The St. James football team (4-2, 2-1 FRC) made the trip down to St. Clair for a Four Rivers Conference matchup on Friday, Sept. 22. The points were flying on Friday night, but two St. Clair touchdowns in the fourth quarter gave them a 42-35 win over the Tigers.
St. James started off the scoring just three minutes into the game when Ryan Harlan found Carter Keeney for a 25 yard touchdown. A missed extra point gave the Tigers a 6-0. St. Clair punched right back when Marcus Kirk carried the ball 29 yards for a touchdown and the point after put the Bulldogs in front 7-6. St. James then responded with a rushing touchdown of their own, a four yarder from Harlan to retake the lead 12-7. The offensive explosion continued with a St. Clair touchdown, a 29 yard run from Tim Hoffman, to give the lead back to the Bulldogs. St. Clair ended the first and busy quarter with a 14-12 lead.
Passing was the name of the game in the second, as St. James retook the lead on a 17 yard touchdown from Harlan to Grant Conway. Harlan then converted for two points when he hit Cade Snitker. St. Clair scored the only other touchdown of the quarter to take the lead back when Kamalei Burhey passed for a 50 yard strike. The two teams went into the half with St. Clair lead 21-20.
The Bulldogs opened the third quarter with Kirk's second rushing touchdown of the game, this time for 13 yards, as they extended their lead to 28-20. St. James punched back with Conway's second receiving touchdown of the game, this one going for 48 yards. A second two point conversion to Snitker tied the game at 28 with a quarter to play.
St. Clair controlled much of the fourth quarter, scoring first on a five yard run from Hoffman to retake the lead 35-28. They then added a second rushing touchdown when Kirk broke free for a 52 yard touchdown to extend the lead to 42-28. St. James got a late touchdown when Tate Whitener punched one in from a yard out with 2:50 left in the contest, but the Tigers couldn't quite finish off the comeback in a 42-35 loss.
Harlan finished the game with 261 passing yards by completing 11 of his 24 attempts. He threw three touchdowns and one interception. He added another 25 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Tate Whitener handled the running back duties after returning from an injury and carried the ball 10 times for 95 yards and a touchdown. Keeney led the team in receiving with 76 yards and a touchdown on three catches. Jaden Roark added 68 yards on two catches, while Conway caught two touchdowns for 65 yards. Snitker chipped in with 39 yards on three catches.
Defensively, St. James forced one turnover on an interception by Ty Lewis. Cole Petty led the team in tackles with 11, Drake Ortiz added 10 of his own and Broc Chitwood contributed nine.
After falling in two straight, St. James will look to get back on track with a trip to Sullivan on Friday, Sept. 29.