A St. Marys missed extra point along with a Trey Guilliam catch and serpentine touchdown run in double overtime proved to be the differences in the Roughriders’ 21-20 loss to Defiance on homecoming at Skip Baughman Stadium.
St. Marys head coach Greg Phillips said he had a bad feeling the missed PAT would come back to bite his team.
“I made the comment when we doinked the extra point to Coach (Nick) Yahl that we’re a cat that just lost its ninth life,” Phillips said.
Defiance pounced on the change in momentum two plays later.
Bulldog wide receiver Trey Guilliam scored on a 24-yard reception — a cutback dash to the end zone. Jacob Botek booted through the game-winning extra point to deliver Defiance’s third straight win at St. Marys and its fourth win in the last five contests against the Roughriders.
St. Marys fell to 3-3 on the season, 2-3 in the WBL. Defiance improved to 3-3, 2-3 in the WBL.
“I told my kids that when you come to St. Marys, you’ve got to fight your way out of town,” Defiance head coach Jerry Buti said. “Any time we’ve won down here, we’ve fought our way out of town...You won’t see a better play tonight in the WBL than the one Trey Guilliam made, running about 200 yards across field and making it in.”
On the game-winning play, Guilliam cut back three times towards the middle of the field as Rider defensive backs slid past on the wet turf and the Bulldog receiver delivered the touchdown and Defiance’s great escape.
The victory was Buti’s 200th win as a head coach. Buti won the 200 games as head coach at Findlay, Van Wert and Defiance. He’s been at Defiance the past 22 seasons.
“Two hundred is a longevity thing,” Buti said. “Just like this game tonight. If you stay in it long enough, you’ll win it.”
“I’ve been around for about 100 years, so that’s what? Two wins a season?” Buti said, laughing.
Just minutes before the deciding score, St. Marys had taken a 20-14 lead on a D.J. Manning six-yard touchdown run on the opening possession of the second overtime. But Manning's extra point kick clanked off the left upright to leave the door open for Defiance.
“There were so many changes, so many ebbs and flows of emotion in this game,” Buti said.
The missed kick came on another otherwise stellar night for St. Marys’ Manning. Manning rushed for 229 yards on 40 carries and scored three touchdowns to push his season rushing total over 1,500 yards.
But it was Defiance quarterback Joe Keween and the Bulldogs who got the last word on a night Skip Baughman Stadium was pelted by driving rain throughout the second half.
Keween went 14-of-23 for 315 yards passing with three touchdowns, including the game-winning toss to the right flat to Guilliam on a second and 14.
“Our passing game is really a big secret because everybody looks at Kenton and those guys,” Buti said. “We’re the next best passing team after those teams that go five wide. We’ve got some guys who can catch the ball and Joe can put it on the money. The kids made some plays tonight. We’ve done that all year.”
The Riders had chances to win it in both regulation and the first overtime.
St. Marys missed a potential game-winning field goal in the first overtime from 31 yards. Manning’s kick had the distance, but sailed left to send the game to the second OT.
St. Marys also couldn’t convert an opportunity to take a lead late in the fourth quarter when a bad snap kept the Riders from attempting a 27-yard go-ahead field goal. That came after St. Marys had driven on an 18-play clock-eating, yardage chewing drive. St. Marys took the ball over with 10:29 left in the fourth at its own 37 yard line and methodically worked its way down the field with short runs and two key fourth down conversions.
St. Marys worked it down to the 21 yard line, but a false start penalty made it 1st and 15 — a spot behind the sticks the Riders couldn’t overcome.
St. Marys tied the game at 14-14 with one second left in the third quarter on a D.J. Manning 42-yard touchdown run — the second of his two 42-yard scoring scampers.
That Manning score answered Defiance’s Nick Lopez’s 79-yard touchdown catch from Keween on a third and seven. Keween hit Lopez streaking across the middle of the field and the 5-6, 160-pound running back dashed the rest of the way for a 14-7 Defiance lead.
St. Marys scored first for the sixth time in six games. Manning tightrope walked the left sideline for 42 yards early in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.
Defiance tied the game on the final play of the first half when Keween escaped a sack, stepped up in the pocket and delivered a 28-yard strike to Lopez with no time left on the clock.
Lopez struggled to gain traction in the running game after entering the contest with 645 rushing yards in five games, carrying the ball 23 times for 55 yards. But Lopez had four catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game.
“I don’t think we played real hard in the beginning of the game,” Phillips said. “I think the kids came in at halftime and realized that we were in a battle. We played much harder in the second half. But by the time we got it kicked in in the second half, time had pretty much run out on us.”
NOTES: Defiance lost the ball on downs four times in its first four offensive possessions, including the Riders stuffing a fake punt attempt in the first quarter on a fourth and one at midfield...St. Marys wingback and wide receiver Dustin Fisher had his best game of the season, carrying the ball 12 times for 78 yards — much of that yardage coming on jet sweeps to the edge of the Bulldog defense....The teams exchanged interceptions in a hectic first minute of the third quarter. After St. Marys’ Mitch Fowler ran back the second half kick off to the Defiance 32 yard line, Guilliam picked off St. Marys quarterback T.J. Powell. On the very next play, Fowler caught a deflection for an interception for the Riders... St. Marys nose tackle Neal Perry had a big night, sacking Keween twice and hurrying Defiance’s signal caller throughout the night.
St. Marys 20
1 2 3 4 OT 2OT F
DEF 0 7 7 0 0 7 - 21
SM 0 7 7 0 0 6 - 20
SM — D.J. Manning 42-yard touchdown run, Manning PAT kick good, SM 7-0, 10:43 (7-play, 82-yard drive, T.O.P. 3:23).
D — Nick Lopez 28-yard touchdown reception from Joe Keween, Jacob Botek PAT kick good, 7-7, 0:00 (3-play, 56-yard drive, T.O.P. 0:26).
D — Lopez 79-yard touchdown reception from Keween, Botek PAT kick good, D14-7, 3:15 (3-play, 82-yard drive, T.O.P. 1:06).
SM — Manning 42-yard touchdown run, Manning PAT kick good, 14-14, 0:01 (7-play, 70-yard drive, T.O.P. 3:14)
SM — Manning six-yard touchdown run, PAT kick failed, SM 20-14. (5-play, 20-yard drive).
D — Trey Guilliam 24-yard touchdown reception from Keween, Boteck PAT kick good (2-play, 20-yard drive).
RUSHING — SM: D.J. Manning 40-229, 3 TDs; Dustin Fisher 12-78; T.J. Powell 8-24; Steven Paulus 1-1, Tre Sherman 1-(-)8. DEF: Nick Lopez 23-55; Justin Kahle 2-2, Joe Keween 4-(-)6.
PASSING — SM: T.J. Powell 2-6-16, INT; DEF: Joe Keween 14-23-315, 3TDs, Int.
First Downs 19 13
Rushing 62-324 29-51
Yds. Per Carr y 5.1 1.8
Passing 2-6-16 14-23-315
Total Offense 340 366
Pentalties 5-40 4-25
Turnover Margin +1 -1
3rd Down Conv. 7-16 4-11
Bath 34, Shawnee 7
Kenton 30, Elida 28
Celina 28, Van Wert 18
Defiance 21, St. Marys 20, 2 OT
Wapakoneta 35, Ottawa-Glandorf 14