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Apart from a fumble in the waning minutes of the game, the Bucks played a perfect game against the Mountaineers.

St. Paul's football team improved to 4-1 on the season with arguably the most decisive victory of the first half of the season Friday, Oct. 1.

The Bucks trounced the visiting Falls City/Kings Valley Charter Mountaineers 68-0 in a game that also marked the Bucks' homecoming.

"Feels good," St. Paul head coach Tony Smith said after the game. "Sometimes in mismatches it's hard, intensity-wise, to be consistent. But I felt like we were. Offensively, defense and special teams got a bunch of scores in the first half."

The game got off to as strong a start for the home team as it possibly could have. Within the first 12 minutes St. Paul led 40-0. The opening drive was nine plays long, and St. Paul junior Hunter Naumann punctuated the effort with a 14-yard touchdown run up the middle of the field and a 2-point conversion to boot.

The next offensive possession was much shorter and to the point for St. Paul. In just four plays senior Lance Tuck led the offense down to the goal line and punched the ball in from the one-yard line. Another 2-point conversion put St. Paul up 16-0 with 5:25 to go in the first quarter.

The Mountaineers took over possession at their own 20-yard line but were held to just five plays. While punting from the 25-yard line, St. Paul defenders blocked their second punt of the quarter and Bucks senior Brody Schindler recovered the football in the endzone for the score. Naumann punched in the 2-point conversion, making the score 24-0 with 3:29 to go in the opening stanza.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - St. Paul senior quarterback Lance Tuck hands the ball off to junior Hunter Naumann in the lopsided 68-0 victory over Falls City/Kings Valley Charter on Friday, Oct. 1.

Special teams once again got to work for the Bucks. After holding Falls City to a 3-and-out, St. Paul senior Clancy Koch returned a punt down the ride sideline for a touchdown with 2:22 to go in the first quarter. Koch also converted on the 2-point conversion, making the score 32-0.

The final touchdown of the first quarter came on a pick-six courtesy of Naumann, who intercepted a pass from Mountaineers quarterback Dacoda Friedlander and took it to the endzone at the 1:08 mark of the quarter. When the horn sounded after 12 minutes, St. Paul had a healthy 40-0 lead.

"(We didn't expect it to go) that well, to be honest," Naumann said. "I predicted that we would overthink it and ... it would be a closer game because we'd think they were better. But we just gave it our all. We didn't let the team that we were playing matter at all. We just played how we would a normal team and it came out perfectly."

In the second quarter, a pair of touchdowns were scored by St. Paul. Lance Tuck connected with sophomore Ralph Pohlschneider on a 65-yard touchdown pass on the first St. Paul play of the quarter. Tuck again found Pohlschneider on the 2-point conversion. Sophomore George Pohlschneider got the other touchdown of the quarter, running the ball left and in from 16 yards out to bring the first half lead to a staggering 54-0 total.

The second half by comparison was a more measured affair. St. Paul got a touchdown from its defense, this time another pick-six from Clancy Koch at the 7:45 minute of the third quarter. Backup quarterback Glenn Smith found sophomore Julio Torres over the middle for a 45-yard touchdown pass at the 1:32 mark of the third. St. Paul left no doubt who was the victor on homecoming night, leaving the field with a 68-0 tally in its favor.

St. Paul (4-1) will take to the road next week and face off against Waldport (4-0) in a battle of top 10 schools at the 1A level. That game will take place on Thursday, Oct. 7. It will be a dramatic step up in competition, but Smith and his coaching staff have a message in mind for the team. "We tell them that anybody can do that against Falls City, can you do that next week against Waldport?" Smith said. "Where they're ranked third in the state, they're undefeated. They won this week, and we have to go down there. We want to do this every single week, and not just on (a) one-night basis."


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