St. Paul clinched the Firelands Conference title outright with a 48-12 win over Monroeville on Saturday night at Whitney Field.
The Flyers improved to 9-1 overall and 7-0 in the FC.
St. Paul now moves on to the Division VII Region 23 playoffs at 7 p.m. Saturday at home, likely against Southington Chalker (5-5).
Flyer coach John Livengood was pleased to pick up the victory and the FC championship.
“Winning the conference is our first goal, the first day we meet with the kids,” he said. “We’re excited about that and excited about winning it outright. That’s really a credit to these seniors” Livengood added. “I’ve said all year the strength of this team is team chemistry. These kids realize the relationships you build through football are very special. It’s nice to get together with friends and classmates and accomplish something like that.”
On Saturday, the Flyers took the opening kick and marched 75 yards in seven plays.
Senior Jesse Gross capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown dive. Scottie Slauterbeck added the extra point, giving the home team a 7-0 lead.
The Flyers scored just over a minute later after senior Paul Carson blocked a Monroeville punt. Sophomore Brad Smith bulled his way into the end zone from 2 yards, propelling the Flyers to a 14-0 advantage. On St. Paul’s next drive, the hosts faced a fourth-and-10 from the Eagle 30.
That’s when the Flyers faked a punt for the first time in Livengood’s 23 years at the helm. Slauterbeck connected with Wes Fritz on a 19-yard pass play, good for a first down. Gross later completed the scoring march with a 7-yard run.
Slauterbeck’s PAT had St. Paul on top, 21-0. Gross added a 52-TD run with 1:56 to go in the first as St. Paul jumped out to a 28-0 after one quarter. Monroeville hit paydirt with 52 seconds to go in the first half when quarterback Mitchell Ott hooked up with senior Austin Kramer on a 6-yard scoring pass.
The two-point conversion failed, but the Eagles had cut the deficit to 28-6. With 15 seconds to go in the half, Slauterbeck found Matt Starcher from 5 yards away.
The point after failed, but the Flyers were up 34-6 at intermission.
The Flyers added two third-quarter TDs. Slauterbeck and Bob Harwood connected on a 14-yard scoring pass and Logan Moffit recovered an Eagle fumble in the end zone after a big hit was placed on Ott by Flyer sophomore Jim Easler.
Late in the third, Ott hooked up with Brandon Fox on a 50-yard TD pass to complete the scoring.
Slauterbeck finished the night 12 of 15 for 166 yards and two TDs. Ott was 12 of 28 for 187 yards and two TDs.
Gross paced the Flyer rushing attack with 78 yards on 12 attempts with three touchdowns.
St. Paul celebrated the 45th anniversary of the 1968 undefeated squad, coached by Mike Gottfried.
“It was cool to have Coach Gottfried and the guys from that team here,” Livengood said. “It was exciting for the players to play in front of them. That team really set the tone for what St. Paul football should be. I hope we can live up to it.”
Monroeville coach Dan Periat said the St. Paul rivalry is special. “It’s fun to be in and we’re privileged to take part in it,” he said.