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Monday, June 11, 2018

Pioneers hang on to defeat Invaders on the road

The St. Paul Pioneers, seven-time champions of the Northern Elite Football League, remained undefeated in league play after a gritty road win against a strong Fargo Invaders squad.
The Pioneers used a Cleve McCoy touchdown pass, and touchdown runs by McCoy and running backs Isiah Sims and Herschel Brazell Jr. to explode for 28 points in what proved to be a decisive second quarter.
Fargo had taken a 7-0 first quarter lead, on a rollout by Invaders quarterback Ja'Vonte Johnson. The second stanza, however, turned the tide as McCoy hit Cyrus Elliot for a 7-yard touchdown pass, Sims rumbled in for a 10-yard score and Brazell hit paydirt from 44 yards out. McCoy closed out the Pioneers scoring on a 23-yard run with less than two minutes left in the half.
Fargo was not done however. After a scoreless third period, the Invaders made their move, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter and having the ball for another touchdown try as time expired. But St. Paul's defense ultimately denied the comeback attempt and the Pioneers remain in first place.
St. Paul is now 3-0 in NEFL play and 4-1 overall, with victories over Des Moines, Granite City, Fox Valley and Fargo, with only a last-second loss to Kansas City as the schedule blemish.

Photos by Marla Collins.