St. Paul defends conference title
The last time the St. Paul football team failed to win the Casco League championship was in 2008 when the Bucks lost out to the rival Perrydale Pirates. Since then, the Buckaroos have swept through the conference each year and have been crowned Casco League Champions for four straight years.
St. Paul (6-4, 5-0 Casco) made it five straight Friday night, in 62-38 victory against the same Perrydale team that last defeated the Bucks half a decade ago.
Led by sophomore running back Tyler Smith, the Buckaroos used their ground game to punish the Pirates for 523 rushing yards. After Perrydale scored the opening touchdown of the game on their first possession, the Bucks proceeded to score four straight times to build a 30-6 lead mid-way through the second quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Carson Smith was the first to punch it in, carrying the ball one yard for the score to tie the game at 6-6 before completing a two-point conversion to Cody Faber to give the Bucks the lead for good.
Fernando Dela Cerda scored the next two touchdowns on carries of 46 and 18 yards. The freshman running back finished with a team-high four touchdowns on the ground to 149 yards rushing, but it was teammate Tyler Smith who stole the show Friday night.
The speedy sophomore amassed 310 yards on 27 carries, three of which went for touchdowns. The Pirates were not finished, though, and scored on their next two possessions to crawl back to with 36-20 at the half.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, as Perrydale scored from 15 yards out to make it a 10-point game before Dela Cerda countered on the Bucks next drive for his third touchdown of the game.
The Pirates were able to find gaps in the Buckaroo pass defense by completing 13 of 21 passes for 305 yards, but every time Perrydale mounted a strong drive, the Bucks were there to counter.
St. Pauls victory marked the 32nd straight win over a conference opponent as the Bucks prepare to open the first round of the postseason at home this Friday against the No. 9 Yoncalla Eagles (8-2, 5-2 Special District 5), who are making their debut in the 1A playoffs this year after dropping down from the 2A classification.
The winner of Fridays game will advance to the quarterfinals on Nov. 15 against either No. 1 Lowell or Condon/Wheeler.