Riders Clinch Home Playoff Game

St. Marys’ Bo Kuenning (5), Sean Perry and Nick Myers (96) celebrate after defeating Western Buckeye League foe Defiance on Friday at Skip Baughman Stadium.
Sports Editor

The 2017 St. Marys Roughriders are now a part of some exclusive history.

Not only did the No. 8 ranked Roughriders claim their 18th outright Western Buckeye League title with their 50-0 victory over Defiance on Friday, they are also just the sixth St. Marys team to earn back-to-back titles and snap Wapakoneta’s four-year streak of being crowned league champs.

And this season’s team has won the title outright for the first time since 2003 and will host a postseason game for the fourth time in school history.

Ty Schlosser led the way with two TD runs and Eddie Fowler scored his second touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter, while the special teams unit was responsible for 16 of the team’s 50 points on Friday in what could be the final regular season game held at Skip Baughman Stadium.

Colin Clements and Braeden Dunlap also threw touchdown passes as part of the Roughriders’ offensive onslaught, which at one point scored on five straight offensive possessions.

The Roughriders started fast, scoring the game’s opening drive in just 1:36 on a Clements’ 3-yard QB sneak.

St. Marys, however, was sluggish on its next two possessions before Schlosser scored the first of his two touchdowns from 7 yards out with 0:04 remaining in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.

The Riders added to their 89 points scored in the second quarter of games season with 21 more points on Friday.

Schlosser opened the Roughriders’ first drive of the second quarter with a 25-yard TD run, adding to his team-leading ninth rushing score of the season.

Defiance punted the ball on its ensuing possession — kicking it to Sean Perry — as the speedy junior zig-zaged around the Bulldogs’ tacklers for an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 28-0 lead with 5:16 until the half. Perry’s touchdown was one yard shy of the school record for longest punt return for a touchdown, held by Chip Cisco, who scored from 86 yards out in 1975 against Bath.

The Bulldogs’ next possession ended with another St. Marys’ touchdown as Defiance’s punter Jon Weisberger’s punt was blocked by Trey Fisher and returned to the Bulldogs’ 10 yard line. Two plays later, Clements got his third TD pass of the season — and fifth in the last two contest — when he found Reed Aller in the corner of the endzone for a 35-0 lead with 2:51 left.

In a matter of 9:13, the Roughriders tattooed the Bulldogs for 28 points, while Defiance mustered just 34 yards of total offense, three punts — one blocked — and zero first downs during that span.

The 35-point halftime lead enacted the running clock in the second half and allowed Frye’s coaching staff to work on wrinkles in the offense.

After a Defiance punt on its opening drive of the third quarter, Frye inserted Dunlap in at quarterback as the junior accounted for all four plays and 32 yards of the Riders’ opening possession of the third quarter, including going 2-for-2 through the air as the last pass went to Perry for a 2-yard TD pass to extend the Riders’ lead, 42-0.

St. Marys added two points on another blocked punt — this time by Aller — as the senior tackled Wesiberger in the endzone for a 44-0 lead.

Scoring in every quarter for the fourth time in the last five games, Fowler went around to the left run, out-racing a couple of Defiance defenders from three yards out for a 50-0 lead with a botched extra point.

For a full story, read Saturday's print edition of The Evening Leader.