WAPAKONETA, OH – For the first time since 1993 and the first time ever under head coach Doug Frye the St. Marys Roughriders finished their Western Buckeye League season undefeated at 9-0 with a 10-0 shutout win over rival Wapak on Friday night.
On a rainy and miserable night both teams started off slow offensively until St. Marys second possession of the first half when the Roughriders started at the Wapak 44. With 4:03 remaining in the opening quarter the visitors punched in the only touchdown of the contest when tailback Sean Perry scampered off the right end and into the endzone from 13 yards away to put his squad on top 6-0 before a Gabe Vandever extra point pushed the lead to 7-0 Roughriders.
A trio of punts and a turnover on downs gave St. Marys control of the football at their own 25 with 8:48 remaining in the opening half of play. On the 19th play of the drive the Roughriders would be forced to turn the ball over on downs as Perry, who carried the ball 14 times on the drive was stopped near the goal line on his attempt to push the lead to a two score advantage.
Leading 7-0 at the halftime break the Riders would begin the third quarter with the football and add the games only other score, a 20 yard field goal by Vandever to cap off a 13 play drive that emanated from their 30 and gave their fans a 10-0 lead to cheer for.
Defense was the word of the day in the second half as each team would stop the other from putting anything in the scoring column for the rest of the contest.
Wapak’s best chance to dent the score column came early in the 4th quarter as they utilized a 25 play drive that began at their own 4 yard line with 10:41 and ended near the Roughrider 15 when Blake Kanorr snagged a Brady Erb pass out of the air and gave his team a chance to run out the clock with 2:13 remaining in the game.
After being forced to punt away the football with just 1:48 remaining when they were unable to pick up 10 yards on their three plays, the Roughriders ended the Wapak hopes of winning as Sean Perry jumped in front of an intended Wapak target in the endzone and came away with the game clinching interception that allowed his team to take a knee and run out the final :33 of the win.
With the loss, Wapak will finish the season at 6-4 overall, and 6-3 in Western Buckeye League play. According to Joe Eitel projections the Redskins will miss the playoffs for the first time under 4th year head coach Travis Moyer.
St. Marys (9-1, 9-0) according to Joe Eitel D4R14 projections will be at home for Week 11 and play host to a yet to be determined team.
The Roughriders shutout of Wapak is their 27th in their 114 meetings and the first of the Redskins since a 13-0 win in 2001 at Wapakoneta.
Leading St. Marys offensively was Sean Perry who carried the football 28 times for a game high 153 yards and the games lone touchdown. Overall the Roughriders rushed 60 times for 258 yards while holding Wapak to just 104 yards on 35 carries, and 198 yards total.