ST. MARYS — If Clear Fork is to win its Division IV regional final game against St. Marys Memorial, the Colts will have to contain Sean Perry.
Perry, a senior, rushed for 233 of St. Marys’ 390 rushing yards and four touchdowns in its 55-20 win over Van Wert Saturday night in Lima.
Clear Fork head coach Dave Carroll knows the Roughriders coach Doug Frye well and his penchant for running the football.
“They run, run and run out of a Wing-T. I also couldn’t believe I saw them in the shotgun once,” Carroll said.
The win advances the Riders’ to their second regional final in three years.
They play in the Western Buckeye League. Their lone loss came at home in week 10 to Wapakoneta, 26-24.
St. Marys (11-1) is a tradition-rich program that’s making its first playoff appearance since 2008. The Roughriders won state championships in 1990, 1992 and 1993.
Perry had some help in gaining the win over Van Wert.
He scored two of St. Marys’ first three touchdowns, but Carter Ballweg’s school-record 10th interception where he returned the ball 35 yards to hand the Roughriders a 28-6 lead.
From there, the Roughriders scored four of the game’s next six touchdowns to win a rematch of week three’s 38-6 St. Marys’ victory over the Cougars (9-3).
“I told our kids they may have linemen down this low to the ground coming at your knees. They may only be 175 pounds, but they’ll dig at you. That’s just how tough those kids are,” Carroll said.
The Roughriders opened the game with a 10-play, 66-yard drive that concluded with a 15-yard touchdown run by Perry.
Perry’s scoring run broke the school record in points in a season by a St. Marys team with 547, surpassing the program’s 1993 record of 540 points.
Clear Fork will travel 100 miles to Bellefontaine High School, while St. Marys has a 43-mile trip.