Week 2: Stats | Recap

Pioneers run over, around and through Rough Riders
The St. Paul Pioneers ran roughshod over the River City Rough Riders Saturday in St. Paul, dominating their longtime rival 46-0 on a cool, rainy day. It was St. Paul’s NEFL opener. The Pioneers are the defending league champions.

The Pioneers scored on offense – receiver Reggie Houston had a big day, with four catches for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns – and defense, as the team in black was clicking on all cylinders. In all, St. Paul amassed 416 yards of total offense while the Men in Black defense gave up just 39 net yards in the shutout.

Houston was not the only player to get in on the Pioneers’ scoring party.

Quarterback Paul Ciochetto threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score, finishing 10 or 17 passing for 142 yards. Bryan Trulen, the Pioneers’ other quarterback in what so far has been a two-player rotation, had a big day as well, passing for 111 yards and two touchdowns, with six completions in 10 attempts.

Also scoring through the air was receiver Ricky Smale, who had 25 yards receiving and a touchdown.

While the Rough Riders could mount no ground game against the Pioneers – they had just 21 yards rushing on 18 attempts – the Pioneers rushing attack was impressive. Nick Graham led with 54 yards on eight carries. Next up was Brian Warden, who had 49 yards on five carries. Demario Walton scored on a short touchdown run and finished the day with 18 yards on four carries. In all, St. Paul totaled 163 yards
on the ground, with two scores.

The Pioneers defense not only clamped down on River City’s rushing game, but stifled the Rough Riders’ passing as well. River City had just 32 total yards passing, with only four completions in 21 attempts.  Rough Riders’ quarterbacks were intercepted four times and sacked twice.

Linebacker T.J. Juneau had an interception return for a touchdown. Two other returns for touchdowns were called back because of penalty. Cornerbacks Terry Jones and Everett Wilburn and linebackers Tierre Thompson and Juneau had the other picks.

The Pioneers defensive line had a monster game, harassing and stuffing both pass and run alike. Tackle Jeff McGaster, in his first game of the year, had a half sack, multiple quarterback hits and hurries and six tackles total. Linebacker Jon Jon Robinson had six total tackles and Cliff Gordy, an end/tackle, continued his strong play with 1.5 sacks and five tackles.

On special teams, the Pioneers scored a safety when a Rough Riders’ snap on a punt attempt sailed through the back of the end zone and Pioneers kicker Jay Harding booted a 32-yard field goal.

With the win, the Pioneers go to 2-0 overall, 1-0 in league play. St. Paul has another home game this week, hosting the Lake Superior Rage at St. Paul Humboldt High School. Game time is 3 p.m.