- Special Sections
ST. MARYS — St. Marys head football coach Greg Phillips sees the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans as the team to emulate in the Western Buckeye League.
With their seven straight playoff appearances, the state’s second-ranked Titans play a physical brand of football that eschews trendiness in favor of brawn — which was on full display in a 62-0 bulldozing of the Roughriders on Friday night at Skip Baughman Stadium.
It’s pretty simple. And it’s working for Ken Schriner’s bunch as they clinched at least a share of the WBL title with a win and Celina’s loss on Friday.
Photos: O-G at St. Marys football
“The physical way they play,... with the I-formation and that offensive line, that’s where I want to get us to in the next few years,” Phillips said. “That’s our goal. We’re not a spread team. I’m not a spread guy. I want tough, physical, strong players and what they do is what I want to do here. They’re a class team. We’re going to get there. It’s going to take awhile but we’re going to get there.”
The Roughriders got an all too up-close and personal look at that Titan machine, as Ottawa-Glandorf ran for 346 yards and picked up its first shutout of the season.
O-G tailback Tristan Parker, a 6-foot-2 200-pound running back who often gets lost behind an offensive line with three players over 250 pounds, rushed for 123 yards and four touchdowns on just 12 carries to add to his WBL-leading rushing total. Parker scored on touchdown runs of 21, 11, one and 33 yards. Titan back-up tailback Shane Schroeder ran for 103 yards and a touchdown.
The Titans, who are ranked second in the Division IV Associated Press Poll, improved to 8-0 on the season and remain in the driver’s seat for a Western Buckeye League title and a home playoff game. After having to drive late in the fourth quarter and convert a two-point conversion with 42 seconds left to pull out a 14-13 win over Elida last week, O-G didn’t allow a game with the winless Roughriders to become a trap game.
“We needed to come out and take care of business and work on our stuff and get better,” said O-G head coach Ken Schriner, who won his 123rd game at Ottawa-Glandorf. “We knew St. Marys was struggling, but I’m proud of the way our kids came out and played hard. They executed. We ran the ball well. We passed it more than we usually pass it and hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come for us.”
More injuries plagued the Roughriders this week, this time keeping their starting quarterback from playing that position.
St. Marys platooned quarterbacks when starter Dustin Fisher sustained a shoulder injury that wouldn’t allow him to throw a ball.
“We had a suspicion on Monday evening that Dustin was hurt,” Phillips said. “Tuesday the trainer said it didn’t look good. He got an MRI on Wednesday and didn’t get the for sure until 3 o’clock on Wednesday.”
Fisher played running back in the game while Adam Brown and Jordan Fisher split time at the quarterback spot.
After early struggles, Brown found a rhythm throwing the ball in the second half, completing six straight passes at one point. Brown went 8 for 10 for 37 yards passing with an interception. Jordan Fisher was 3 for 4 for 30 yards passing.
"They played fine,” Phillips said. “We didn’t protect them very well at times, but they stood in there and tried to make some plays. We split time with them going two series each. We’ll go back this week and split time and hopefully get one of them in a rhythm and stick with one of them.”
St. Marys running back Dakota Knous had a big fourth quarter. Knous rushed eight times for 68 yards and added a 58-yard kickoff return in the closing minutes.
St. Marys now will travel to Van Wert and Shawnee for the last two games of the season. The two teams entered Friday night with a combined record of 1-13.