BY JIM MISUNAS
ST. JOHN — Breaking a three-year losing streak is never easy. The Tigers delivered a game-tying touchdown and game-winning 2-pointer to edge Langdon-Fairfield 34-32 as the Tigers snapped a 22-game losing streak.
The Tigers’ last football win was 30-22 over Ellinwood in 2017.
Alan Valenzuela converted a 46-yard run off a reverse and Angel Ibarra caught a 10-yard pass for a first down on the game-tying drive. Caden McCandless converted an 18-yard touchdown run for a 32-32 tie. Andrew Miller, a starting guard, shifted to end for the game-winning 2-point conversion from quarterback Joe Drake.
The victory celebration started when the Tigers stopped Fairfield’s final drive.
“They were joyful for themselves and how they fought,” said St. John coach Justin Nusser. “They had fun and were happy to win a game. They’re learning how to compete. They made their school and community proud. As a hometown guy, it’s fun to see the community excited.”
Joe Drake scored four touchdowns to spark the Tigers with 101 yards. McCandless led the defense with 11 tackles, six for loss. Marco Ibarra had seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Alan Valenzuela intercepted a pass.
Sophomore Ethan Son and cross country runners Uriel Calleros and Edwin Fernandez played their first varsity football game Friday.
“Defensively, we tackled well,” Nusser said. “We played fast defensively. Our kids wrapped up really well and we got to the football. It was fun to see them play that way.”
The Tigers played C Abelardo Llanas/C Tegan Tanner, G Andrew Miller, G Ivan Acosta/Abelardo Llanas, QB Joe Drake/QB Marco Ibarra, RB Caden McCandless, RB Uriel Calleros, WR Edwin Fernandez and WR Alan Valenzuela.
“We had to fight through fatigue. It was a big challenge,” Nusser said. “Our young players and hungry to win and battle.”
St. John (1-0) journeys to LaCrosse (0-2) for an 8-Man 1, District 6 opener. LaCrosse RB Colby Stull (212 yds, 3 TDs) and QB Caden Morgan (179 yds, 2 TDs) lead the Leopards.
8-MAN1 DISTRICT 6
MACKSVILLE (1-1) at SKYLINE (3-0)
Kuckelman rushed for 170 yards and four touchdowns to spark the Mustangs past Medicine Lodge 46-36. TB Michael Seward rushed for 124 yards and scored on a 31-yard scoring dash. Cleven Huggins scored two touchdowns on a 50-yard run and 47-yard pass from Seward.
Skyline RB Jesus casas (454 rushing, 6 TDs; 153 yards receiving) and RB Braden Tyler (242 yards, 5 TDs) lead the Thunderbirds.
8-MAN2 DISTRICT 6
SOUTH BARBER (1-1, 1-2) at STAFFORD (0-1, 2-1)
Expect a shootout. South Barber QB Gatlin Jewell (478 rushing, 9 TDs; 343 passing, 2 TDs) and RB Emilio Perez (418 yards, 7 TDs) lead the way/
Stafford RB Kleyton Schreiber scored six touchdowns in a 64-62 loss to Peabody. He rushed for 141 yards and four touchdowns and scored two receiving touchdowns. QB Dylan Gantz threw two touchdown passes and added a rushing score.
3A DISTRICT 8
PRATT (1-2) at LARNED (0-2)
Larned QB Dillan Smith (638 yards, 6 TDs) and TE Jack Stelter (216 yards) and WR Fernando Herrera (175 yards) key an offense averaging 319 yards passing. Pratt QB Blake Coss (229, 3 TDs) and RB Devon Weber (147) lead the Greenbacks.
2A DISTRICT 8
PHILLIPSBURG (1-2) at HOISINGTON (3-0)
Hoisington averages 306 yards rushing with RB Joshua Ball (257, 5 TDs), Holt Hanzlick (205), Cade Mason (178), Mason Haxton (146) and Hunter Morris (102).
8-MAN2 DISTRICT 5
CENTRAL PLAINS (1-0, 1-0) at CHASE (0-2, 0-3)
Oiler QB Michael Laymon completed two touchdown passes and rushed for a score as the Oilers raced past Otis-Bison 46-0. Laymon passed for 105 yards and rushed for 63 yards.
OTIS-BISON (0-2, 0-3) at WILSON (1-0, 2-1)
Otis-Bison QB Kaden Foust had six completions and 91/2 tackles last week. RB Cooper Weinhold (441, 8 TD) and Wilson Ebebhart (363, 9 TDs) lead Wilson.
ELLINWOOD (0-3) at CONWAY SPRINGS (2-1)
Conway Springs features balance passing and rushing after a 58-13 rout of Elkhart. Ellinwood has been outscored 190-0.
FOWLER (0-3, 0-3) at PAWNEE HEIGHTS (1-2, 1-2)
Both teams are struggling, but the Tigers have showed an offensive spark with RB Braden Colglazier and QB Adam Hands.