can call themselves outright Western Buckeye League Champions for the first time since 2003 when they claimed the crown with an 8-1 league mark.

According to computer points projections from Joe Eitel the Roughriders not only clinched the league title they also sewed up a Week 11 first round playoff home game at Skip Baughman Stadium when the postseason begins on Friday, November 3rd.

St. Marys got things rolling early on their first drive of the contest as they opened the game by finishing off a quick five play drive with QB Colin Clements fourth rushing touchdown in the past seven days to go on top 7-0 after an extra point from kicker Gabe Vandever with just 1:36 coming off the clock.

Four punts and a turnover on downs by St. Marys after the games opening salvo it was again the Roughriders who struck the scoreboard quickly. A three play drive covering 75 yards led entirely by rushes from RB Ty Schlosser finished in a 13-0 advantage for the home squad when the tailback blitzed in from seven yards out.

The ensuing extra point to Schlosser’s score for the Riders pushed across a bit of history for St. Marys as Vandever’s extra point flew threw the uprights for his 41st consecutive make of the season and gave him one more than former record holder Jeff Hughes who hit on 40 consecutive extra points during the 1992 State Championship campaign.

Despite beginning in St. Marys territory following a big return on their next opportunity to touch the ball and beginning inside the home squads territory, the Bulldogs would be forced to punt away the ball for the fourth time in the game.

Beginning at their own 29 with exactly 10:00 left in the first half the Roughriders coupled a 31 yard run by Braeden Dunlap with a 15 yard penalty on Defiance before sending Schlosser into the Bulldog endzone with 9:40 to go in the first half from 26 yards out for his second score of the first half to make the score 21-0 St. Marys.

Defiance and Sophomore QB Caden Kline were able to move the ball well on their following drive, but a pair of incomplete passes would again force them to punt away the football. Sean Perry fielded the Defiance punt at his own 15 yard line and quickly sliced and diced his way through the heart of the Bulldogs special teams and into the endzone for an 85 yard punt return score for St. Marys.

Perry’s return pushed the home teams lead to 28-0 with 5:16 to go in the opening two quarters and fell just a yard short of tying Chip Cisco’s 1975 punt return against Bath as being the longest in school history.

On their sixth attempted punt of the first half the Bulldogs found themselves victims of a double punt block by the duo of Reed Aller and Trey Fisher that gave the Roughriders the ball for the first time starting on their half of the field at the 10.

Normally a defensive stalwart, it was Reed Aller who put up the next score of the evening to push the game to 35-0 in St. Marys favor when he caught a six yard touchdown pass from Colin Clements with 2:51 remaining before the half.

In accordance with OHSAA rules, the second half began with a running clock due to the 30+ point differential.

Braeden Dunlap would take the snaps at QB for the Roughrider offense to begin the second half, and would take just four plays to toss his third touchdown pass of the season when he hooked up with Sean Perry on a 2 yard throw that ran the differential to 42 in his teams favor.

A second blocked punt by the duo of Aller and Fisher seemed to lead to St. Marys taking over possession of the football with 6:48 remaining in the third quarter, but was ruled a safety by the officials when it was deemed Defiance fell on the ball in their own endzone.

Leading 44-0 following the safety and a pair of traded possessions the Roughrider substitutes put the final score of the game on the Skip Baughman scoreboard when Eddie Fowler cashed in on a three yard run for his second score of the season. Parker Enoch who entered the contest to attempt the extra point after Vandever had connected on all five of his attempts of the evening never got the chance to kick the football as it sailed away from the holder and he was quickly tackled once he picked it up with a 50-0 lead.

Defiance who falls to 1-8 overall, and 1-7 in Western Buckeye League play has now not scored on St. Marys in eight straight quarters as they were shut out at home last season 41-0. The Bulldogs will end their season next week seeking their first road win of the 2017 campaign as they take on the Van Wert Cougars.

Week 10 will see the Roughriders hit the road themselves as they look to finish unbeaten in WBL play for the first time under head coach Doug Frye when they do battle with the 6-3 Wapak Redskins.

Dunlap led the Riders on the ground in the contest as he carried 6 times for 92 yards. In all the St. Marys Roughriders outgained their opponents 313-112, including 39 rushes for 295 yards from a dozen ball carriers.

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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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Riders shutout Cats

ST. MARYS, OH – A dominating effort on both sides of the football Friday night not only gave the St. Marys Roughriders their 6th win of the season it also kept them unbeaten and atop the Western Buckeye League as the lone unblemished squad.

Despite not scoring on their opening drive of their 49-0 win when a fourth down screen pass resulted in a loss and a turnover on downs, the Roughriders would score on each of the rest of their three offensive drives in the first half and lead into the break 35-0.

