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Buckaroos take advantage of muddy field conditions to advance to 1A quarterfinals

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - With the help of slippery field conditions, the St. Paul defense held the Ione/Arlington Cardinals to under 100 yards of offense in the first round of the 2021 1A state football playoffs Friday.The skies stayed clear at the St. Paul rodeo grounds, but you wouldn't know it judging the field at the end of the Buckaroos' first round playoff game against the Ione/Arlington Cardinals Friday night.

The Bucks slipped past the Cards 44-8 in a mud-caked game that was decided by which team could best keep its footing on the slick field.

"For the conditions, we executed pretty good," St. Paul head coach Tony Smith said. "It's just tough. Anything is tough in this kind of stuff."

Fortunately, the Buckaroos were ready for the conditions. The team's practice field has been just as slick the past two weeks, giving coaches ample time to adjust their game plan. Traveling from the other side of the Cascades, the Cardinals hail from much drier surroundings.

"They never see it over there," Smith said. "They would never see anything like this. … Our practice field looks exactly like this."

The Buckaroos did most of their damage in the first half, going up 36-0 at the end of the second quarter. With a running clock going in the second half, St. Paul tacked on an extra touchdown to take a 44-0 lead before surrendering a fourth-quarter score to Ione/Arlington in the final minutes of the game.

St. Paul's defense took full advantage of the Cards' lack of experience in the mud. The Bucks set the tone early when sophomore Ralph Pohlschneider stepped in front of Cardinal quarterback Carson Eynetich's first pass of the game. The interception was converted into a touchdown five plays later by Bryce Williams, who scored two of the team's six rushing touchdowns on the evening.

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - St. Paul senior Clancy Koch led the Buckaroos with 110 rushing yards and a touchdown on five carries.The Buckaroos held Ione/Arlington to just 94 yards of offense while generating two turnovers. Six of St. Paul's 11 drives on the night started in Cardinal territory, with their average possession starting at the Cards' 44 yard line.

"I thought we played great defense," Smith said. "We didn't give up a lot of first downs. I don't know how many times we forced them to punt the ball."

The Bucks forced two turnovers, two turnovers on downs and five punts in the Cardinals first 10 drives.

In turn, Smith's team paired down their offensive playbook and limited mistakes to keep the pressure on the Cardinal defense. Quarterback Lance Tuck was 5-of-9 for 131 yards to go along with a pair of rushing touchdowns, while fellow senior Clancy Koch used two big plays to lead the team with 110 running yards and a touchdown on five carries.

"The big thing was just trying to run straight ahead," Smith said. "A lot of our stuff is perimeter stuff, our speed and our misdirection. We did pretty well on the misdirection plays when we ran them, but most of the stuff is just straight ahead."

St. Paul will play host once again in next week's 1A quarterfinal game, but the contest will be held on the turf field of nearby Woodburn High School. The 3-seed Bucks (9-1) will take on either 6-seed Crane (7-2) or 11-seed Bonanza (5-3). The game day and time has yet to be determined.

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - St. Paul senior Bryce Williams led all players with 16 touches, garnering 86 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals.

2021 1A FOOTBALL FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF

St. Paul 14 22 0 8 — 44

Ione/Arlington 0 0 0 8 — 8

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

SP (7:26) — Bryce Williams 1-yard touchdown run. Run no good.

SP (3:58) — George Pohlschneider 3-yard touchdown run. Pass good.

Second quarter

SP (10:55) — Clancy Koch 62-yard touchdown run. Pass no good.

SP (9:12) — Lance Tuck 2-yard touchdown run. Pass good.

SP (6:10) — Lance Tuck 13-yard touchdown run. Pass good.

Fourth quarter

SP (11:10) — Bryce Williams 1-yard touchdown run. Run good.

IA (4:24) — Cedrick Dayandante 32-yard touchdown run. Run good.

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - The St. Paul defense kept the Cardinal offense scoreless on their first 10 drives, forcing two turnovers, two turnovers off of downs and five punts.

STATISTICS

St. Paul

Passing — 131 yards

Lance Tuck, 5-of-9, 131 yards

Rushing — 206 yards, 6 touchdowns

Bryce Williams, 15 carries, 52 yards, 2 touchdown

Lance Tuck, 8 carries, -4 yards, 2 touchdown

Clancy Koch, 5 carries, 110 yards, 1 touchdown

Clay Smith, 4 carries, 45 yards

George Pohlschneider, 1 carry, 3 yards, 1 touchdown

Receiving — 131 yards

Warren Rose, 3 catches, 70 yards

Bryce Williams, 1 catch, 34 yards

Ralph Pohlschneider, 1 catch, 27 yards

***

Ione/Arlington

Passing — 9 yards

Carson Eynetich, 3-of-7, 9 yards, 1 interception

Rushing — 85 yards, 1 touchdown

Cedrick Dayandante, 14 carries, 48 yards, 1 touchdown

Taylor Rollins, 14 carries, 50 yards

Carson Eynetich, 4 carries, -15 yards

Shane Sifford, 1 carry, 2 yards

Receiving — 9 yards

Bryce Rollins, 2 catches, 13 yards

Cedrick Dayandate, 1 catch, -4 yards

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - St. Paul quarterback Lance Tuck completed five passes for 131 yards and punched in two touchdowns on the ground.


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