Tag Archives: Jackson Harris

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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Rams eliminate Riders in shootout

PIQUA, OH – Two of the top ten teams in the final Associated Press rankings in Division 3 put on a contest for ages Saturday night Piqua for the right to go to the State Semifinals. Fans in attendance at Alexander Stadium were treated to a tightly contested game that in the end was won by the six time defending region champion Trotwood Madison Rams 34-27 over St. Marys.

St. Marys fired the first shot across their opponents bow in the opening stanza as they capped off a 70 yard drive when the Western Buckeye League’s Back of the Year Eric Spicer jaunted in from 27 yards out to give his team their first lead at 7-0 following a successful extra point by Gabe Vandever.

Having not trailed but just a few times during the season the Trotwood offense went back to work on their ensuing drive and marched 75 yards into the Rider endzone when Junior tailback Raveion Hargrove scored on a 16 yard run from scrimmage. Trotwood would look to throw the football on their two point conversion attempt but failed to connect as Spicer knocked away the pass in the front corner of the endzone to keep his team ahead 7-6.

Despite QB Dustin Howell hooking up with Sophomore back Sean Perry for a 40 yard gain on their next possession to put them inside Rams territory the Roughriders were unable to put points on the board once the football was returned to them as Julius Fisher was hit hard and fumbled the football at the Rams 13 and saw his opposition recover the ball to start their next drive.

One play, 87 yards, 17 seconds is what Trotwood needed on their next possession to put points on the board and pull ahead 14-7 because the All-Ohio back in Hargrove blitzed down the left sideline and into the endzone for a touchdown.

Behind superb blocking from the offensive line of four Seniors (Garrett Lauth, Jonathan Peterson, Joey Morlino, Aaron McGraw) and a Junior (Tyler Miller), the Roughriders evened the score at 14-14 as Spicer rushed for his 28th career touchdown just seconds into the second quarter.

Trotwood Madison QB Markell Stephens-Peppers sixteenth touchdown pass of the season, a 34 yard scoring strike just past the hands of the Riders secondary to Caleb Johnson gave the Rams a 20-14 advantage. Stephens-Peppers attempted to run in the two point conversion but was stopped by the St. Marys defensive line before he could do so.

Starting with 9:01 and at their own 20 yard line the Roughriders moved the football inside the Trotwood 20 but were forced to settle for a 23 yard Gabe Vandever field goal that cut the Rams lead to 20-17 a minute before the halftime break. In an attempt to ice Vandever, Trotwood head coach and former 11 year NFL veteran WR Jeff Graham took all three of his timeouts in succession whenever the Riders Sophomore kicker lined up to attempt his kicks.

Just as they had done to end the first half the Roughriders milked over seven minutes off the clock to open the second hald and utilized a 1 yard Julius Fisher touchdown burst to finish off a 15 play, 64 yard drive and go ahead of Trotwood 24-20.

On the second play of the next offensive drive for the Rams they were forced to hold their collective breath as they lost Hargrove to an apparent left leg injury when he was tackled for no gain by many members of the Rider defense. Four plays after the injury the Rams found themselves unable to connect on another two point conversion following a touchdown as backup tailback William McDaniel sliced his way 32 yards through the St. Marys defense to put his team back on top 26-24 with 2:55 to go in the third.

Another 23 yard field goal for St. Marys gave the Roughriders back the lead and came at the end of a long drive that saw the offense stopped on a third down play and made the score 27-26 in the WBL Champions favor with 10:00 remaining in the contest.

McDaniel would score once more in the game as with 6:54 to go he thundered in from two yards out to push the Rams advantage to 32-27. Stephens-Peppers connection on the two point pass conversion attempt was right on target to Caleb Johnson and made it 34-27 in their squads favor.

With 6:49 and all three timeouts the Roughriders began what would turn out to be their final drive of the game at their own 38. Behind big runs from Sean Perry, Dustin Howell, Fisher, and Spicer the Riders quickly made their way across the midfield stripe and into Trotwood territory.

Near the three minute mark the Riders were forced to make a decision on what play to run on fourth down and went with a pass to Sean Perry on the back side. Despite having a majority of the players chasing Howell on the opposite side of the field the Rams were able to make a stop on Perry before he could get a full head of steam and force a turnover on downs to end the St. Marys opportunity to put a score on the board.

Trotwood (11-2) would pick up a pair of first downs on their ensuing possession and run out the remaining 3:08 left in the contest to preserve the victory, their 7th consecutive trip to the State Semifinals. The Rams will now match up with unbeaten Toledo Central Catholic next Saturday night as TCC defeated Lexington by a 19-0 margin to set up a rematch from last season that was won by TCC 21-13.

St. Marys sees their first trip to the Regional Finals come to an end at 11-2 and as three way champions in the WBL. The Riders will say goodbye to 21 Seniors, a group that were 0-10 in their Freshman year before Coach Doug Frye returned to lead the program to 22 wins in three seasons at the helm and help bring the program back from the bottom of the league where they had been with him absent.

