Tag Archives: Nate Place

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.

Share

Riders dominate Cougars

VAN WERT, OH – St. Marys came in with a game plan to run at will against Van Wert and executed it to near perfection as the Roughriders saw four different rushers reach the Cougar endzone in their 46-6 rout to open WBL play Friday night.

Matt Patten’s block of an attempted Van Wert punt gave the Roughriders the football for the first time in the contest at their opponents 26 yard line, and the Riders wasted no time as they put the first points on the board.

Utilizing six plays and just under two minutes the Riders offense turned to Junior RB Chandler Gray who bounced in from two yards out for his first varsity rushing touchdown to put St. Marys up 7-0.

Following a 31 yard punt the Riders again found themselves with the ball in good field position, but used 5:13 and 12 plays to push their advantage to 14-0 with a Julius Fisher touchdown.

Seven plays after Grant Keith recovered a Cougars fumble the visitors added six more points to their lead when Senior signal caller Dustin Howell dove into the endzone from six yards out for his fourth score on the ground of the year, but Gabe Vandever’s extra point was deemed a miss so the lead stayed at 20-0 for St. Marys early in the second period.

Eric Spicer’s lone touchdown of the game on the ground, a 14 yard score pushed the Rider lead to 26-0 with 4:01 left in the first half but a muffed snap on the extra point kept the lead from going any higher.

Van Wert’s only points of the ballgame came with :18 before the break as Sophomore QB Lawson Blackmore hooked up with Nate Place for the second time this season for a touchdown to send the game to the half at 26-6.

The only completed pass of the game for St. Marys came on the seventh play of the Riders opening drive in the third quarter when Howell hooked up with last seasons leading receiver in Eric Spicer for a 39 yard marker to make it 33-6 after the extra point.

Chandler Gray who had just a pair of rushes for 10 yards last week in a win over Sidney showed his speed on a first play of the drive handoff after St. Marys took over at the Van Wert 26 following a bad punt by the Cougars and sprinted to the endzone to cue the +30 point running clock when the score became 39-6.

With subs working their way in and out of the Roughrider lineup the visiting squad turned to 5’10, 185 pound Junior Keegan Sawmiller for their final scoring play of the contest as he jaunted in from two yards out to put St. Marys up 40 points at 46-6.

Van Wert has now dropped both games this season and sees their record fall to 0-2, and 0-1 in Western Buckeye League play. The Cougars will travel to Titan Stadium in Ottawa next Friday night to take on a 2-0 Titans squad that defeated them 26-25 last season.

St. Marys improves to 2-0 on the season and picks up their first WBL win and will be on the road next week as they take on the 0-2 Shawnee Indians in a contest broadcast live by WKKI K94.3 FM K94.3 FM Celina with pregame beginning at 6:30pm and kickoff shortly after 7:00pm.

Share