BAY ST. LOUIS — St. Stanislaus (3-1) overcame a big-play Pass Christian (3-1) team in a fourth-quarter battle on Friday. The Rock-a-chaws outscored the visitors 14-13 in the period on their way to a 24-20 win.
St. Stanislaus led 10-7 after three quarters, but the fourth quarter was all about SSC senior signal caller Ian Rioz. After throwing an interception on the first play of the fourth quarter, which led to a Pass touchdown and a 14-10 advantage, Rioz put the Rock-a-chaws on his back and took them on a 98-yard rushing ride.
His biggest play of the fourth quarter was a 25-yard touchdown run, which gave the Rock-a-chaws the lead and closed out the game’s scoring.
Rioz completed two passes in the period, one for 12 yards and the other a 7-yard touchdown toss to Isaiah Haynes to give the Rock-a-chaws a 17-14 lead early in the quarter.
“He is just an absolute warrior,” said Rock-a-chaws coach Tim Lala. “He got to calling his own number. He makes that mistake, and it doesn’t faze him at all. Can’t say enough about him; he’s a warrior.”
Rioz rushed for 224 yards on 30 carries and a touchdown, and he completed 15 of 21 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
The Pirates had possession of the ball with 1:58 showing on the fourth-quarter clock after Rioz’s touchdown run. And they had at leastmone more big play in them as Ladd Scriber connected with Cooper Schatzle on fourth-and-2, picking up 31 yards.
But that was as close as they would get as they were sacked and penalized before the game ended on an incomplete pass on fourth-and-long.
“Offensively, shooting ourselves in the foot caused us to play a little too much defense tonight,” said Pirates coach Jeff Stockstill. “Defense forced a few turnovers early in the game; couldn’t capitalize on it.
“A really good ballgame. Both teams really played their guts out. They were one play better than us.”
Pass Christian got on the scoreboard first on the final play of the first quarter as Scriber connected with Micah Mckay on a 73-yard touchdown pass.
The Rock-a-chaws’ ensuing possession ended on a lost fumble to the Pirates, but the SSC defense was up to the challenge, denying the Pirates a first down.
On the second snap, Rioz connected with Ethan Galloway, who was ahead of all the Pass defenders for a 44-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
The Rock-a-chaws were forced to attempt a field goal with two seconds remaining before halftime. Evan Noel’s 26-yard field goal gave the Rock-a-chaws a 10-7 lead.
The first half was a game of big plays, but the defenses dominated as the Rock-a-chaws denied the Pirates on three chances deep in SSC territory.
The Pirates moved the ball to the Rock-a-chaws’ 34 on their initial possession before punting, then failed to convert fourth-and-inches on their second possession.
On their fourth trip deep in Rock-a-chaws territory, the Pirates failed to convert on a 43-yard field goal.
The Rock-a-chaws, on their initial possession, moved the ball to the Pirates’ 34 before losing a fumble.
The Pirates capitalized on the turnover with the 73-yard touchdown pass.
The Rock-a-chaws have a bye next week and will host Stone High on Sept. 29. The Pirates will host Northeast Jones next Friday.