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Monday, July 24, 2017

Pioneers close season with dominant win, playoffs next

On a brilliant sunny and hot day at Sea Foam Stadium, the St. Paul Pioneers closed out the 2017 regular season by raining points down on the Minnesota Brawlers. Final score: 60-0 Pioneers.

Cornerback Dominic Peace got the scoring parade started, returning the opening Brawlers punt for a touchdown. The points came fast and furious after that, as St. Paul overwhelmed an undermanned but determined Brawlers squad that showed no quit, but just didn't have the players to compete.

Quarterback Cleve McCoy threw 5 touchdown passes -- two to wideout Delane Woods and one each to Stacy Kalkwarf, Davarus Branigan and Juice Akins. Pioneers running backs Herschel Brazell and Isiah Sims had touchdowns rushing -- with Sims topping 1,000 yards rushing for the season and leading the league in rushing yards.

Defensive back Lionel Lamarre also had a touchdown on a punt return, as the Pioneers found many different ways to score.

The Brawlers' best chance to put points on the board came at the end of an impressive drive. But Pioneers linebacker Michael Juberian blocked the field goal attempt as St. Paul's defense poured through the middle of the Brawler line.

St. Paul finishes 8-3 overall, 6-2 in the NEFL West.

Players of the Game:
Offense - Isiah Sims.
Defense - Bobby Wright.
Special Teams - Stacy Kalkwarf.

The Pioneers are waiting to receive official word from the Northern Elite Football League on where the team is seeded for the playoffs. Saturday ended with some confusion over whether St. Paul would be the top seed in the West, and have a first round bye, or be seeded second and have a home playoff game July 29. We will update our website and Facebook pages as soon as we receive official word.

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