The Sidney Yellow Jackets traders blows with St. Marys in the first quarter to make for an entertaining start to the football season.
But the Roughriders came back to dominate the second quarter and go on to a 40-28 victory over the Jackets in the opener Friday night at Sidney Memorial Stadium.
Sidney will try to even its record Friday night on the road at neighboring rival Bellefontaine.
St. Marys, which won last year’s game at St. Marys 71-21, hosts Van Wert next Friday.
It looked on the first series like St. Marys’ Eric Spicer was going to destroy the Jackets again, much like he did last year when he rushed for over 400 yards. He returned the kickoff out near midfield, then hauled in a 37-yard pass on the first play of the season.
After two running plays netted just one yard, a hook-and-ladder play which wound up in the hands of Seth Vorhees went for 24 yards and a score with 9:56 left in the opening quarter.
Sidney’s Conor Beer returned the kickoff to the 45, and the Jackets overcame a clipping penalty to even the score on a 13-yard pass from Jack Feazel to Allec Gordon, but the Roughriders returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a score by Logan Maze.
The Jackets didn’t let it faze them, though, and knotted the score at 14-14 on a 32-yard screen pass to Darryl McNeal.
Sidney then tried an onside kick and it was recovered, and after overcoming a holding penalty, the Jackets drove for the go-ahead score.
Freshman Andre Gordon gained 31 yards out of the Wildcat, and two plays later Isaiah Bowser went in from 11 yards out to give the Jackets a 21-14 lead after one quarter.
Sidney got the ball back with a chance to increase the lead, but Beer was stopped shot on a fourth-and-two play.
The Roughriders then drove for a touchdown with 6:57 left in the first half, but Sidney still led when the two-point conversion attempt was picked off by McNeal.
St. Marys then gave the Jackets a taste of their own medicine, recovering an onside kick of its own. The Roughriders turned it into a score with 4:48 left, and after missing the two-point conversion again, they led 26-21.
Then with 1:49 remaining in the half, St. Marys tacked on another score on a 3-yard run and it was 33-21, which is how it stood at the half.
Sidney went three-and-out on its first possession of the third quarter, but got on the board again on its next series, with Gordon sweeping in from four yards out to make it 33-28, which is stayed after three quarters.
But the Jackets couldn’t get any closer, and St. Marys scored a clinching touchdown on a 1-yard run by Dustin Howell with 6:20 remaining to be played, capping a 53-yard drive in roughly three minutes.
Sidney got a drive going, but a Feazel pass was picked off and returned into Sidney territory, ending any chance for a Jacket rally.
MINSTER — Josh Nixon was unstoppable in the first half, and Fort Loramie had no answer in a 41-7 loss to the defending Division VI state champions Friday night.
Nixon threw for six touchdown passes in the first half alone and it made the score 41-0 at the half and set the stage for the mercy rule, a running clock throughout the second half.
Nixon finished the first half 15-for-19 passing for 296 yards and six touchdowns. With him throwing the ball like he was, Minster ran the ball just seven times for 12 yards in the first two quarters.
Minster got on the board early in the final period on a 15-yard pass from Austin Siegel to Drew Wehrman.
ANNA —Anna was headed toward an opening-night win Friday, leading 14-0 in the fourth quarter over visiting Arlington.
The first quarter was a turnover-fest, with Arlington giving the ball up three times and Anna twice. And it was a turnover that produced the only score of the quarter when Anna’s Kain Luthman stepped in front of the receiver on a screen pass and returned it 37 yards for a 7-0 lead, which is what it was after one.
Anna had a third-and-goal at the four early in the second quarter, but after losing six yards on that play, a field goal attempt was unsuccessful.
Then with three minutes left in the first half, Arlington drove to a fourth-and-goal at the three, but on a bootleg, the runner slipped down before getting to the endzone.
The half ended 7-0.