Riders Kick Their Way To History In Win

St. Marys’ kicker Gabe Vandever kicks a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter of Friday’s Western Buckeye League game against Kenton at Robinson Field.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

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This is as close of a team win that the St. Marys Roughriders have had all season, and they happened to make history in the process.

Garnering their 600th win all-time in program history and with the help of Gabe Vandever’s school record three field goals and the Roughriders defense limiting Western Buckeye League passing leader Jaron Sharp, the Roughriders leave Robinson Field with a satisfying 30-13 victory on Friday night.

The Roughriders (4-1, 4-0 WBL) are also the lone team with a perfect WBL record after Elida fell Wapakoneta 36-33 on Friday. St. Marys and Elida play each other next week at Skip Baughman Stadium on Homecoming Night.

The win also makes St. Marys the 31st team in the state of Ohio to win 600 games all-time in its program. The OHSAA website incorrectly has St. Marys entering the 2017 season with 599 wins. According to Paul Sadler who updates the St. Marys football records, the Roughriders began the season at 596 instead, two shy of Bellevue, who already reached the 600-win mark.

In their best performance of the season, the Roughriders defense allowed a season-low 238 yards of total offense and limited Sharp — the WBL’s leader in passing yards and tied for second in passing touchdowns — to 20-of-41 passing (48.7 completion percentage) 172 yards, two scores, an interception and a fumble.
Braeden Dunlap’s interception wiped out a touchdown to end the first half and Sharp’s third-quarter fumble yielded Vandever’s first of three field goals — a 19-yarder.

The Roughriders scored on six of their seven offensive drives and used a 7:50 scoring possession that ended in Vandever’s third boot of the night to ice the game.

The Roughriders took their opening possession of the game 60 yards on eight plays, culminated by Ty Schlosser’s 23-yard touchdown run for an early 7-0 lead.

After a Kenton punt, the Wildcats capitalized on their second drive after the Riders turned the ball over on downs when Sharp connected with Landon Rush for a 3-yard TD pass to tie the game.

But St. Marys responded by scoring on their next five possessions and scored 27 of the game’s final 33 points, beginning with Dunlap rolling out to his right to find a wide-open Ty Howell streaking down the field for a 23-yard touchdown pass on fourth and 11.

Shannon Fowler scored the Riders’ final touchdown of the contest with 1:10 remaining in the first half on a two-yard TD run, set-up by the senior’s 45-yard scamper five plays earlier as part of a 75-yard, 6-play drive for a 21-7 lead.