By Jeremy McDonald
ST. PAUL, Ore.– With how both St. Paul and Lost River were playing Saturday at the St. Paul Rodeo Grounds, there was a sense that in this non-league game with both squads sitting 2-0 on the year entering the contest.
And, as fortunate would be in the Buckaroos Hall of Fame Game, it was the host team in St. Paul that had found that stop. Not just one stop, but two in fact in the 46-32 victory.
The first one came following the Bucks retaken the lead, the score coming way from a George Pohlschneider to Warren Rose for 17-yard connection and succeeding with the ensuing two-point conversion in the third quarter. Pohlschneider and the St. Paul’s passing game once more was on par, coming off their passing attack from last Thursday’s win over Santiam with another four passing touchdown game. Three of the four touchdown passes came between Pohlschneider and Rose as the senior Tight End in Rose had 110 yards in the air on four receptions.
Despite the offensive output, the Raiders were looking to possibly answer St. Paul’s answer with one of their own they drove. Chase McAuliffe had 101 rushing yards for Lost River, Connor Dunlea (97 yards) and Nathan Dalton (77 yards, one touchdown) also contributed for the Raiders in a rushing attack that helped keep the pressure to execute there. But it was that rushing attack that aided St. Paul in a way as they forced a fumble on a rushing attempt to be recovered by St. Paul’s Mike Hiller.
And the Bucks didn’t squander the opportunity following Hiller’s recovery and tacked on a 53-yard Clay Smith gallop to give them a cushion with 6:58 left in the game. Staying with it with the chaos that the game had been.
“It was a big game, we knew it was coming into it. It was very physical and everyone played hard, out-hustled them at the end and we came through,” Smith said. “We were working hard there at the end and giving it our all through all four quarters. Those plays were big for us.”
It was a momentum swing. All of a sudden there was a pip in the Buckaroos step and they rode it to another turnover, creating one by way of a strip sack by Carter Milroy that was recovered by Tyler Crawford with 4:42 remaining. St. Paul closed out the game with the ball as they improve to 3-0 and hand Lost River their first defeat of the season.
“They were massive, they sparked a motivational shift and we just took over,” Crawford said of the turnovers. “We didn’t start off really well, but we did great at the end. We just need to come out and hit them from the first play and keep hitting all the way through.”
The Buckaroos close out their non-league slate Thursday when they travel to Dufur High School to play Cove. St. Paul opens 1A Special District 1 play September 30 at Myrtle Point.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald