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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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Riders blowout Indians, Frye gets 200th win

LIMA, OH – St. Marys hadn’t won at Shawnee Stadium since knocking off the then undefeated Indians in a 10-0 win in 2006 but came out swinging on Friday night as they moved to 3-0 with a 43-7 victory to give head coach Doug Frye his 200th career victory.

Roughriders senior Quarterback Dustin Howell continued his personal trend of setting offensive records against the over matched Indians defense as he tossed a trio of touchdown passes and connected on 6/7 passes for 129 yards on the evening. With his second quarter touchdown to Seth Vorhees of 20 yards that made the score 36-0 St. Marys, the third year starter broke the school record for career passing yards of 1,420 previously held by Derek Turner. On the next possession for the Riders, Howell broke the career touchdown pass record of 16 previously held by Derek Dunlap when he tossed a 33 yard score to Demarcus Fountain that gave his squad a 43-0 lead with time remaining in the first half.

Eric Spicer who this week was named to the Blue/Grey All-American Bowl that will be played in January in Jacksonville, Florida had a big night as well as he led the Riders in receiving yards in addition to toting the football five times for 68 yards on the ground. Spicer caught a pair of 38 yard passes from Dustin Howell on the first drive of the ballgame with the second accounting for the first points of the evening for the visiting squad.

Seconds after their first touchdown the Roughriders started their second possession at their opponents 45 yard line due to a botched attempt at fielding a short kick by Shawnee giving them back the football. Following a 33 yard run by the WBL’s second leading rusher in Julius Fisher, Eric Spicer scored his second touchdown in :47 by jaunting in from nine yards out. Further proving how well things were going for St. Marys on the evening, the Riders fumbled the extra point snap but had it land perfectly into the hands of kicker Gabe Vandever who walked into the endzone for the two-point conversion to push the advantage to 15-0.

Following a Grant Keith interception of Shawnee starter Ray Manley, the St. Marys offense utilized a six play 65 yard drive to go up 22-0 with 4:39 left in the opening stanza when Bo Kuenning scored his first touchdown of the season on a one yard touchdown run.

On fourth down and short and inside St. Marys territory the Indians decided to attempt to pick up yardage on their next possession, but were stopped when a screen pass failed to yield enough yardage to move the markers. Seven plays and 72 yards later the Roughriders found themselves ahead by 29 as Spicer struck again, this time from 39 yards out to run the lead to 29-0 with 5.8 remaining.

Another Shawnee long drive was stymied by the Rider defensive unit on the next possession before Howell and crew picked up the aforementioned scores and rode into the halftime break with a 43-0 on the road.

In the second half the game began with a running clock and allowed the Riders to sub in a lot of their younger players on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and get them some varsity experience under the lights on Friday night.

The only score of the second half gave Shawnee just their second touchdown of the season when Grant Wheeler made tracks all over the field and 45 yards into the endzone with 5:45 remaining in the contest to provide the final margin of 43-7.

For the game the Roughriders finished with 326 yards rushing on 47 attempts while collecting 455 total yards against the Western Buckeye League worst statistical defensive unit.

Wheeler led Shawnee in rushing as he ran 16 times for 93 yards and a score while Julius Fisher accumulated 102 yards on the ground just as he did last week at Van Wert for St. Marys.

Ray Manley finished his evening 9/19 for 67 yards and a pair of interceptions against the Roughriders who forced 3 Shawnee miscues on the evening.

Shawnee (0-3, 0-2) will head to Van Wert next week to take on the winless Cougars who themselves fell to Ottawa Glandorf tonight by a 42-0 score.

St. Marys begins their second straight season at 3-0 and will play host to a Kenton squad that was defeated at home by Wapak 31-10 Friday night and has dropped their last contest against the Roughriders 42-23 a year ago.

Kenton vs St. Marys can be heard live as it happens on WKKI K94.3 FM next Friday night beginning with Pregame starting at 6:30pm and also online at K94.3 FM Celina

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