Sean Perry got the scoring started for St. Marys following a turnover on downs by visiting Bath as he rushed in 34 yards and into the endzone for his lone score of the ballgame to make it 7-0 in his teams favor with 2:55 in the first period remaining.

Two plays on their second possession were both fumbles for Bath, but it was the second one of the two that was the most costly for the Wildcats as Braeden Dunlap scooped and scored from 15 yards away to run the lead to 14-0 St. Marys just 41 seconds after the Perry score.

71 yards on on 12 plays came to an end with another St. Marys score at the 9:21 mark of the second quarter when Dunlap did the damage again, this time on the offensive end as he raced to the outside and in for a score from 15 yards away to put the Riders on top 21-0.

After forcing their second turnover on downs of the opening two quarters the Roughriders offense went back to work with a short field, this time starting at the Bath 40 and picked up a pair of first downs before Bo Kuenning thundered in for a 7 yard touchdown that put the hosts on top 28-0 with 3:01 remaining in the opening half.

Another quick ending to a Bath offensive possession gave the Roughriders a short field to work with and ended with a quick score, this time a 9 yard touchdown run by Shannon Fowler to give the WBL leaders a 35-0 lead heading into the halftime break.

On the second play of the second half Bath backup QB Devon Kinyon who was thrust into action late in the second period when starter Kobe Burchett was knocked out of the game had his pass batted into the air and pilfered by St. Marys linebacker Christian Triplett who promptly returned it for a 25 yard score to continue the Rider onslaught and run the score to 42-0.

With the game quickly rounding down due to the running clock rule in a 30 plus point differential the two teams would trade a quartet of punts and a turnover on downs by Bath when Kinyon was sacked by the Riders on fourth down before the young players for St. Marys added the games final marker.

Starting from the Bath 40 the new look St. Marys offense led by QB Kurt Bubp pushed seven more points onto the left column of the scoreboard as 5’11, 160 pound Freshman rusher Hunter Fraley rushed in from 5 yards out and Parker Enoch added the extra point for good measure to close the scoring and the contest with a 49-0 Roughrider victory.

Offensively Bath (1-6, 0-6) accumulated just 37 total yards with 8 of those coming on the ground on 29 carries. The Wildcats will travel to take the Van Wert Cougars next Friday night seeking to end their 6 game losing streak since beating Allen East 19-9 to open the season.

St. Marys (6-1, 6-0) was led in rushing by Sean Perry who finished with 61 yards on the ground and also added a touchdown on the evening. Rushing the football as a team the Roughriders rushed 36 times for 241 yards and finished with a 266-37 advantage in total offensive yardage.

Next week the Riders will travel across Grand Lake to take on their rivals the Celina Bulldogs. With a win St. Marys will lock up at least a share of their second consecutive Western Buckeye League championship and 27th overall.

As of 1 A.M. Saturday Joe Eitel has the Roughriders listed as the 3rd highest computer point total in Division 4 Region 14 that can be found here: D4R14 Computer Rankings

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Riders stay perfect in WBL, blast Bulldogs

ST. MARYS, OH – Heading into Friday night’s WBL matchup with Elida, St. Marys mentor Doug Frye had never lost to the Bulldogs in his career as the head coach of St. Marys. Following Friday night’s game Doug Frye has still not lost to Elida in his career with the Riders as he moved to a personal mark of 15-0 with his teams 63-21 victory that keeps his team as the WBL’s lone unbeaten at 5-0 in league tilts.

A blue and gold offensive bonanza began on the first drive of the contest as the home squad moved 80 yards in 5:44 and into a lead they would never relinquish when Sean Perry blazed down the sideline for a 26 yard score and the first of his two scores on the evening to make it 7-0 St. Marys.

Points weren’t just coming from the offense in the sixth game of the year for the Riders, they came just as quickly on Elida’s first possession from the St. Marys defense when Jackson Harris pilfered an Isaac McAdams pass out of the air and rumbled 45 yards to push his team on top 14-0 with 4:14 left in the opening stanza.

Elida pulled to within 14-7 on their second possession of the game when McAdams was able to dive into the endzone to cap off a 12 play 79 yard drive with 1:53 but again their joy would be short lived as the Roughriders would quickly give themselves back a two score lead just moments later.

Following a kick return to the Elida 40 the Riders raced into the endzone behind the trio of Braeden Dunlap, Shannon Fowler, and ultimately Sean Perry who ended the three minute drive with a 5 yard score to run the score to 21-7 St. Marys.

Not to be outdone by the ball control of their opponents the Bulldogs ensuing drive covered 17 plays and six minutes before the WBL’s leading passer McAdams connected with Xavier Gilkey on a two yard score to pull Elida back to within seven points at 21-14 with 5:07 to go in the opening half.

