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Bucks will face Myrtle Point in semifinals in quest to grab Class 1A 8-man championship

PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - St. Paul defeated Perrydale 62-6 on Friday, marking the second consecutive 50-point-plus victory over the Pirates for the Bucks.

The second 2022 edition of St. Paul football versus Perrydale was oddly reminiscent. Sure, the Bucks and the Pirates were squaring off in the state quarterfinals and, sure, the action was taking place at McMinnville High School instead of the St. Paul Rodeo grounds, but the result was just as lopsided.

St. Paul defeated Perrydale 62-6 on Friday, marking the second consecutive 50-point-plus victory over the Pirates for the Bucks. St. Paul defeated Perrydale 52-0 on Oct. 28. What's more interesting though is the fact that the Bucks have only beaten Perrydale within the last month. St. Paul's last victory over a non-Perrydale entity was a 64-20 routing of Mohawk way back on Oct. 13.

Given St. Paul's lack of fresh opponents in the past 30 days, coach Tony Smith was pleased with how his team stayed focused.

"I think what you always fight when you win like we won against them the first time is that we would be overconfident going into the game, which I didn't think our kids were," Smith said. "I thought we played well; we played two games in the last month. We had bye weeks on either side of the first game against them, and so I was happy with our execution."PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - St. Paul passed for 103 yards and a touchdown in a game dominated by its ground game.

Perhaps given the familiarity of opponent, St. Paul was executing flawlessly. On offense, junior George Pohlschneider was highly efficient, going 5-of-9 for 103 yards and a touchdown. Rushing was where St. Paul was at its strongest, racking up 218 rushing yards and five touchdowns, two for Hunter Naumann and Clay Smith, and one for George Pohlschneider. Senior Warren Rose caught the sole receiving touchdown to start off scoring in the first quarter.

On defense the Bucks were everywhere. The team brought in six interceptions for two touchdowns. Ralph Pohlschneider had three of the picks and a touchdown, Rose had a pick six, and Diego Medina and Clay Smith brought in the other two. Smith also led the defense with 10 tackles and Naumann and Carter Milroy each had a pair of sacks on the night.

In downing Perrydale in the quarterfinals, St. Paul (9-0) has earned itself another rematch in the semifinals, this time against Myrtle Point (7-3). Myrtle Point upset Crane 38-22 in the matchup between the four and five teams to advance in the playoffs. St. Paul previously defeated the Bobcats 42-12 on Sept. 30 in league play.

"We played them before and it was a good game," Smith said. "They're very, very talented and we're going to need to be ready to play."PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - SPHS coach Tony Smith confers with his players during a timeout Friday evening at McMinnville Stadium.

The Bucks find themselves in a familiar position. The team has once again reached the Class 1A 8-man semifinals, a consecutive streak that extends back to when the school dropped down to 1A in 2018, the spring 2021 season notwithstanding.

Part of that success this year goes to the line, according to coach Smith.

"We have more experience, especially with our guys up front, than we did last year," he said. "All five of those guys up front have started up front on one side of the ball or another. They're all seniors this year, they've been in our program for four years and that makes a huge difference."PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - The Bucks continued to stifle opponents' offenses with stellar defensive play Friday evening.

St. Paul and Myrtle Point's semifinal clash is set for Nov. 19 at a site to be determined.

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