Kuenning's Big Night Lifts Riders Past Cougars

St. Marys' Bo Kuenning (5) runs over Van Wert's Jalen McCracken (23) in the second quarter of a Western Buckeye Leagie game on Friday.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

With just seven carries all season, Bo Kuenning almost surpassed that in touchdowns in one night, and for the St. Marys Roughriders, it was a good thing Kuenning had a career night.

Tying the school record with four rushing touchdowns in a single game, Kuenning helped the Roughriders build a 28-7 lead, on their way to a 50-34 Western Buckeye League victory in a home opener at Skip Baughman Stadium.

And the 6-foot-1, 230-pound back used his brute strength and physical presence to bully Van Wert tacklers on his way to his four touchdown runs — all inside the five yard line.

The Roughriders (2-1, 2-0 WBL) scored on their opening drive of the game, using Kuenning for a three-yard dive to conclude a modest six-play, 61-yard drive for a 7-0 lead.

Three plays into the second quarter, Kuenning scored from five yards out to put St. Marys up 14-0 and the senior put St. Marys up by three scores from one yard out with 7:06 remaining in the first half after the Cougars (2-1, 1-1) turned the ball over the downs on their previous possession.

In the meantime, the Roughriders defense limited the WBL's leading scorer in Cougars' quarterback Nate Place. The junior was limited to 42 yards of offense, after eating up 200 yards of total offense against Wapakoneta, but it was only a matter of time before Place and the Cougars' athletic offense came to life.

On the ensuing kickoff after Kuenning's third touchdown, Jacoby Kelly scampered 73 yards on the return to set up a Place three-yard touchdown pass to Drew Bagley to put the Cougars on the board, 21-7.

The Riders responded almost instantly thanks to a 24-yard run by Braeden Dunlap and a 37-yard reception to Dunlap from Colin Clements to set up Kuenning's fourth score of the night from three yards out one play later.

To see the full story, see Saturday's print edition of The Evening Leader.