Ty Schlosser’s first of four touchdown runs on the night came on a 4th down and 1 to go play at the Elida 5 when he rushed off right tackle and into the Elida endzone to finish off a 4:30 drive and give the Riders a 28-14 halftime advantage.

With Elida forced to punt away their opening possession of the second half the Roughriders ripped off another quick three minute drive and topped it up with Schlosser’s second touchdown, this time an 8 yard jaunt to push the score out to 35-14 St. Marys with 7:21 left in the games penultimate quarter.

Two straight turnover on downs on failed fourth down attempts gave St. Marys 14 more points on their next two drives as Schlosser rushed in for his third and fourth scores on the ground of the evening to give his team a 49-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. In scoring his fourth rushing touchdown of the night Schlosser equaled teammate Bo Kuenning as the only players this season to hit that mark for St. Marys.

Down to the final 9:39 of the contest the Riders began their fourth drive of the second half at the Elida 27 and utilized just a single rush from Shannon Fowler before his backfield mate Ty Howell ran for his first score of the season, a 25 yard journey that pushed his squad ahead 56-14.

Eddie Fowler’s first career touchdown run with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter gave the home team a reason to celebrate Homecoming weekend early as it topped off a 63-14 advantage for the blue and gold.

Despite being down big on the scoreboard it was the Bulldogs youngsters who picked up the games final score when freshman QB Carter Harsh scored from a yard out to provide the final points of a 63-21 win for St. Marys.

Elida sees their season record fall to 4-2 overall, and 3-2 in WBL play. The Bulldogs will next play host to Van Wert next Friday night.

St. Marys (5-1, 5-0) will entertain the Bath Wildcats next Friday night and look to keep their position at the top of the league in tact and unblemished.

Despite kicking eight extra points on the night following St. Marys touchdowns, Junior kicker Gabe Vandever came up just one XP short of tying the school record of 9 in a game set by Tom Waller against Shawnee in 1983.

In the first half the Roughriders were outgained by Elida 212-200 in total yards, but the second half saw a reversal of that stat as St. Marys finished the final two quarters by outgaining the visitors 271-59.

Offensively St. Marys was led on the ground by Sean Perry who rushed 21 times for 161 yards. Shannon Fowler finished with 96 yards on 9 totes of the football.

As of late Friday night according to Joe Eitel the Roughriders have moved up a spot from 4th to 3rd in Division 4’s Region 14 top 8 playoff chase: D4R14

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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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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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Riders clinch WBL share, end Wapak streak

ST MARYS, OH – It stands to reason that since Doug Frye was the head coach at Wapak when they began their record 33 game winning streak in WBL contests that he would be the one to be the coach of the team to end it right? That question was answered with a resounding yes Friday night at Skip Baughman Stadium in St. Marys as his Roughriders ended the aforementioned streak with a 13-7 victory that clinches at least a share of the Roughriders first league title since 2008.

For the second straight meeting between St. Marys and Wapak the Roughriders found themselves marching a long distance and chewing up a ton of clock on their opening drive, but unlike last season were unable to cash in for points and were forced to punt away the football to Wapak midway through the period.

Following a long punt from the WBL’s leading punter Matt Patten that pinned them against their own endzone at the six, the Redskins themselves were able to get to midfield before having to turn to their own big leg in punter Tristan Meyer to kick the ball away. Unfortunately for the throngs of Wapak fans in attendance however Meyer was unable to give his team a chance to flip the field as he shanked a ball out of bounds at the Rider 43.

The first score of the contest came with 5:48 left in the first half when St. Marys Sophomore kicker Gabe Vandever connected on his fourth field goal in as many attempts on the season to put his squad on top 3-0.

St. Marys would add a touchdown to their tally after forcing Wapak to punt for the third time in the opening two quarters on a reverse halfback pass from Senior tailback Julius Fisher of 33 yards in the endzone to Seth Warniment, a Senior wideout who had caught just two balls for 12 yards on the season coming into the contest to go up 10-0 on the visiting team.

Vandever’s second field goal of the evening gave St. Marys a 13-0 lead with 10:38 to go in the game and forced Wapak’s offense to go into hurryup mode behind Junior QB Manny Vorhees.

Vorhees, a first year starter whose cousin Seth caught a couple of balls for the Roughriders offense on the evening engineered a 12 play 73 yard drive that encompassed just under five minutes of the fourth quarter and ended with a six yard touchdown pass to Kais Chiles that cut the home teams lead to 13-7 with 5:36 remaining.

Four minutes and twenty seconds came off the clock on the ensuing Roughrider possession but ended via a punt when Julius Fisher was stuffed by the Redskins and was unable to pick up a first down on the ground.