Raveion Hargrove led Trotwood in rushing as he rushed for 212 yards for the third time in the last four games. Stephens-Peppers connected on 8/11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown pass to lead the air attack for the Rams. Altogether Trotwood accumulated 441 yards on 47 offensive plays from scrimmage.

The Riders were led offensively by Julius Fisher’s 139 yards rushing and 1 touchdown on 28 carries while classmate Eric Spicer finished just behind him with 134 yards on 18 rushes and a pair of touchdowns. Through the air the Roughriders finished 4/6 for 59 yards and no touchdowns and overall picked up 416 yards on 64 plays.

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Riders win first ever postseason home game

ST. MARYS, OH – The 2016 version of the St. Marys Roughriders continue to do things that haven’t been done in a long time or ever, as this week the Riders were victorious for the first time ever in the history of the program at home on the Skip Baughman grass with their 42-8 defeat of Dayton Belmont.

Having won the coin toss the Roughriders decided to take the football and test their opponents defense early on. That decision would prove to be beneficial for St. Marys as the senior tailback and the WBL’s leading rusher Eric Spicer’s first two carries moved the football from their own 36 to the Belmont 7 before Dustin Howell scored from a yard out. Howell’s touchdown run was his 8th of the season and put St. Marys ahead for good just :54 seconds into the game.

Belmont’s first offensive drive saw the Bison move from their 38 inside Riders territory thanks to a 41 yard scamper, but was short lived as a fumble found its way into the hands of defensive lineman TJ Mele at the St. Marys 6 and ended their second possession.

Following a punt and a turnover on downs for the two squads on their respective ensuing possessions the Riders put themselves ahead 14-0 on a long drive that spanned across two quarters. A timely penalty for a facemask against Belmont gave St. Marys a first down early on in the drive, and a 32 yard run from Spicer late in the drive once again pushed the Riders into the Bison redzone. A 6 yard run on third down put St. Marys at their foes 10 and then saw Spicer score his 12th rushing TD of the year with 8:46 left in the opening half.

St. Marys third score came off of a special teams miscue by Belmont on a blocked punt that was picked up by Grant Keith who promptly returned the ball a couple of yards into the endzone for the Riders first non-offensive touchdown of the season and ran the score to 21-0.

Jackson Harris’ fumble recovery at the Belmont 30 gave the Roughriders a short field that they took just :42 to turn into points, this time it was a Spicer 27 yard touchdown run for a 28-0 home team advantage 4:16 before the half.

28 points went up on the board for St. Marys in the second quarter on Saturday night and finished with 1:25 to go before the break when Dustin Howell’s second rushing touchdown of the night push their lead to 35-0 as both teams sprinted to their locker rooms.

In the first half the Roughriders rushed 24 times for a total of 204 yards.

Belmont faced two opponents in the second half in the Roughriders and the running clock. On their first possession to start the third quarter the Bison were able to move the football from their own 17 out deep into St. Marys territory on the back of a 47 yard jaunt from their tailback but were forced to give away the ball when they couldn’t complete a fourth down conversion at the St. Marys 9.

91 yards in just under eight minutes is what the Roughriders accomplished on their first drive of the second half, as they once again crossed over two quarters en route to a score. Bo Kuenning’s fourth touchdown run of the season, a 2 yard blast off left tackle pushed the St. Marys lead even further and gave the hosts a 42-0 lead with 11:06 to go.

On a drive that was started by an Eric Spicer interception, the Riders offense found themselves unable to pick up a first down with just over eight minutes to play and decided to attempt a 50 yard field goal. Despite hitting from 40 plus yards in pregame and possessing the big left leg of Seth Vorhees however the Roughriders were unable to add three more points as Vorhees kick came up short and was downed for a touchback by Belmont.

Starting from their own 20 the Bison were able to pick up not only five first downs, they were able to put up their only points of the contest when quarterback JJ Young connected on an 11 yard touchdown pass to J’Juan Briggs. A successful two point conversion run by Young himself made the final score 42-8 and secured the first home playoff win in St. Marys history.

Eric Spicer’s 175 yards on 14 carries led the way for St. Marys who racked up 332 yards on 39 carries on the evening. With the big night against the Bison, Spicer moved ahead of Mike Dzalamanow and Bo Frye into 3rd place in school history with 3,478 rushing yards for his career.

Belmont’s offense that has accounted for 330 yards per game this season picked up 296 total yards on the night. With the loss the Bison see their season and second straight playoff appearance come to an end with a 7-3 record.

St. Marys improves to 10-1 on the year and moves on to the second round of the playoffs next Saturday night where they will take on #1 seeded Franklin, a school the Riders beat for their first ever playoff victory back in 1989. The two teams will square off beginning at 7pm on Saturday night at a yet to be determined location released on Sunday afternoon by the OHSAA.

Listen live as St. Marys takes on Franklin on K94.3 FM: K94.3 FM Celina

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