ST. MARYS – Friday night’s high school football game between St. Marys and Central Clarion featured a little bit of everything. From offensive splash plays to long returns for touchdowns and a trio of successful onside kicks, the momentum swings were certainly plentiful.
Ultimately, St. Marys came up with just enough answers in the second half, as the Flying Dutchmen held off a furious rally by Central Clarion for a 42-39 victory at Dutch Country Stadium.
Logan Mosier impacted the game in every phase for St. Marys (4-1), scoring three total touchdowns – returning a kickoff and an interception for scores while adding a 70-plus yard receiving trip to the end zone.
Dutchmen quarterback Christian Coudriet also had a big night, passing for more than 230 yards and two scores with Justin Dornisch adding a pair of rushing touchdowns to help give St. Marys a 27-12 lead at halftime.
Coming out of the break, Central Clarion (0-4) opened the third quarter with its first of three – yes, three – successful onside kicks. Four plays later, signal caller Jase Ferguson hit Christian Simko for a 23-yard touchdown, cutting St. Marys’ lead to 27-18.
The Dutchmen responded with a 50-yard scoring strike from Coudriet to Carter Chadsey, reclaiming what seemed like a comfortable advantage midway through the third.
Hanging tough, Central Clarion capitalized on a nice kickoff return to St. Marys’ side of the field, as Ferguson connected with Ashton Rex for a 31-yard touchdown less than two minutes later.
Trailing by nine, the Wildcats dialed up another onside kick, again proving successful.
The teams went on to exchange punts, producing a 35-26 differential heading to the fourth.
Following a huge fourth-down conversion by Central Clarion to move inside the St. Marys’ 30, Mosier delivered a crucial play defensively, jumping in front of a Ferguson pass for an interception and returning it roughly 80 yards for a 42-26 margin.
Continuing to battle back, two strong runs by Breckin Rex – including a 35-yard gallop – kept Central Clarion within striking distance, down 42-32 after a failed two-point try.
Sticking with what was working, the Wildcats recovered a third onside kick of the second half, regaining possession near midfield. Seven plays later, Ferguson threw his fourth touchdown of the night, with the extra point making it a 42-39 game with four minutes remaining.
Working the clock, St. Marys drove to the Central Clarion 16 before a turnover on downs gave the Wildcats one last chance in the final minute. Unable to gain much traction, Central Clarion’s hopes ended with a tackle by Alex Lukaschunis, who was a constant force along the defensive line for St. Marys.
Explosive plays headlined the first half for St. Marys, sparked by a Matthew Davis interception on the second snap of the game to set the Dutchmen up at the Central Clarion 25. Coudriet then connected with Tony Lewis for 19 yards before Dornisch scored his first of two rushing touchdowns of the opening quarter.
Following a Wildcats’ punt, Davis ripped off runs of 10 and 30 yards, respectively, prior to Coudriet hitting Mosier for 27 yards. Dornisch powered in from 3 yards out on the next play, giving St. Marys a 13-0 lead.
A nice drive put Central Clarion on the board early in the second quarter, cutting the Dutchmen’s advantage to 13-6. St. Marys immediately responded, as Coudriet found Mosier over the middle, with Mosier racing past a handful of Wildcat defenders on his way to a 72-yard touchdown. Coudriet picked up a bad snap on the extra-point attempt, running it in for a successful two-point conversion and a 21-6 St. Marys’ cushion.
On the next possession, Ferguson found a wide-open Simko behind the Dutchmen defense, resulting in a 57-yard touchdown to bring the Wildcats to within 21-12 after a failed point-after try.
The momentum was short lived, however, as Mosier added perhaps his most impressive clip to a highlight-reel night. Fielding the ensuing kickoff inside the 20, Mosier worked left while breaking several arm tackles, somehow emerging through a swarm of Wildcat defenders to spring free along the sideline. Maintaining his balance, Mosier eventually rumbled into the end zone to cap a sensational 85-yard return for a score, pushing St. Marys’ lead to 27-12 heading to the half.
The Dutchmen travel to Karns City next Friday while Central Clarion takes on Kane.