Despite picking up three first downs on the drive that began at their own 12 with 1:10 and no timeouts remaining, the Wapak offense was unable to connect on three straight tosses from Vorhees to his intended targets before the final play of the game was a pass completed as time ran out with the Redskins unable to reach the endzone to give their foes the win.

On the night the fourth ranked offense in the WBL was held by St. Marys to just 144 total yards on 41 plays while the Roughriders were able to amass 265 yards of their own on 64 plays.

Despite not having a 100 yard rusher for the second straight game the Roughriders got strong contributions from Julius Fisher (21 carries, 68 yards), Eric Spicer (21 carries for 54 yards), and Dustin Howell who tallied 42 yards on 10 totes of the ball.

Eric Spicer’s 54 yards gives the WBL’s leading rusher 1022 yards on the year and 3049 for his career, which places him 12th all-time on the St. Marys rushing list.

In addition to his yardage on the ground, Howell connected on 7/9 passes for 68 yards on the evening but tossed his first interception of the season in the third quarter.

Defensively the Roughriders gave up their first points in 17 quarters when Wapak scored in the fourth, but have surrendered just 41 points to league opponents on the year.

By virtue of their win tonight St. Marys not only claims at least a share of their 23rd league championship, but they also put an end to Wapak boss Travis Moyer’s 86 game regular season win streak that dates back to the 2006 season where he roamed the sidelines at Bucyrus Wynford.

With the win the Roughriders (9-0, 8-0) clinch their first playoff spot since the 2008 season. St. Marys will host Ottawa Glandorf next weekend and can win the conference outright with a win over the 8-1 Titans.

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St. Marys posts 3rd straight shutout

DEFIANCE, OH – Another week and another shutout for the St. Marys defensive record books as the Roughriders jumped on Defiance and stayed on top Friday night and cruised to a 41-0 victory. The three shutouts for St. Marys is their most consecutive since the 1982 team blanked four consecutive opponents to open the year en route to a 9-1 campaign.

Behind another dominating performance from the offensive line the Roughriders quickly raced out to a 7-0 lead on their first drive in the first quarter as Bo Kuenning sprinted past the Bulldog defenders for a 17 yard touchdown run.

Following the second of four straight punts to open the contest by the home team the Roughriders tallying another score, this time through the air when Dustin Howell fired a pass through a pair of Defiance defenders and into the waiting arms of Julius Fisher for a 12 yard score to push their squads advantage to 14-0 with 1:05 to go in the opening stanza.

St. Marys 36th rushing touchdown on the season moments later capped off a four play 62 yard drive as Fisher rumbled and sidestepped his way 43 yards into the endzone early in the second period of play to put the Riders up 21-0.

Fisher’s second touchdown run of the contest put him into a tie for first in the Western Buckeye League with teammate Eric Spicer as he bullied his way in from 9 yards out to make it 28-0 vistors at the 4:59 mark of the quarter.

With everything seemingly going their way following the fifth consecutive punt of the game by their opponents, St. Marys added their final tally of the first half when Grant Keith recovered a Dustin Howell fumble in the endzone. Just as he had been on the four previous kicks, Gabe Vandever split the uprights to make it a 35-0 Rider lead with 1:13 to go. Drew Jacobs picked off a Bulldog pass at the three yard line but saw his team take a knee on their ensuing possession and put an end to the opening two quarters up 35-0.

Thirteen plays, 57 yards and 8:40 came off the running clock on the opening possession of the games penultimate period for St. Marys and came to an end as Colin Clements tossed a 2 yard pass to Seth Vorhees. Unfortunately for St. Marys they would not be able to add another point as the extra point would be missed wide left and their lead would remain at 41-0.

Five different backs for St. Marys including a duo of Freshman tailbacks carried the ball on the final drive of the game but the Roughriders would let the time elapse once they reached the shadow of the goal line and run out the clock with their third straight shutout and a 41-0 victory.

Defiance (1-7, 1-6) offensively was held to under 125 yards on the evening and will next travel to Van Wert next Friday night to take on the winless Cougars.

Division 3’s seventh ranked team St. Marys will play host to state ranked Wapak who was victorious 31-21 over Ottawa Glandorf and sets up a battle of unbeaten squads and will be for the WBL Championship that the Roughriders will look to lock up for the first time since they shared it in 2008.

On the season the Roughriders offense has amassed 330 points, their biggest output during a campaign since scoring 324 during the aforementioned 2008 season when they also went to the playoffs last and fell in the Regional Finals.

Listen to Wapak/St. Marys beginning at 6:30pm with the pregame and a 7:00pm kickoff here: K94.3 FM Celina

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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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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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