St. Regis celebrates homecoming with big win

| September 16, 2020 12:00 AM

By CHUCK BANDEL

Mineral Independent

For a few moments of the opening quarter, this one looked like it could be a threat to St. Regis/Mullan’s 2-0 start to the season.

By the end of the first 12 minutes of play, the Tigers unbeaten start looked pretty safe.

In the end, the co-op (St. Regis/Mullan, Idaho) Tigers ran away from visiting Arlee on their way to a convincing 76-36 Homecoming win Friday night in St. Regis.

The Tigers took the opening kickoff at midfield and systematically rumbled downfield where sophomore quarterback Caleb Ball threw a 20-yard TD pass to kick off the night’s scoring festival.

After forcing the Warriors to punt on their first drive, the co-opers drove to the Arlee five yard line where a Ball was sacked and the ball came loose. It was scooped up by Arlee’s 6-2, 235-pound freshman lineman Jack Roderghiero who plowed across the end zone for a score, tying the game at 8-apiece.

St. Regis’ next possession ended when Ball was intercepted and the ball was returned to the Tigers 9-yard line where another Warriors freshman, speedy Jace Arca ran for a score from eight yards out on the next play, giving Arlee its only lead of the game 14-8.

The Tigers came right back on their next possession, capping a long drive in swift fashion as St. Regis junior running back Adam Ball broke loose on 31-yard scoring romp. A successful two-point after touchdown conversion gave the Tigers a 14-8 lead, an advantage they would build on the rest of the way.

Following a fumble on the Warriors next drive, Caleb Ball scampered into the end zone from 16 yards out, only to have the points taken off the scoreboard due to an offsides penalty on the Tigers.

That transgression was quickly rectified when Caleb found Floyd Nelson in the end zone for a 6-yard aerial score, boosting St. Regis’ lead to 22-14 with 2:14 left in the opening quarter.

Before the end of the quarter Arlee would fumble again, launching a St. Regis drive that was capped when Caleb ran for a 21-yard touchdown with 29 seconds to go. The quarter ended with the Tigers holding a 30-14 advantage.

Fumble-itis struck the Warriors yet again on their next possession, thanks in large part to the Tigers’ aggressive, ball-ripping tackling efforts. The Tigers took advantage of that Arlee miscue, ending another scoring drive with a 20-yard pass from Caleb to senior Riley Trogden at the 8:05 mark of quarter number two.

After trading possessions, the fumble bug struck St. Regis allowing Arlee to recover the ball on the 20-yard line. They scored on a 19-yard play to pull within 12, 36-20 with 1:22 left in the first half.

St. Regis took the ensuing kickoff and appeared to have added to their total when Adam Ball outran the Arlee defense and crossed the goal line from 39 yards out. A penalty wiped out that score, but the Tigers regrouped and marched steadily downfield, ending the drive with a 4-yard pass from Caleb Ball to Adam Ball as time ran out in the half.

Leading 42-20 heading into the third quarter St. Regis held off a drive by the Warriors and scored again when Adam hauled in a pass from brother Caleb, this one covering 63 yards and boosting the Tiger’s lead to 50-20.

Another defensive stop by St. Regis set up a 58-yard tackle-busting TD run by Adam Ball with 5:17 left in the third quarter. The score gave the Tigers an insurmountable 58-20 lead and put the 35-point mercy rule into effect, keeping the clock moving without stoppage other than changes of possession.

Ball handling difficulties continued to hamper the Warriors on their next possession as they fumbled for the fourth time. That turnover eventually led to the third Caleb to Adam Ball score of the game, this one a 10-yard passing TD.

The third quarter ended with St. Regis leading 64-20. With underclassmen playing the rest of the game, St. Regis added to their points haul, as freshman running back John Pruitt scampered for TD runs of 32 and 49 yards.

The 76-36 win boosted St. Regis/Mullan to 3-0 on the season, heading into Idaho league play. Friday night’s game was the co-op team’s only game in St. Regis this year.

Next on the schedule for St. Regis/Mullan is a bye this Friday, followed by a Sept. 25 game in Mullan against Kootenai.