POMEROY - Nine touchdowns and four 2-point conversions in the first half alone was enough for the Pomeroy Pirates to pummel the St. John-Endicott Eagles, 62-20, Thursday night in the Southeast 1B-8 regular season finale.
The Pirates piled up all their points by the end of the first half, and that enacted the game-ending mercy rule at Lybecker Field on Senior Night.
The win assures the Pirates of at least a three-way tie with Touchet and Colton for the first-place crown in its division.
Pomeroy also owns the tie-breaker with both teams for seeding, which was decided in a draw at the beginning of the season.
"We have locked up first place, the first seed in the district playoffs against Northport at home," Pomeroy coach Sanford Bates said. "We will be playing either Friday or Saturday at Lybecker.
"We can compete with anybody in the playoffs," he said. "If we play well and do what we're supposed to be doing, we can do well. That is where we sit and we'll see what we're up against in the playoffs."
Leading the team in rushing and passing in Thursday's game was junior quarterback Ryan Smith, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for 151 yards and three more touchdowns.
The opening drive of the game started with a Tory Knebel eight-yard run and then a 42-yard touchdown strike from Smith to tight end Mitch Ruchert over the middle for the score.
Senior fullback Austin Reisdorph punched in the 2-point conversion to make it 8-0 less than a minute into play.
The Eagles answered right back with a three-play scoring drive of 72 yards and it was highlighted by Cole McCanna's 37-yard touchdown pass to Samuel Raynor to make it 8-6, about a minute and a half into the game.
Next, two Knebel touchdown runs of 54 yards and 48 yards were sandwiched around a three-yard run by Smith to cap an 11-yard drive, which was set up by a fumble by St.John-Endicott deep in its own territory.
It was 20-6, Pirates four minutes into the first quarter.
"Scoring a lot early really helps to get the lead taken care of," Bates said. "Situation we are in, the end of the regular season, we are going to the playoffs and St. John is playing its last game of the year.
"So getting those scores in early really set the tone, got things going in the right direction."
Knebel, the starting halfback, finished with three carries for 109 yards in the game.
The next Pomeroy score came on an interception by middle linebacker Reisdorph, who returned it from 25 yards out.
The Eagles tried bringing order back to the game with a nine-play, 55-yard scoring drive that was finished by McCanna's 16-yard touchdown run from his quarterback position.
It was 34-12, Pirates, with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter.
Pomeroy would hear nothing of the closer game with 54-yard drive of four plays, capped by a Smith-to-Ruchert 10-yard touchdown toss and the following 2-point conversion, and it was 42-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Smith broke the backs of the Eagles with an 87-yard quarterback sneak up the middle for the touchdown run to increase the score to 48-12 at the beginning of the second quarter.
All the Eagles could muster in response to the scoring onslaught was a second-quarter touchdown and a 2-point conversion, on a 52-yard pass from Raynor to McCanna.
Smith ran in another touchdown for the Pirates from eight yards out on the ensuing drive, and Brendan Lueck had a 38-yard run for a touchdown on the following drive.
Lueck finished with five carries and 61 yards. Also backing up Knebel at running back was Jacob Moore, who totaled five carries and 56 yards on the evening.
"We had a chance to give our younger backs some carries (Moore and Lueck) and they did pretty well," Bates said. "We've always known that we have depth at running back. So it was nice to see."
As a team, the Pirates ran the ball 24 times for 385 yards in just one half of football. They needed just 52 yards through the air and two scores to keep the other team honest.
The Pirates take their potent run game and efficient passing game into this week's playoff action.
"Rankings are rankings and seedings aren't everything," Bates said. "You just gotta do it out there on the field and prove it."
Pomeroy 62, St.John-Endicott 20
St.J-End 12 8 - 20
Pomeroy 42 20 - 62
Pom - Ruchert 42 pass from Smith (Reisdorph run).
St. J-End - Raynor 37 pass from McCanna (pass failed).
Pom - Knebel 54 run (run failed).
Pom - Smith 3 run (run failed).
Pom - Knebel 48 run (Lueck run).
Pom - Reisdorph 25 int return (pass failed).
St. J-End - McCanna 16 run (run failed).
Pom - Ruchert 10 pass from Smith (Moore run).
Pom - Smith 57 run (run failed).
St. J-End - McCanna 52 pass from Raynor (Raynor run).
Pom - Smith 8 run (Lueck run).
Pom - Lueck 38 run (pass failed).
First downs 6 6
Rushes/yards 18-66 24-385
Passing yards 167 52
Passes (att-com-int) 6-19-2 2-4-1
Punts 3-30 0-0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 0-0
Penalties-yards 7-53 3-30
RUSHING - St. J-End: McCanna 12-56, Raynor 6-10. Pom: Smith 8-151, Knebel 3-109, Reisdorph 2-8, Lueck 5-61, Moore 5-56.
PASSING - St. J-End: McCanna 4-13-2, 91 yards, 1 touchdown; Raynor 2-6, 76 yards, 1 touchdown. Pom: Smith 2-4, 52 yards, 2 touchdowns.
RECEIVING - St.J-End: Raynor 4-91, McCanna 3-69, Smith 1-7. Pom: Ruchert 2-52.