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Goliad takes to the ground to roll over St. Joseph

By Sonny Long
Sept. 1, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.

Goliad's Isaiah Fair dodges a would-be St. Joseph tackler during Friday's game at Tiger Stadium. Goliad's running game was working in full force Friday as the Tigers romped to victory.

See more photos from this game and more in our Zero Week photo gallery.

GOLIAD - Quarterback Dalton Sturm ran for three first-half touchdowns to lead Goliad to a 34-10 season opening win over visiting St. Joseph at Tiger Stadium.

The junior signal caller scored on runs of 8, 1 and 24 yards to help pace a 243-yard first half ground attack for the Tigers. Goliad ran for 375 yards for the game.

Senior running back Jeremy Pena led the way with 119 yards on 10 carries, including a 69-yard second-quarter scamper and a 1-yard run in the third.

Goliad dominated play for most of the game, despite eight fumbles and a dozen penalties.

Goliad head coach John Mares, a longtime former coach at St. Joseph, was pleased with the win.

"It's early in the year, and we have a lot of things to work on. Any time in a first ball game, you're going to have those things," Mares said. "We're going to take it one game at a time, correct our mistakes, and get better. We've got a long way to go."

St. Joseph started the contest with a surprise onside pooch kick, with Marcus Rendon recovering it at the Goliad 31.

But the Flyers turned it right back over to the Tigers on an errant pitch by quarterback Jerry Vasquez. Goliad linebacker Joseph Burns picked up the loose pigskin and returned it 23 yards.

The Tigers turned the ball over themselves on a lost fumble at the Flyer 5.

The Flyers drove to the Tiger 9 before the drive stalled and they had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Tyler Engelbart.

Goliad's ground game took over after that going on an 11-play, 75-yard, six-minute drive and an 8-play, 48-yard drive that took 4:11 off the clock. Both drives ended in Sturm TD runs and a 14-3 lead with 7:49 remaining in the half.

After a St. Joseph punt, Pena exploded for his long touchdown run.

Sturm would later add his third scoring run of the first half, breaking several tackles en route to the 24-yard score. A fumbled snap prevented him from kicking his fourth extra point of the game, and Goliad led 27-3 at halftime.

Goliad scored on its first possession of the second half, embarking on a 13-play, 80-yard drive. Pena capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring plunge.

St. Joseph found the end zone late in the third quarter when Eric Alvarez scored on a reverse from 10 yards out. Engelbart added the point after.

St. Joseph head coach Kevin Auten said his team could take away some positives from the loss.

"The second half we came out and played much better. They began to understand a lot better what was expected of them," Auten said.

"We've got to execute better. We've got to stay on our blocks, and we can't have personal fouls. We've got a ways to go."

St. Joseph also was hurt by injuries, Auten said, losing two offensive linemen during the game.

Alvarez led the Flyers with 81 yards rushing on eight carries.

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