Jackets Sting Riders In Opener

Sidney’s Andre Gordon escapes from St. Marys’ Christian Triplett in the fourth quarter of Friday’s non-league football game at Sidney Memorial Stadium.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

 

St. Marys Roughriders coach Doug Frye said during the week that his team was facing the best squad — the Sidney Yellow Jackets — that he had ever faced as a coach in his time in Auglaize County.

 

And on Friday night, Frye's comments stayed true.

 

Despite a number of impressive offensive possessions by the Roughriders and a seven-point lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, it was the Yellow Jackets who put together a comeback, exercising their demons against St. Marys in a 39-32 victory at Sidney Memorial Stadium.

 

It is the first road loss for the Roughriders since falling to Wapakoneta on Oct. 23, 2015 and the first loss to Sidney since the 2013 opener, erasing a three-game winning streak.

 

 

Trailing 32-25 with 5:47 remaining in the third quarter, Sidney was stopped on its ensuing possession, giving the Roughriders the ball and a chance to go up two scores heading into the fourth quarter.

 

But St. Marys' once promising drive stalled due to a holding penalty, forcing the Riders to punt — a short 28-yard boot by Trey Fisher — with 0:11 remaining in the third quarter as Sidney took over on St. Marys' 48 yard line.

 

 

Five plays later, Andre Gordon scored on a QB keeper from five yards out to tie the game at 32-32.

 

The Roughriders went three and out in their next possession, with another short punt from Fisher giving Sidney a short field. The Yellow Jackets took a chunk out of the St. Marys' offense by methodically moving down the field — eating more than six minutes off the clock as Northwestern University commit Isaiah Boswer scored the go-ahead touchdown with a four-yard plunge.

 

And another D-I commit made a game-changing play for Sidney when Devan Rogers picked off a Riders' quarterback Colin Clements' pass to seal the game at the Yellow Jackets' 31 yard line on the Roughriders' next possession.

 

St. Marys was held to zero points in its final three drives and just seven points in the entire second half.

 

Friday's season opener was eerily similar to 2016 when the Yellow Jackets held a 33-14 lead with 11:23 remaining in the third quarter in last season's opener at Skip Baughman, but were held to just seven points the rest of the way as St. Marys rallied for 19 points for the comeback win.

Missed opportunity also plagued a Roughriders offense that still yielded 394 yards and 20 first downs when Braeden Dunlap missed a wide-open Drew Jacobs with 8:46 left in the fourth quarter down the sideline — overthrowing the senior by mere yards after receiving the football on an end around. A competition would have most likely given St. Marys the lead back with the game tied at 32-32.

 

For the full story, grab Saturday's print edition of The Evening Leader.