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Sting fall to St. Paul

The Minnesota Sting seem to have everyone’s number on the gridiron.

Everyone, that is, except for the St. Paul Pioneers.

The Sting (6-2) suffered their second loss of the season as they fell 41-12 to St. Paul last Saturday at East Ridge High School.

The loss was Minnesota’s second of the season. The Sting are 0-2 against the Pioneers, 6-0 against everyone else. St. Paul also topped Minnesota 49-20 earlier in June.

The Pioneers jumped on the Sting early and often last Saturday. Ronald Zollicoffer returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown to put St. Paul up 6-0 in the first.

By halftime the Pioneers had built a 20-3 lead as all Minnesota could muster on the offensive side of the ball was a 25-yard field goal from kicker Shawn Bibeau.

The Sting mounted a comeback in the third, as Matthew Birr connected with Jauhem Byrd for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Minnesota then forced a safety to cut its deficit to 27-12 heading into the fourth quarter.

But St. Paul controlled the final session of play. A one-yard plunge from Pioneers running back Isaac Odim in the fourth put the icing on the St. Paul victory. Odim finished the game with 239 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries.

The Sting have next weekend off before wrapping up the regular season with games on successive Saturdays. They’ll host the Twin Cities Titans at East Ridge High School at 4:30 p.m. July 12 before heading to Duluth to take on the Lake Superior Rage on July 19. Minnesota topped its two remaining opponents in matchups earlier in the season by a combined score of 84-13.