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Flyers gain at least a share of FC crown with win

St. Paul took full advantage of a dominating rushing attack and a solid defensive effort in Friday's game. Staff
Oct 26, 2013

The result was a 42-13 win over Mapleton in Firelands Conference action Friday night.

In so doing, the Flyers picked up no worse than a share of their 19th FC title since entering the league in 1968. St. Paul (8-1, 6-0) can claim the title for itself Saturday night with a win over Monroeville. That game is slated for Nov. 2 at Whitney Field.

But the win didn’t come without an early struggle for the Flyers.

St. Paul found itself on the short end of a 6-0 first quarter score and trailed 13-7 as late as 1:30 remaining in the first half, before righting the ship and outscoring the Mounties 35-0 over the game’s final 25 minutes to claim the victory.

“We had kind of a slow start,” Flyers  head coach John Livengood said. “I thought Mapleton played real hard and took advantage of our mistakes.

“Our kids settled in, played hard and ran the ball well,’’ he added. “We were able to establish some momentum in the second quarter, and it carried over from there.”

One of those mistakes cost the Flyers early, as Connor Black scooped up a Bob Harwood fumble and raced 45 yards for the touchdown at 7:02 of the opening period of play.

The extra-point attempt failed, but Mapleton had a 6-0 lead and that is where it stood at the first break.

Sophomore Jaret Nickoli, getting some extra work due to an apparent ankle injury to Devin Smith, took full advantage of his opportunity and bulled in from the 2-yard line at the 9:10 mark of the second period.

Scottie Slauterbeck added the first of his six extra point kicks and St. Paul led 7-6.

Then, on the second play following the kickoff, the Mounties used the big play — a 76-yard touchdown pass from Wade Barone to Brandon Bahr. Barone’s PAT kick gave the Mounties a 13-7 lead.

Senior Jesse Gross topped off of Flyer drive with a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:28 remaining in the half and the visitors led 14-13 at the intermission.

It was all St. Paul in the second half.

Nickoli tallied on a pair of 4-yard runs in the third quarter, as the Flyers opened up a 28-13 advantage.

That gap widened in the final frame as Gross scored on a 3-yard run with 9:49 left. Sophomore Brad Smith darted 38 yards for the game’s final score with 3:14 to go in the contest.

St. Paul’s “running back by committee” acquitted itself well.

Brad Smith ran for 203 yards on 21 carries, Gross added 89 on 17 attempts, and Nickoli had 43 yards on 13 tries to go with his three TDs.

“Brad Smith stepped in a did a nice job,” Livengood said.
Slauterbeck completed seven of his 14 passes for 129 yards. Gross grabbed four for 66 yards, and Harwood three for 65.

Barone was 8-of-21 for 154 yards passing. Bahr caught four for 110 yards. Travis Pickering ran for 53 yards on 18 carries.

“Beside that big pass play, I thought the defense played real well tonight,” Livengood said.

Nickoli had six tackles to pace the Flyers, while Jim Easler had five. Grant Dilger had an interception.

Mapleton (6-3, 4-2) travels to Western Reserve on Friday.