Fast Start – Western Beaver downs Shenango @coachmatsook
Written by: Shane Lux on Saturday, September 8th, 2018
Western Beaver scored four first-half touchdowns then had to hold on for a 27-13 win over Shenango Saturday afternoon in Industry.
The Golden Beavers rode five Wildcat turnovers including four in the first half to stake themselves to a 27-0 lead by intermission.
“We executed very well offensively and defensively in the first half,” said Western Beaver head coach Matt Gray. “The result was a win it was great, but still have a lot of work to do. It’s back to the drawing board.”
Coach Gray’s two sons’s hooked up for the game’s first touchdown as Thaddeus Gray found older brother Noah for a 25-yard touchdown.
Shenango was able to threaten for the only time in the first half driving into the red zone. Only to have that drive stopped by Tyler Hawkins who stripped Wildcats quarterback Reis Watkins and returned it 70 yards.
That play set up Cam Irvine’s 2-yard run that pushed the Golden Beavers lead to 13-0 after quarter.
Irvine led Western Beaver with 92 yards on 16 carries.
“We want to have a balance of run and pass, mix it up,” said Gray. “Thaddeus is getting better at quarterback; we have some solid receivers and backs as well.”
Raven Chandler would add a pair of second-quarter touchdowns on runs three and seven yards. That seemingly put the game out of reach.
“The story of our season so far has been that we shoot ourselves in the foot, and it’s just hard to overcome that,” said Shenango head coach Jimmy Graham. “We’re trying to win the turnover battle, but when you keep losing it, again it’s just hard to overcome.”
Shenango, however, had other ideas as they used a pair of third-quarter scores to get themselves back into the game.
Facing a 4th-and-10 at the Golden Beaver’s 40-yard line – quarterback Watkins scrambled and broke loose for a touchdown.
The Wildcats were not done as after forcing a punt Jason Kraner raced 73 yards to pull Shenango to within 27-13.
“We finished strong, and I liked the momentum, but that change the score or the outcome,” said Graham. “Western is a good team, with solid skill players and in the first half, we put ourselves in a situation where we are playing from behind which we try not to do. We did challenge the kids at halftime; they did respond which I’m very proud of.”
From there it was a penalty-filled sloppy fourth quarter as neither team were able to move the ball.
“In the second half we gave up some big plays, and made some major mistakes on those plays,” said Gray. “Offensively we couldn’t find rhythm in the second half, turned the ball over. I was pleased with the first half, not out second half.”
Western Beaver 27 Shenango 13
Score by Quarters
Shenango – 0 0 13 0 – 13
Western Beaver – 13 14 0 0 – 27
W – Noah Gray 25 yd pass from Thaddeus Gray (Zack Shank pat), 6:44
W – Cam Irvine 2 yd run (kick failed), 1:18
W – Raven Chandler 3 yd run (pass failed), 10:19
W – Chandler 7 yd run (Irvine from Thaddeus Gray), 7:22
S – Reis Watkins 40 yd run (kick blocked), 8:32
S – Jason Kraner 73 yd run (Aiden Johnstown), 4:36
Rushing: Shenango – Xavier Gump 1-(-5), Reis Watkins 17-87, Brock Keyser 1-2, Carlton Slunder 3-11, Jason Kraner 10-130, Team 1-(-11). Totals: 33-214. Western Beaver – Irvine 16-92, Chandler 18-52, Casey Oliver 5-5, Thaddeus Gray 6-11. Totals: 45-160.
Passing: Shenango – Santino Campoli 0-for-4, 2 interceptions, Watkins 7-for-11, 90 yards, 1 interception. Western Beaver – Thaddeus Gray 5-for-9, 89 yards, 1 touchdown.
Receiving: Shenango – Kraner 6-78, Gump 1-12. Western Beaver – Irvine 2-33, Oliver 1-13, Dakari Bradford 1-31, Chandler 1-12.
Interceptions: Western Beaver – Noah Gray (2), Oliver.
Follow WesternPAFootball.com on Twitter @WPAFootball