Shade Goes to 6-0 with an Impressive Win Over Conemaugh Township
Written by: Phil Myers on Sunday, September 30th, 2018
The Shade Panthers left no doubt who was the better team in their game with Conemaugh Township Friday night in Davidsville. Behind an outstanding performance by quarterback Brady Fyfe, the visitors rolled to a 46-10 triumph over the previously unbeaten Indians. Township’s coach, Sam Zambanini, summed it up best when he said, “we got beat by a team that’s very good.”
Fyfe accounted for all six Panther touchdowns by rushing for the game’s first score and then proceeding to throw for five TDs. He ended the game with 374 yards passing by going 16 for 28, which averages out to be 23 yards per completion. Shade had 413 total yards for the game. “We saw them uptight, bump and run on our guys and I’ll take that, plus our guys love that challenge. You know you beat one guy and you’re going to score a touchdown,” observed Shade’s coach Don Fyfe.
Shade only led 8-0 after one quarter on Fyfe’s one-yard sneak, but both teams had chances. Shade zipped down the field on the opening drive of the game, going 77 yards in just three plays. With only a yard to get a first down, Fyfe was pressured into three straight incompletions to turn the ball over at the Conemaugh seven.
Conemaugh responded by going 41 yards to their forty-eight, where facing a fourth and four, they faked a punt. Punter Jackson Byer’s pass found a wide-open receiver, who dropped the ball that would have given the home team a first down well inside of Panther territory. Shade subsequently went 48 yards and scored with 4:23 left in the initial stanza to take the lead they never relinquished.
The Panthers turned a close contest into the beginnings of a route in the latter stages of the second quarter. Vince Fyock got the momentum started by picking off a Jordan Poznanski pass when the Indians were driving and had the ball at the Panther 44. Shade converted two fourth downs during their 55-yard scoring drive, the second of which resulted in a touchdown when Fyfe hit Matt Addleman from five yards out.
Up 16-0, Shade got the ball back with 2:30 left in the half. Fyfe promptly connected with Fyock to produce a 65-yard touchdown. The third straight two-point conversion lengthened the blue and gold lead to 24-0. A Logan Walerysiak 32-yard field goal as time expired put the Indians on the board. “The story of the first half was that we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. You can’t give free stuff away against a good team like Shade,” opined Zambanini, referring to penalties his team took in key situations, the dropped pass, and the turnover.
The Panthers recovered a Conemaugh Township fumbled pigskin on the second play of the third quarter which did not result in points for Shade, but after that the visitors scored on three consecutive drives to end the hopes of a comeback by the Township homecoming crowd. Two of the touchdowns came in the third quarter. The first increased the lead to 32-3 when Fyfe found an open Addleman for a 70-yard strike. A little later, after Poznanski had an electrifying 47 yard run to make the score 32-10, Fyfe opted to throw a touchdown pass to Tyler Valine. That pitch and catch went for 45 yards.
Leading 38-10, Mr. Fyfe completed the quintfecta of TD passes with his 23-yarder to Dawson Snyder, the team’s leading receiver. The Panthers’ fifth two-point PAT put in motion the Mercy Rule and set the score to what would be the final, 46-10. The score ended up being Shade’s fifth touchdown in less than seventeen and a half minutes.
Game Notes and Quotes: Poznanski ran for 220 yards on 34 carries for the Indians. For the game, Conemaugh Township was held to 259 yards by a physical Panther defense. “We were physical,” said coach Fyfe, “in the past Shade teams had a few guys (that were physical), but that’s the kind of game these guys like.” Shade is 6-0 for the first time since 1982. “I’ll be honest with you, about second grade I saw this coming. It’s been fun,” stated the Panther head coach. Both teams are on the road next week. Shade travels to North Star and Conemaugh Township journeys to Portage.
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