ELIDA – St. Marys did not do anything fancy.
All the Roughriders did was run the football – and then run the football some more.
St. Marys rushed for 313 yards on the night, en route to a convincing 35-3 victory over Elida in a Western Buckeye League football matchup Friday at Kraft Memorial Stadium.
With the win, St. Marys improves to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the WBL. Elida slips to 4-4 overall and 3-4 in league play.
By the halftime break, St. Marys had rushed for 258 yards.
Colton Mabry led the St. Marys running attack in the first half with 114 yards and two touchdowns. With the running clock for a majority of the first half, due to the 30-point lead in the second half, Mabry handled the football one time in the second half, and ended the game with 114 rushing yards. Teammate Aiden Hinkle rushed for 95 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown for the Roughriders.
St. Marys head coach Bo Frye pointed to the tradition of running backs, as a key to the success of the running game.
“I’ve always said that you can’t ever have too many running backs,” Frye said. “We have a lot of them around here. It’s just what we do. They grow up in St. Marys wanting to play running back.”
St. Marys’ defensive unit was not going to be outdone Friday night.
In the first half, Elida’s offensive unit recorded just 31 total yards. For the game, the Bulldogs rushed for 47 yards, and added just 22 more in the air.
“We’re playing a lot better defense right now,” Frye said. “It’s a testament to coach (Nick) Yahl (defensive coordinator) for making some moves after we gave up 70 (points) to Van Wert. …. We’re playing pretty good defense right now.
“We always thought we had the people over there (on defense). We just had to get it simplified, and get them playing fast. We’re doing that right now. So, we’re setting ourselves up for a great finish.”
The Roughriders took control of Friday’s game right from the start.
On the first possession of the night, St. Marys marched 61 yards on 13 plays for the first score of the contest. Hinkle capped off the scoring drive with a six-yard touchdown run. With the extra point by Logan Rush, the Roughriders led 7-0 with six minutes left in the first quarter.
St. Marys struck again.
On its next possession, Mabry broke loose for a 51-yard TD run to push the St. Marys lead to 14-0 with 3:31 left in the opening quarter. That lead held up to the first stop.
Early in the second quarter, the Roughriders mounted a 10-play, 58-yard scoring drive. Mabry ran it in from 13 yards out to extend St. Marys’ advantage to 21-0 with 9:05 left in the first half.
The Roughriders added yet another score before the halftime break.
With 3:32 left in the half, Brayden Sullivan ran it in from four yards to extend the lead to four touchdowns.
The Roughriders scored late in the third quarter. This time, it was through the air.
St. Marys quarterback Cody Wallace connected with Brayden Sullivan for a 26-yard TD pass. With the extra point, the Roughriders led 35-0 with 2:41 left in the third.
“We can do it (throw the football),” Frye said. “Cody (Wallace) is a pretty good quarterback. Obviously, our offense goes through our O-linemen (running game), number one. … Then he (Wallace) supplements what we need to do. We can definitely do it. … We’re not scared to do it.”
On the night, Wallace was 2 of 5 passing for 36 yards with the one TD pass.
For Elida, quarterback Ryan McGue was 5 of 19 passing for 22 yards, and had two interceptions.
For the game, St. Marys recorded 14 first downs, 11 in the first half. Elida moved the first-down chains seven times.
Elida place-kicker Grant Hardeman got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a 32-yard field goal, with 4:32 remaining in the contest.
Mark Altstaetter wrote this story for The Lima News. Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.