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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Pioneers fall in opener at home, 29-27.

The St. Paul Pioneers dropped their 2018 season opener on a last-second field goal to the powerful Kansas City Bulldogs 29-27 at Sea Foam Stadium.
In an exciting back-and-forth game, the Pioneers drew fist blood on a Cleve McCoy to Travis Griffin touchdown pass. But the Bulldogs would storm back and start the see-saw scoring that eventually saw St. Paul take a late lead on a quarterback sneak by McCoy with just a minute remaining. For the game, McCoy finished 7 of 11 passing for 62 yards and a score. He also had 33 yards rushing on five carries.
Despite the two teams being evenly matched, Kansas City made the clutch plays at the end to get into range to attempt, and make, the game-winning kick.
Pioneers' running back Herschel Brazell also scored on a rugged 5-yard run and finished the game with 33 yards on 5 carries. Quarterback Alex Neist, part of the Pioneers' two-headed monster attack at QB, hit receiver Matt Crandall for the other Pioneers points. Neist finished 8 of 14 passing for the Pioneers, with a score and two interceptions.
St. Paul's rushing attack was paced by Isiah Sims. The bruising back collected 82 yards on 18 carries. Dejonte Skie was the Pioneers' leading receiver, with 3 receptions for 63 yards.
On defense, the Pioneers were led in tackles by linebacker Corey Brenner, who had 8 total stops with a tackle for loss, and defensive back Creston Tolbert, who had 7 tackles, including one for loss. Pioneers defensive end Caleb Huls snagged an interception.
St. Paul (0-1) continues its daunting opening schedule with a road trip next week to Des Moines, Iowa, to face the always-stout Des Moines Blaze.
Photos by Marla Collins.

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