The St. James football team saw some familiar faces when they hosted their District opener on Friday, Oct. 20, as they welcomed Four Rivers Conference rival Sullivan to town. The Tigers already smashed the Eagles 48-7 on the road in the regular season and the District matchup was nearly identical, as St. James cruised to an easy 49-7 win.
The Tigers scored early and often in their District opener against Sullivan. Ryan Harlan got things going when he hit Cade Snitker for a 43-yard touchdown less than a minute into the game. That was an early indicator for how this contest would go. Harlan then rushed for another touchdown two minutes later. St. James ended the first quarter with a 14-0 lead, but they were just getting started.
Harlan opened the second quarter with another rushing touchdown, both touchdowns coming from three yards out, to extend their lead to 21-0. The Tigers then got a safety when Sullivan botched a snap and the ball flew out the back of the end zone. St. James then charged down the field and Gunnar Seams punched in a one-yard score. That gave the Tigers a 30-0 lead that they would carry into the half.
St. James had a turbo clock for the rest of the game as they built on a massive lead, but that didn't stop them from scoring. Harlan carried in his third rushing touchdown of the night early in the third quarter, before hitting Carter Keeney for a 45-yard score mid-way through the quarter. He then found Grant Conway for a six-yard touchdown to put the game away. St. James coasted through the fourth quarter, allowing a garbage time touchdown to Blaine Blankship, but finished off a 49-7 win.
Harlan had a great night all-around on the offensive end, completing eight of his 13 attempts for 146 yard and three touchdowns, while rushing 10 times for 71 yards and three more touchdowns. Seams added another 12 carries for 58 yards and a score on the ground. Snitker led the St. James receivers with four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown, while Keeney caught two passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. Conway also added a touchdown with two catches for 15 yards.
St. James dominated on the defensive end, recovering three fumbles on the night. Josh Dean, Sage Gibson and Ty Lewis each jumped on fumbles for St. James, who also saw a fumbled snap go out of the back of the end zone for a safety. Fred Watson and Cole Petty each had sacks for the Tigers, while Petty led the team in total tackles with nine.
The Tigers will stay within the Four Rivers Conference when they host Owensville for their second round contest on Friday, Oct. 27. St. James beat Owensville 46-32 earlier this season.