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