Lowell takes advantage of St. Paul miscues to win 76-40 in a rematch of last year's semifinal

The tour through last season’s playoff teams has not been kind to the St. Paul football team, as the Bucks fell to Lowell 76-40 Friday night. Last week’s loss to the Red Devils marks the second time in three weeks in which the Bucks lost to opponent they played in the 2012 state playoffs. But unlike in St. Paul’s week one loss to Camas Valley, the Bucks were overpowered from the beginning and succumbed to Lowell’s pounding defense that generated eight turnovers.

The Devils got off to a swift start, scoring a touchdown on their first possession and recovering the ensuing onside kick before scoring again to put St. Paul in a 14-0 hole early. The Bucks recovered the next onside kick, and Cody Southerland broke multiple tackles on the team’s third offensive play of the game to rumble 57 yards for a score to make it 14-6.

The Bucks recovered their onside kick, and sophomore Tyler Smith nearly scored on a 45-yard scamper before being pulled down at the 1-yard line. Southerland finished the drive with a 1-yard score to make it 14-12 with 7:01 left in the first.

Lowell continued to put the pressure on with back-to-back touchdowns thanks to another onside recovery to make it 28-12 before Southerland was leveled on a kick return that knocked him out of the remainder of the game.

Backup Cody Faber was intercepted on his second play after coming in for Southerland, which the Devils returned for a score to make it 36-12. The Devils tacked on a score in the second quarter to take a 44-12 lead at halftime.

The two teams traded shots in the third quarter, as Austin McMillen ran 60 yards for a score, followed by a Lowell touchdown, then a 55-yard touchdown by Smith to make it 50-24. Every time St. Paul seemed to find a rhythm, Lowell was there to either score or force a turnover.

The Devils answered Smith’s touchdown with one of their own, but St. Paul tight end Keenan Wood grabbed a tipped pass and took it 23 yards for a score as the two teams entered the fourth quarter with a 70-32 score.

David Martinez capped the Bucks’ game with a 79-yard touchdown with 7:01 left, but Lowell matched that two minutes later to bring the game to its final – 76-40.

In total, the Bucks were led by Smith’s 146 yards on 10 carries. Martinez had 80 rushing yards on two attempts, McMillen ran for 63, and Southerland had 51 yards and two touchdowns before he left the field.

Chris Petrjanos, who had more than 400 rushing yards in the Bucks’ previous two games was held to just 37 on nine attempts. St. Paul lost the turnover battle 8-2, not including a handful of onside kicks the team failed to recover.

The Bucks (1-2) will travel to Dufur High School on Friday to face the Imbler Panthers (2-1).

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