FORT RECOVERY — St. John’s coach Todd Schulte knew it was important for his team to get off to. a good start against Fort Recovery Friday night.

“In all my years of coaching, the hardest part about playing the Indians is the mental preparation. In the past, our players would see Fort Recovery on the schedule and chalk it up as an easy win,” he explained.

Not this year. Fort Recovery is just one of the five Midwest Athletic Conference teams to be ranked in the first AP state football poll of the year. The Indians earned the 14th ranking in Division VII and were joined by the Blue Jays (sixth) and Marion Local (first). Coldwater was also the top team in Division V and St. Henry third in D-VI.



Besides the lofty team rankings for the Indians, quarterback Caleb Martin was the second-ranked passer in the conference along with Cole Hull’s nine yards per carry average coming in, third among backs.

The Indians quick running backs ran over the Jays’ defense on their way to a 39-7 victory to improve to 3-1 on the season.

The game actually started well for the St. John’s defense holding the Indians to a 3-and-out on the first possession.

Things turned for the worst for the Jays as they were flagged for holding on their first play and fumbled the ball to the Indians with the next play, putting the Indians at the Jays’ 21. Three big gainers by Hull resulted in a touchdown at the 7:55 mark in the first period. Darien Sheffer’s extra point put Fort Recovery up 7-0.

St. John’s offense went nowhere and Deven Haggard launched a great punt that rolled all the way to the Indians’ 35.

On the second play, Martin found Mitch Stammen in the open for a 40-yard pass completion. Runs by Hull and Kyle Stammen, along with another pass to Stammen set up first-and-goal from the 7. Martin hit Wes Wenning in the corner of the end zone and the PAT extended the Indians’ lead to 14-0 with 10:28 remaining in the first half.

The Blue Jays took over at their own 20. Nick Martz scampered for the Jays’ biggest play of the night — 49 yards — but the drive stalled and Haggard’s punt was unexplainably fair caught at the 2.

Two plays later, the Indians found the goal line — St. John’s - on a pass by Martin to Wenning for a 98-yard touchdown. The point-after was no good as the Indians stunned the Blue Jay faithful, leading 20-0 with 7:45 remaining in the half.

A 35-yard Martz completion to Zach Fischer finally got the Jays on the scoreboard with 4:09 on the clock. Brian Pohlman’s extra point cut the deficit to 20-7.

After halftime, St. John’s came out in a new formation with Hays in the backfield and they had some success, using five runs to reach Fort Recovery territory. A sack of Martz by Nick Link essentially ended the drive.

Fort Recovery took the punt at the 39 and Hull’s three straight runs reached the Jays’ 38. Four plays later, he punched it in from the 7 as the Indians continued to pour it on 26-7.

After several punts, Darien Sheffer’s kick pinned the Jays at their 2. On the first play from scrimmage, the exchange was fumbled and Fort Recovery’s Alex Schoen recovered in the end zone for the score. The extra point was good as the Indians led 33-7 with 7:18 remaining in the game.

Fort Recovery put one last scoring drive together as Stammen took over at quarterback and scored with 1:26 remaining in the game to make the final score 39-7.

FORT RECOVERY 39, ST. JOHN’S 7

St. John’s 0 7 0 0 - 7

Ft. Recovery 7 13 6 13 - 39

FIRST QUARTER

FR — Cole Hull 9 run (Darien Sheffer kick), 8:25

SECOND QUARTER

FR — Wes Wenning 7 pass from Caleb Martin (Sheffer kick), 10:28

FR — Wenning 98 pass from Martin (kick failed), 7:45

SJ — Zach Fischer 35 pass from Nick Martz (Brian Pohlman kick), 4:09

THIRD QUARTER

FR — Hull 7 run (pass failed), 4:27

FOURTH QUARTER

FR — Alex Schoen fumble recovery in end zone (Sheffer kick), 7:18

FR — Mitch Stammen 4 run (pass failed), 1:26

TEAM STATS

SJ FR

First Downs 9 18

Rushes-yards 27-119 45-225

Passing yards 50 187

Total yards 159 412

Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-21-1 10-19-0

Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-1

Penalties-yards 3-38 2-15

Punts-ave. 6-36.8 4-32.3

INDIVIDUAL STATS

ST. JOHN’S

RUSHING: Nick Martz 17-75, Evan Hays 5-37, Evan Mohler 2-8, Aaron Reindel 3-5.

PASSING: Martz 6-21-50-1-1.

RECEIVING: Eric Vogt 7-15, Zach Fischer 1-35, Tyler Conley 1-7, Evan Hays 1-1, Aaron Reindel 1-1.

FORT RECOVERY

RUSHING: Cole Hull 26-147, Schroer 10-41, Mitch Stammen 7-32, Darien Sheffer 1-10, Caleb Martin 1-(-)5.

PASSING: Martin 10-17-187-0-2, Schroer 0-2-0-0-0.

RECEIVING: Wenning 4-116, Stammen 2-48, E. Schoen 2-13, Hull 1-5, LeFevre 1-5