Roughriders' Dream Season Ends In Regional Final

St. Marys' Seth Vorhees (15) and Grant Keith (24) hold up their 2016 Division III, Region 12 runner-up plaque after falling to Trotwood-Madison 34-27 on Saturday.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

They say all good things must come to an end.

And unfortunately, that good thing is the St. Marys Roughriders’ Cinderella season to the hands of the now seven-time regional champion.

In an evenly matched game, the Rams were just a little bit better, scoring on every drive but two, forcing a key turnover on the Roughriders’ second possession of the game and stymying the St. Marys offense in the final drive as the Roughriders fell 34-27 at Piqua Alexander Stadium.

St. Marys’ (11-2) offense was just as good, scoring on all of its drives but two, but those two turned the tide of the game.

After scoring on an Eric Spicer 28-yard run to give St. Marys a 7-0 lead, the Rams answered with a Ravieon Hargrove 16-yard score and a 7-6 Riders’ lead after a failed two-point try.

The Roughriders answered, marching 58 yards down the field and looking to retake their lead when Trotwood forced its 28th turnover on the season on a Julius Fisher fumble at the 13-yard line.

One play later, Hargrove — the speedy junior back — made St. Marys pay in just one play with an 87-yard run and a 14-7 lead after a successful two-point try.

The other turning point — in essence — ended the Roughriders’ season in the fourth quarter.

Facing a fourth and 5 at the Rams’ (11-2) 32-yard line trailing 34-27 ­— after back-up running back William McDaniel’s two-yard plunge — quarterback Dustin Howell flushed out to the left and turned around to find Sean Perry in a throwback, halfback screen on the right side, but the sophomore back could not shake a Trotwood tackler as the Roughriders were forced to turn the ball over on downs with 3:02 remaining.

From there, the Rams ran out the clock and the Roughriders’ season.

Eric Spicer — who ran for 110 yards on 18 carries and scored twice — ends his career with 3,644 rushing yards which is the third most in school history.
The Roughriders also got six points off a pair of 23-yard field goals by Gabe Vandever — with his school record 9-for-9 clip on field goals in a season.
Fisher ran for a team-high 127 yards on 25 carries and one score.

Despite being gimpy in the second half, Hargrove racked up 211 rushing yards and two scores on 20 carries. It was the most rushing yards an individual has ran on the Roughriders’ defense all season.

The 27 points the Roughriders scored on Saturday is the most points anyone has scored on the Rams all season and the first since Oct. 30 2015, as well as 357 yards being the most Trotwood has allowed to any team since Thurgood Marshall racked up 339 yards in a game on Sept. 6 2014.

To read the full story, grab Monday’s print edition of The Evening Leader.